I’m Painting Spirit Animals Over Here!

TigressSpirit animal. Power animal. Totem. By any name, it is a physical representation of the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or nurture in your life’s journey.

My power animal (PA for short) is Tiger and I know this because I have a friend who is a shaman. (Yeah, I hang with shamans. Everyone should!) During my journey she actually asked Spirit a few times if Tiger was accurate because it was so cliché.

That’s how you know you’ve got a good spirit talker. She’s like, “Hold up. Tiger? For real?”

It’s interesting to hear how people relate to their power animal, even if that’s not what they call it. If you have a tattoo of an animal, maybe that’s your PA and you didn’t even know it. Maybe you collect art or tchotchkes of a certain bird. I would venture that everyone has an animal that they identify with and those are the stories I want to paint.

After finding out about Tiger, I did some research into her attributes. In maturity, Tiger is devoted, courageous, persistent, intuitive and patient. This is definitely someone I want riding with me.

In this portrait series, I want to tell the stories of people and their self-identified totems. Whether you have a strong relationship to a particular animal, or an animal-related allegory rings true, I want to tell the stories in your words and my paintings. Like The One You Feed I posted about earlier this week.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what your spirit animal is and why. How long have you known? How did you find out or decide? Has it changed?

Then, send me a photo of your animal, or yourself, or both depending on your backer level. I’ll get in touch with you individually and we can collaborate on a cool piece of art.

I have thirty days on Kickstarter to make it happen. Will you join me?

This is going to be awesome.


Rachael Rossman


The One You Feed

The one you feedAn old man is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old man simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Rachael Rossman



viewArt orders are painfully slow right now. Like molasses. In fact, I have no new orders on the books – at all. So I’m using the down time to work on some personal art projects and try to figure out a way to keep a little income coming in when things are slow.

So, here’s my Zazzle store!

I’m adding products all the time and if you have a special request please email me. I don’t set the prices (Zazzle does) but I also am blissfully uninvolved in the production process. Within the next 24 hours you’ll see some notecards, postage stamps, a snow globe, dog shirts and even a fish tie (Father’s Day?)

I’m keeping it funky.

Rachael Rossman



I often post progress photos on Instagram and Facebook, if you’re interested in that sort of thing. Sometimes it’s fun to see how the paintings progress from blank sheet to finished product.
Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier



Rachael Rossman


Art Class

DSC_0932I’ve started something a little new – art class for kids. Every week, I’ve been gathering a tiny group of middle-schoolers (largely my kids and my niece and nephew with the occasional buddy) and teaching them art fundamentals in my studio. It’s an idea that I’ve toyed with for awhile but wasn’t sure how it would go. I have a thing about people in my space in that I get little frantic cleaning and prepping for their arrival. And then there’s the idea that I’d have to come up with lesson plans and new projects to keep the kids interested. Kids who are used to the pace of video games and iPhones – would they dig an art class taught by somebody’s mom?


Well, it turns out they do. So I’m ready to open it up to other people in the Salem area.

If you’re interested in your child attending art class, drop me an email and we’ll get you in! Classes are one hour, once a week and $10/child. Someone also suggested that I do parties so if you have something in mind, let’s chat. The classes will be in my studio in Salem, Oregon until we outgrow it.


I’m teaching drawing fundamentals (drawing what you see, positive/negative space, perspective, dimension) and we always have at least one warm-up exercise (like drawing from an upside down photo) and one project (like drawing anatomical hearts for Valentine’s Day.) The kids have fun. Sometimes we have snacks and sometimes the moms get a Bloody Mary.

Just sayin’.



Rachael Rossman