Succulents are my absolute favorite plant. They seem exotic and sometimes even prehistoric. I composed this imagery in photoshop for a painting I'm working on. The succulents in the image are a collage of my favorite plants in my yard, at my school and a few exotics I found online via Google images. I just built the 5 ft by 1 1/2 ft canvas with a bit of help from my dad, half the staff at Home Depot and a few boys in my painting class. Definitely a trying experience! My teacher told me I had to "practice my hammering" for homework, who knew taping a nail into wood could be so hard. I then projected the image from my computer and sketched it out on the canvas. Now, I'm finishing up the painting with oil paint and listening to Kesha on repeat. I'll post picture of my progress soon! Tell me what you think!



Cheif Joseph

This digital piece was inspired by my previous post on Saga Sigurðardóttir and Hildur Yeoman [here]. When I saw their art I immediately knew I wanted to experiment with this painting style on vintage Native American portraits. I would love do a series in this style with the portraits printed on wood. I think the combination of the natural wood, modern digital print, and colorful spontaneous paint would be absolutely epic. Being from Native American ancestry, I've always found the culture inspiring and beautiful. I also semi-recently photo-shoot that really captures the Native American spirit, make sure to check out the shots! [here]



Chief Joseph
Nez Perc'e Tribe

"I will fight no more forever"

"It does not require many words to speak the truth"


Painted Wings: Part II

Ode to a Butterfly

Butterfly, oh butterfly, why do you hide in the shadows?
Spread wide your wings, let your heart sing
And come dance with me in the meadow

Butterfly, oh butterfly, why do you fear?
You'll never stray, I'll lead the way
Just follow the path, I'll be near

Butterfly, oh butterfly, have you no hope?
Drink of the sun, our life's just begun
Thro time's hills and valleys we'll lope

Butterfly, oh butterfly, dare you to dream?
On our hearts we depend, shall we follow the wind
And consign to the fates grander scheme?

-Sheri Walters Hockman-

Ginger: Part II

Following the red hair theme I decided to highlight a photoshoot when I was an (unnatural) red head. The shots were inspired by the jungle and I absolutely love the contrast my hair has against the tropical greenery. I wore a pale yellow dress to balance the vibrancy and add romance to the shots. I played around with a few emotions throughout the shoot, but my favorite is the last image. My friend Stephanie, the photographer, captured my hopeful spirit. It was definitely a successful shoot and we had fun walking barefoot through our own personal jungle.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair
-Kahlil Gibran


Rachel Lynne

"When she walked... she stretched out long and thin like a tiger, and held her head high to look over the grass, as if she were treading the jungle"

-Saskya Pandita

Urban Legend

Whilst going through the jumble that is my computer I found this photo shoot I did a few summers ago. It was one of my first photographic experiences and turned out better than we could have imagined. It was a hot August night and my friends and I were sitting on my bed trying to think of something to do. The idea of a photo shoot came up and before long we were running around the house with curlers in our hair trying to find outfits. We went for a gold-black color scheme because I was obsessed with the colors at the time after seeing an amazing Betsey Johnson dress in the fashion. After being done up from cat eyes to curls, we ventured down to a construction site on my property. For some reason, in the midst of summer, the floor was covered in water and created a cool urban vibe. The air was damp and it felt as if we had made a descent into an underground city or water way. For lighting we used construction shop lights we found nearby, which created a warm glow throughout the space. I love all the shots, and think we unearthed a sophistication beyond our expectations.
Enjoy, and have a great weekend!


Rachel Lynne

Mikey Blue Eyes

My model, Kathleen Jones, was the inspiration for this photo shoot. Kat loves alternative/grunge bands and I wanted to mirror the attitude of her idols. For this reason I dressed her in a bowtie, suspenders, bowler hat, and high tops. I contrasted these masculine accessories with heavy makeup and purple pants. After much whining Kat was fully done up; complete with rosy cheeks and cat eyes. She was also smoking a cigarette because I wanted her to look as if she was outside a club in L.A on a smoke break, maybe seeing Nirvana live :). I was very excited about the photos shot by the pool deck because the view of the lights gave a city vibe and the ice on the glass an edgy, cold feel. Kat also loves black and white photography so I edited multiple photographs in that fashion. I myself prefer a more modern style and created high contrast in those shots in order to achieve that goal. Kat is a very versatile model and her expressions changed from rebellious to distraught to natural. I love all the looks she gave me, and enjoyed the story it told. Enjoy!

"Though the sun is gone, I have a light"

-Kurt Cobain

Hello, Kitty!

The goal for this shoot was initially to simply bring my Harajuku sketches to life. However, it soon became much more. I wanted to create a world that was part-video game, part-cartoon and all fun. Childhood characters like Kirby and Hello Kitty were a must in the shoot. I was luckily able to borrow some fun Hello Kitty pieces from my slightly enamored friends Katie and Kylie. I found a field of purple flowers a few weeks ago on a hike and thought it'd be a perfect spot for the shoot. However, when we got there we couldn't make the hike. Turns out 5-inch heels aren't made for rough terrain. So we walked around, entertaining passing cars and hikers, until we found a cool spot with wild weeds. Once the sun had set, we ventured back to my house and shot against a freshly plastered white wall. I added more animation to bring life to the girly photos. I knew I had to do a Hello Kitty post card inspired shot. As a little girl I wrote endless letters with my kitty stationary set to anyone and anything. I once even wrote a letter while on vacation to my favorite stuffed toy, Rover, detailing my sympathies for leaving him behind while I had endless adventures. My dad promptly sent the letter to Rover, complete with kitty stamps and an address: The shelf in Rachel's Room. Sadly, he still hasn't written back.

Rachel Lynne

Alice in Wonderland

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is coming out March 5th and I couldn't be more excited :). There aren't nearly enough fantasy movies and I'm certain this one will be filled with magic. Tim Burton's films always have amazing costume and scenic design, and from the previews, I know this one will as well. I have always been a fantasy lover and as a result, seen the original Disney Alice in Wonderland enough to quote it line by line. Inspired by this fantastic tale, I just painted a piece which is a blend of the film, book and Van Gogh's Irises. It was such a fun piece to paint and I finished it with a ornate, neon pink frame. Below is my piece titled, "Curious and Curiouser."  I know as soon as I see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland on March 5th, I wont be able to stop myself from doing a Alice in Wonderland themed photo shoot. My mind is already racing with ideas of rabbit holes I can fall down, camera in hand.

Curious and Curiouser:

Artists Wanted

I just found out about this art competition called "Artists Wanted". The competition is based on self-portraiture and sounds like an amazing opportunity. The two main prizes are the grand prize (with a choice of either $7,000 or 6 months free living in a fabulous New York City apartment building) and a peoples choice award. Because I found out about it last minute I'm scrabbling to get everything together. Below is my artist statement and the piece I submitted. Or check out the link to my page, Tell me what you think! :)

Rachel Estrada was born into a family of talented artists and quickly became mesmerized by everything creative. As a result, becoming an artist herself was more natural than breathing. Worlds of make believe and ludicrous have always captivated Estrada and these ideals are always incorporated into her art. She is fascinated with the imagery of morphing. Rachel Estrada finds that people are always changing and she loves amplifying that process. In “Midnight Bloom”, she utilizes her love of nature. She is expanding upon her desire to become ever closer to the nature she loves. Estrada illustrates herself becoming what she loves. In this piece, she is so close to nature that she is part of is, and it is part of her. “Midnight Bloom” is a snapshot of a process that has no end, and no beginning. She is constantly changing, constantly re-discovering not only who she is but also what she is. In this piece she is glowing, radiating with positive energy. She is calm, and optimistic, exactly what the artist herself strives for.

Midnight Bloom:

The Waterfalls

A few days ago I discovered these beautiful waterfalls on a hike with some friends and instantly thought, I have to do a photoshoot here. So, today my friend Kathleen and I got made up and hiked to the falls, whilst trying to keep our makeup intact :). When we got there after about an hour on the trails, it was just as amazing as when we left it. The ice cold water was encased in granite and bright green ferns clung to the cliff walls. I was able to convince Kat to wear nothing but a sheet in the middle of the Santa Monica mountains and get in freezing water, for the sake of art! She's such an amazing model you could never tell how loud her teeth were chattering. Just when we were getting into the shoot, we heard other hikers. Thankfully, they happened to be friends from school. It's always exciting shooting in public areas! For the pictures of Kat, my muse was Michelangelo's Venus. I'm in love with the ghostly effect her sheet had under the dark water and the blue glow in all the shots. I also had Kat incorporate the persona of a native. The kind of person who has become more animal then human, and would be quick to growl. Finally, it was my turn to get in the shots and leave my warm, safe spot. I channeled the wild human persona in my shots as well. Once I was shaking too much from the cold water to be still for the camera, we got in our dry clothes happily and started hiking back. I can't believe I live within walking distance to such a beautiful spot! I hope these pictures are as inspiring as they were to shoot, Enjoy!

The Indians

Everyday on my way to school, I pass by this open field before I make my decent down the canyon. Mount Boney is in full view and you can see the entire city below. I'm always tempted to jump out of my car and run through the tall golden grass. It looks untouched by society. As if, an Indian could ride by on a painted pony, completely unaware of electricity and MTV. Finally, after months of mere glimpses of this amazing spot while driving late to class, I finally got to run in the fields. My goal for this shoot was to capture the Indian in the field, projected by my wild imagination. After, decorating my sister, Roxanne, and friend, Courtney, in an assortment of beads and feathers we drove to our location. As we walked through the field, I instantly regretted wearing flip-flops. In all the frolicking I imagined, I never pictured pricklers or the possibility of curious snakes. Its quite funny how unrealistic artists can be, too lost in day dreams for practicality. Besides the minor inconveniences, it was perfect. The sun was just beginning to set and a golden light was cast across the field. It was amazing to be able see my vision before me. We used my grandmothers authentic Talking Stick and their faces were painted with tribal designs. I love how Courtney's paint matches her bright blue eyes. The look was so exquisite I'm nearly tempted to duplicate it in daily use. It was a fantastic shoot, I can't wait to go back again. Maybe next time, we won't be the only Indians in the field.

UCLA Application

I finally got all my pieces chosen for submission. Below are just a few and my artist statement, Tell me what you think!

Seeing a wonderful piece of art is an exhilarating experience. Art can instantly lift someone’s spirits or make them question the course of the world. Even though art has always been part of my life, I have only recently begun creating myself. My two favorite outlets are photography and painting. I first experimented with photography because I loved its futuristic quality. However, after my first painting course last year I immediately became enamored.
Portraiture and self-portraiture captivate me. I was fortunate to go to the Prado Museum in Madrid this year and could barely prohibit myself from running through the halls with excitement. However, when I saw Flaming June by Fredric Lord Leighton I was solidified. My heart began to race and tears swelled in my eyes. The piece captured such a beautiful moment that could have easily been lost in time. It illustrated not only the subject’s form, but their soul as well. I am fascinated with a portrait’s ability to capture a smile or gesture that occurred centuries ago. Portraits can allow you to look into the eyes of someone you only could have met through the art. In my own work, I love illustrating the expressive nature of humans. Joining portraiture with morphing has recently become part of my work. I find this fusion innovative and profound. Humans are always evolving and through morphing I am able to elaborate on the process. I think of my pieces as a snapshot of a progression that has no end and no beginning. I am capturing only a moment of an entire story and enjoy maintaining the mystery of the subject’s identity, location and even species.
My best works are yet to be created and I will continue to strive for artistic growth throughout my life. UCLA will unearth the best artist within me and allow me to fully utilize my talent and creativity. This celebrated art department will make me competitive in the art world and enable me to share my gift; and hopefully in centuries to come, my work can make another heart race.

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