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Strange, Surreal Portraiture by Rachael Siminovitch

A watercolour painting of an eyeless fox dressed in grandmother's clothingUntitled, watercolour on paper

Today’s featured artist is Rachael Siminovitch. I'm really enjoying Rachael’s paintings and drawings, where strange, surreal portraiture meet memento mori.  


A pencil drawing of a bear walking over a pile of stones, with a cow's skull in the foregroundBear Creek, pencil on paper

The shadow of death seems to feature in a lot of these images – bones, skulls and other signs of decay frequently appear in the backgrounds of her portraits. The portraits themselves are often drawn in a simple, sketchy style with just pencils or charcoal. Sometimes the face of the figure is fully shaded while the rest of the body or background devolves into simpler line art before disappearing altogether. I’m fond of Rachael’s omission of the eyes of many of her subjects, which adds a ghostly mystique to the portraits.


A painting of a woman in a cafe with references to scenes and characters from Twin PeaksNot What They Seem, oil on canvas

Rachael’s watercolours are really amazing, and she manages to draw a fantastic amount of colour saturation and detail from the medium. Many of her works also contain awesome pop-culture references, such as paintings that include characters and settings from Twin Peaks. 


A front page screen capture of Rachel Siminovitch's

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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