Rachel Mishael is a contemporary abstract artist with a focus on natural and eco-friendly materials.
Mishael was born and raised in New York’s East Village, surrounded by an unlimited and diverse array of art, design and culture. She explored a variety of art forms growing up and fell in love with abstract painting in her late teens. As someone who struggled with severe mental health issues her whole life, painting became a form of therapy and meditation for her. In her own words, “It’s the best way I know how to slow down racing thoughts and live in the present.”
But after a few years of working with conventional paint materials, Mishael learned of their harmful health and environmental impact. As she tirelessly searched for alternative options, she was introduced to the small but growing eco-art community. Drawing from ancient practices around the world, she learned how to make her own natural art materials from plants, rocks, soil, ash and more.
Today, Mishael’s practice is dedicated to these natural and sustainable materials. Her work honors the raw beauty of plants and minerals, borrowed from nature in a harmonious way. Her earth-inspired surface expressions highlight the breathtaking formations of these natural materials and exhibit how their thoughtful presence in our spaces evokes a sense of tranquility among the observer. Her works aim to bring a sense of nature indoors.
“From ridges on a sandy beach to the weathered down stone of an old building, I’m fascinated by the unpredictability of natural textures, their imperfect patterns and unique formations. I’m captivated by the way light and shadow dance across the peaks and slopes of raised texture.”
Stylistically, Mishael’s work reflects the blending of nature with minimalist design. It’s earthy, with a thoughtful emphasis on texture and the spectrum of contrast and unity. By way of approach, all of her work has conceptual undertones, addressing themes of sustainability, health, social equity, or capitalism.
Mishael’s fascination and excitement of natural art compelled her to spread awareness to other artists. When she began sharing informational/tutorial videos on TikTok and Instagram, the response was overwhelmingly positive. “It’s so uplifting to know there are millions of other artists out there who care too.” Through her videos, Mishael quickly built a .5 million strong eco-artist community, and brought her own #ecoartrevolution hashtag to over six million TikTokers.
She hopes these videos will encourage more artists to consider the source and impact of their materials, from both an environmental and health standpoint, and to choose safer alternatives where available. But she also caveats that, in an ideal world, this responsibility would be on regulators rather than the individual: “Unfortunately, global regulation of art and building materials today simply aren’t good enough. But I do believe that consumer demand has the power to quickly change industry, and thus artists can make choices that demand safer and more eco-friendly materials from conventional brands.”
Before committing to her art practice full-time, Mishael spent her early career as a journalist and social media producer at CNN and The BBC. Her background in journalism greatly informs the ideas and messages behind her work.