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FEATURED ARTIST: Rachel Goldsmith

2015 July 19

Learn more about AAAD Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!HOT stuff

I like it spicy.  My favorite Indian restaurant offers mild, medium & hot levels of spice.  But, those with the inside track also know they offer the Indian version of mild, medium & hot.  I am pretty good with Indian medium.  On braver days I can handle Indian hot.  But, the actual heat this summer is wearing me out.  I’m not normally a heat whiner–until now.  Every degree over 90 results in my doing everything just a little slower–as though my shoes are melted to the ground.  But then, I received this fantastic Featured Artist contest entry that allowed me to shift focus and enjoy the beauty and brightness of summer–without all the hot sauce.

Painting with plastic by Featured Artist Rachel GoldsmithThis month’s artist offers us an evolving view of process and how it informs content.   Her work explores the contrast between organic forms and the plasticity of production. is proud to claim Rachel Goldsmith as this month’s Featured Artist.  This work is intricate and soft, yet hard and industrial.  It is beautiful and thoughtful and puzzling.  And then there’s the dumplings and cereal…and hot sauce.

Rachel Goldsmith


Rachel Goldsmith is a NY-based artist who works primarily with PLA plastic, water-based paints on canvas & permanent ink on paper.  She received her Bachelor of Arts & Fine Arts Degrees from Univ. of Michigan & her Masters of Art & Design Education Degree from Pratt Institute.  Rachel taught middle school Visual Arts in NYC from 2007-2012.  In addition to several “Best in Show” awards, Goldsmith was commissioned by the inventors of the 3Doodler to create a piece for MoMA Design Store.  Her work, including her Fabergé Big Egg, is included in various private collections.

Learn more about Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!Has the 3-D pen been a trial & error process or have you had instruction from another artist, creator, or school?  “The 3Doodler has been 100% self-taught.  I received the pen in March 2014 –early in their production, a few weeks after completing Ova Obsessive for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt. I had been drawing 12-20 hours a day for 6 weeks.  I was done with drawing for a little while, so the timing was fortuitous.  I immediately used the 3Doodler on canvas—that is what seemed natural to me. And I was instantly obsessed with the possibilities.  The more I used it, the more I loved it – and still, to this day, I am discovering new techniques and developing new ideas for its use.

Textiles by Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith--detail“I struggle with the term “trial and error”, as it has such a negative connotation. (*Noted and appreciated.  Words have meanings.)  I prefer to think of my work with the 3Doodler as experimenting…

…happy accidents
or Beautiful Oops.


“I love having to react to the material – to adjust what I’m doing based on what the material does. Any pieces that feel like “errors” just have to be worked further or in a different way – scissors, heat gun, iron, spray paint, wire, and/or more plastic. I titled one piece Frankenstein because of how many times it was cut apart and put back together in a different form.”

Why PLA over ABS plastic?  “Since day one I have preferred PLA.  It is corn-based as opposed to petroleum based, so it doesn’t smell noxious.  That’s my main reason.  Additionally, I find the PLA easier to work with because it sticks to itself very easily and it hardens a bit slower then the ABS, so you have a moment to adjust the extrusion with your fingers or other tools.”

Squares 1, 2 & 3 by Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!

Talk to me about the 3-D printing pen.  Does form inspire content or does content require that you figure out how to make the pen conform?  Again my answer is both–it depends. When 3Doodler asked me to create a lamp for their MoMA Design Store display, I had to figure out how to make the plastic into a lamp – before that, I’d been working on canvas or other flat surfaces – balance and strength were the key factors that I had to work around.  Most of the time however, my work is material driven. I gain inspiration from my environment – especially the contrasts between natural and man-made – and I often allow the materials drive my creating.

Painting with plastic by Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!I am fascinated by the contrast between the control I have over the materials and what the materials do on their own.  Again, this creates a situation for me to react and respond to my work. I think this is another reason that I fell in love with the original 3Doodler. The pen has a little bit of a mind of it’s own – so I constantly have to react to how the pen extrudes the plastics, even if it is not exactly what I thought I wanted it to do.  New possibilities of what I can do with plastics keep popping into my head and keep driving my creations – adding wire, or using an iron or using the heat-gun or layering like I’m weaving or painting or drawing on the plastic or moving very slowly or fast.  It is endless.  I need another set of hands to keep up with my brain.

Tell me about the contrast between organic forms and synthetic materials.  “Contrasts, in general, fascinate to me.  I think it is a coincidence that I’m using plastic to create organic forms – though I love that a viewer can find meaning in my work based on this contrast. Or perhaps subconsciously I love the 3Doodler because of that contrast. I will point out though, that the PLA is corn-based.  Is it still considered synthetic? (*I think it is fair to call it synthesized, at least.)  Again, my work is hugely inspired by the contrasts between man-made and nature – working with plastic to create organic forms seems like a perfect way to represent that contrast.”

Painting with plastic by Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!Most artists have something to say—something they are trying to get across to viewers. I am fascinated by the contrast of the playful versus an almost robotic feel.  “I’ve discussed this a lot lately, with slight discomfort. For me the process of creating the work is the reason for creating the work.  The movement of my hand hypnotizes me, acting as a focus point for meditation–I use the same movements in drawing, 3Doodling and Painting. Also, the necessary reaction to the media engages me with ongoing challenges.  In the end I want the pieces to appeal to my aesthetic senses.  I want people to enjoy looking at the work as much as I do.  If the viewer sees a statement about contrasts, great; if the viewer sees a statement about the environment, great.  But, I’m not creating nor exhibiting with any agenda in mind.”  *Refreshingly, and shockingly honest. Bravo.

Talk to me about the two artists (one living, one dead) that have most influenced your work and why.  “Sorry, you are getting 3.  Dale Chihuly is my favorite contemporary artist. I am nearly obsessed with watching videos of him at work.  I am captivated by his process and inspired by his use of color and material, both glass and paint.  The forms he creates are direct results of the motion of his hand, arm and wrist, a motion over which he has impressive control.  His blown glass and drawings look as if they have grown from the ocean and are still suspended in the currents of the water.

Painting with plastic by Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!“Bill Komoski is one of many abstract painters that I could list as a favorite. He creates works that are just about looking. Like many of my pieces, his paintings are map-like—organized yet chaotic.  Similar to Chihuly, his work evokes a feeling of fluidity and weightlessness.  And, I draw a tremendous amount of inspiration from Ernst Haeckel.  His ‘Artforms in Nature’ documents my obsession with organic forms.  It illustrates the scientifically stringent aspects of nature that ordinarily seem disorganized and random.”

What is your favorite food addiction?  It IS a food-themed blog after all.  “Hot sauce–especially Cholula.  I am addicted to and allergic to cheese. I miss it everyday that I don’t make myself sick from it.  And I LOVE veggie dumplings, yum!  But, I will always choose sweet over savory.”  *Allergic to cheese would be the death of me. Truly.

What is your favorite snack food obsession?  “Cinnamon Toast Crunch with almond milk or soy milk and non-ice cream–stupid allergies force me to stick to sorbet, popsicles & non-dairy frozen treats.”

Painting with plastic by Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith!What’s coming up next for you?  “I would like to learn more about textiles, as so much of what I’m creating looks like it is made from fabric not plastic. Also, I hope to create some mobiles as I love the shadows produced by the plastics and I love how light looks shining through the plastics – mobiles might be the perfect way to display this kind of work.  I’ve only just begun researching mobiles.  I can feel myself teetering on the edge of something amazing.  It is a really strange feeling because I’m not sure what’s coming down the pipeline, but I’m certain something big is going to burst out really soon.  It is exciting, bizarre, and a little embarrassing to admit. I think it involves mixing media. We will see.”

“I’ve never felt like this before.”


Rachel, don’t you dare be embarrassed.  Your honesty and openness have made my heart smile.  I sift through a lot of stock answers and standard bios and stagnant art-speak statements.  You have renewed my faith that I can still have exciting, insightful conversations about art.  Thank you for that–and the work…

Learn more about Rachel Goldsmith!

Learn more about Featured Artist Rachel Goldsmith! Are you Featured Artist material?  LET US KNOW!

47 Responses
  1. July 19, 2015

    Thank you for appreciating my honesty. Feeling proud.

  2. July 19, 2015

    You SHOULD be proud. Honesty is unfortunately also often perceived as vulnerability in art world, and sometimes exposing the soft underbelly is scary. Your answers were refreshing. Be proud–you deserve it. –R.L. Gibson (Rachel), Editor

  3. Lucille permalink
    July 19, 2015

    Rachel’s art work is inspiring and the interview has me excited to see her work live and in person. The originality and uniqueness of her beautiful work begs to be seen in a gallery showing!

  4. Shannon permalink
    July 19, 2015

    Rachel is a remarkable talent. She inspires all that have the pleasure of looking at her work

  5. Howard Goldsmith permalink
    July 19, 2015

    Amazingly creative artwork. Such an articulate interview. Show us more Rachel Goldsmith!

  6. Daniel permalink
    July 19, 2015

    “I constantly have to react to how the pen extrudes the plastics, even if it is not exactly what I thought I wanted it to do”. There’s a real sense here of Rachel collaborating with her materials and medium, rather than just using them. Really inspiring and alive!

  7. July 19, 2015

    What a great interview with Rachel Goldsmith. Her art work with the 3 doodler is so unique. I am fascinated by each piece she creates. What a talented young woman!

  8. Bobbi permalink
    July 19, 2015

    Rachel’s work is inspiring, unique and inventive. I have one of her creations and am proud to display it in my home.

  9. David Dreilinger permalink
    July 20, 2015

    Great interview about a great rising artist. Love the work and the feeling behind it.

  10. Deenie permalink
    July 20, 2015

    Rachel’s work is gorgeous. I’m truly inspired by what she can do with the 3D doodler.

  11. Helen permalink
    July 20, 2015

    Rachel is inventive, creative…and so talented. I am sure we will all be able to say that ” we knew her when”… This is a young lady to watch!

  12. Neal permalink
    July 20, 2015

    Rachel’s work is creative, energizing and awesome !

  13. Laura permalink
    July 20, 2015

    Her art is beautiful, visually striking and unique. I really love her use of colours, and how she uses nature to inspire her.

  14. Antoinette permalink
    July 20, 2015

    Wonderful article. I am the proud owner of a Rachel Goldsmith piece of art. The uniqueness and beauty if it is mesmerizing. Each piece has a story to tell. I look forward to acquiring a few more pieces.

  15. July 20, 2015

    For me, Rachel’s work is so engaging becuase of the tension between form and fluidity; between solid structure, yet it has a great deal of flow to it. Perhaps it grabs me because
    in essence it is comment about the world around us, even about our own lives….

  16. Maria Ouranitsas permalink
    July 21, 2015

    What a wonderful piece about a wonderful, creative and unique artist! i enjoyed reading about Racel Goldsmith. I wish her much success with her art.

  17. Nicholas permalink
    July 21, 2015

    Rachel’s work is creative and innovative. I can’t wait to see more.

  18. Cathy permalink
    July 21, 2015

    As someone who has admired Rachel’s work for a long time, I can appreciate her evolution from pencil sketches to the addition of color to these 3D works that evoke excitement and emotion. The name of the device that gives rise to this art, “doodler,” is funny in the context of Rachel’s creations which are anything but random. Still, her irrepressible personality comes through, which makes each piece so deliciously engaging!

  19. Amy P. permalink
    July 21, 2015

    Love how Rachel creates art with the 3Doodler pen-awesome colors and texture woven into these exceptional pieces of art. Rachel is really a unique artist. I enjoy looking at all these different works.

  20. Jennifer permalink
    July 21, 2015

    Rachel’s work is creative, innovative and fun!

  21. Jara permalink
    July 21, 2015

    What a wonderful article to highlight the uniqueness of this artist. I love how color and forms vibrate in each of her pieces .

  22. Steve permalink
    July 21, 2015

    Rachel’s work reflects great confidence and creativity. I live the flow and color in her work. Many pieces remind of the sea. Looking forward to the next explosion of creativity.

  23. Harriet permalink
    July 21, 2015

    Rachel’s talent in expressing herself verbally exposes the inner artist, that irrepressible need to create that makes her work so very intellectually intriguing. The beauty and depth of her work continues to draw the viewer back time after time like a mystery to be solved.

  24. Kaitlyn Bertolino permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Love the artwork and love the article! Go Rachel!!!

  25. Wendy permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Rachel’s unique use of materials and color is incredible. It is a real treat to see the pieces up close. There are layers upon layers to be excavated by the eye.

  26. Lenie permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Rachel, your artwork is amazing! The emotion in every piece is incredible.

  27. Jaclyn permalink
    July 22, 2015

    I love Rachel’s creative work!! I can’t wait to see more. Her art is beautiful.

  28. Amy permalink
    July 22, 2015

    I’m curious to see where Rachel goes next with her creations. A mobile sounds fascinating. Love the story behind her creative spirit.

  29. Jodie permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Looking forward to seeing more great pieces from Rachel.

  30. Claire a Temple permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Such an inspirational artist with such positive energy. We feel very fortunate to be in possession of one of Rachel’s 3D artwork. We get such a huge interest in it and are very proud to have it in our home.

  31. Tracey permalink
    July 22, 2015

    beautiful artwork! Leaves me wanting to see more!

  32. Lindsay permalink
    July 22, 2015

    I love this artist! Rachel’s work is simply outstanding!!

  33. Danielle permalink
    July 22, 2015

    WOW! Rachel’s art work is a true inspiration. Her designs are creative and playful yet on point and well constructed. I can’t wait to see them in person. I loved the colors and textures and the use of 3D. Wish I could learn the story about. Each and every move or what the drive is there. It’s Great stuff. Thanks

  34. Jude permalink
    July 22, 2015

    I love seeing talented artists (especially Rachel) and companies collaborating to create new media that stretches the creative potential. Making art come to life is something at which Rachel has always excelled and now, her work literally jumps off the wall. I can’t wait to see what she does next. Go Goldie Go!!

  35. Cynthia permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Rachel’s art is enchanting! Her drawings are absolutely beautiful and her 3D artwork is mesmerizing. Once you see one of her pieces it is difficult to look away…like Rachel herself, there is so much to love.

  36. Suzanne Story permalink
    July 22, 2015

    I have known Rachel’s work for many years and she continues to excite me with her process and choice of medium. I love how her expertise and ability to accept the unknown leads to uninhibited work that is both precise and organic.

  37. Meryl Adler permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Wow Rachel. You’ve come a long way with this new medium. I can’t wait to see where you take it next!!

  38. Anna Redinger permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Beautiful work, Rachel!! Very impressive!

  39. Ellen Miller permalink
    July 22, 2015

    First, kudos to the author. This piece gives real insight to the very talented artist, Rachel Goldsmith. Love Rachel’s work and that the process is what drives the creativity rather than forcing a piece into being. Can’t wait to see her mobiles!! Very exciting art!

  40. July 22, 2015

    This is awesome stuff. Very original, I haven’t seen anything quite like it…

  41. July 22, 2015

    Enjoyed the art work and the article. Keep it up, Rachel!!

  42. ashlee permalink
    July 22, 2015

    Mobiles– yes! Rachel Goldsmith is amazing!

  43. July 22, 2015

    We are glad you enjoyed the interview. I must remember to choose to feature more artists that share my name (Rachel)…it feels like I sharing all the praise, ha. –R.L. Gibson (Rachel), Editor

  44. Peggy permalink
    July 29, 2015

    Rachel’s work is unique, creative and inspiring. Her pieces are not only beautiful but also uplifting. Can’t wait to see her future works.

  45. Alan Schreier permalink
    July 31, 2015

    Rachael Goldsmith’s work with this new art material is so intricate and original. Her work is so detailed and complicated, it makes you wonder what is going on in her brain. Fascinating and fabulous

  46. Shannon permalink
    December 7, 2015

    Rachel is an amazing artist and beautiful person. So proud of you!!!

  47. Amy Roslow permalink
    December 9, 2015

    Loved this article! Rachel’s art makes my heart sing too! I saw one of her Philadelphia exhibits and was amazed that her work is even more impressive in person.

Comments are closed.