01 Aug 2022Mont Marte

After her kids left home, Ballarat artist, Rach Jackson (@rach.jackson.art_) turned her empty nest into a creative sanctuary. Setting up a studio in her garage, Rach began to paint her abstract, pastel pieces onto canvases, tea towels and even skateboards. Carving out a creative path of her own, Rach began showing everyone that it’s never too late to start something new. 

Artist Rach Jackson smiling in her studio with a pastel abstract artwork behind her on an easel.

How did your journey to becoming an artist unfold?

I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember but it wasn’t until 2019 that I decided to try and make a career out of painting. I found myself discovering a style that felt truly authentic to me and got completely swept away. I posted all of my work on Instagram and my following grew. I have received a lot of amazing opportunities from my online presence and I was lucky enough to progress to becoming a full-time artist in 2020. It’s been an amazing journey and a dream come true!

How long have you lived in Ballarat and what do you love about the town?

I’ve been in Ballarat since I was 5 years old. I love the historic buildings, and that it feels a lot like a big country town. There’s an amazing art community here in Ballarat, it’s a real creative hub and I feel lucky to be a part of it.

An abstract pastel artwork on an easel with skateboards next to the easel on the wall all painted with a pastel abstract design.

Where do you find your creative inspiration for a piece?

Getting out of town and into nature is what inspires me the most. Experiencing different landscapes, seeing so many colours and textures, and just the calming feeling of being outside, is what gives me the most inspiration to create.

How do you decide what colours you reach for? Is it intuitive or more planned?

I have all of my colours pre-mixed in pots ready to go. As I’m painting a piece, I’ll use whatever colour comes to me at the time, it’s a very intuitive process.

Three canvases painted with pastel abstract designs next to five paint pots.

What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on?

Last year I did a collaboration with a Melbourne business that makes jigsaw puzzles called ‘Journey of Something,’ such an amazing opportunity!

How do you set up your creative space?

My studio space is in my garage. It’s a nice big space with plenty of room for large canvases and to move around as I need. I try to paint in as much natural light as possible as it shows the colours more accurately. Music is a necessity! It sets the vibe and helps me get into a flow state to create.

Rach Jackson holding a framed canvas of her pastel artwork with abstract flower shapes. A pastel landscape can be viewed in the background.

What’s something that stifles your creativity?

Day to day stresses and responsibilities! Creating is hard to do sometimes, when you have a lot on your mind, it’s hard to focus. At the same time, it can be a great escape, if you can manage to push past it and get into ‘the zone.’ I usually try to get the stressful/boring stuff done early in the day so I can fully throw myself into creating for the rest of the day.

Who are your creative cheerleaders?

My family and close friends are of course, my biggest supporters and I appreciate them so much! I’ve made some amazing artist friends over the past couple of years. My go-to’s for chatting and asking art advice from, on a regular basis, are Cameron Forsyth and Anna Price. Two absolutely amazing artists who have been there from the beginning. 

Three abstract wall hangings hanging on a wall near a yellow palette as a table and a plant.

Do you have a favourite Mont Marte product? 

My favourite Mont Marte product would have to be the acrylic pouring paints. They are wonderful for creating base layers as they go on the canvas so smoothly and are so satisfying to spread around! They give wonderful coverage.

What are you “too old to do” but still enjoy doing?

I’m a big believer in that you’re never too old to do anything you want to do! You only get one shot at this life, so you’ve got to make the most of it. Just do what makes you feel happy, no regrets.

A number of abstract pastel canvases standing up against a wall.

What’s next? 

I’ve got a few things to look forward to this year: a local exhibition, I’ll be painting my first two murals and a really big collaboration is in the works, that I can’t say too much about just yet, but it is very exciting!

We hope Ballarat artist, Rach Jackson’s story inspires you to create something for yourself. #montmarteart or tag us @montmarteart on Instagram or Facebook, we’d love to see what you create. Or check out more of our featured artists here.