Tax Woes / The Joys of Being Self-Employed

il_570xN.784307166_fxfcTwo years ago I quit my “day job” to be a full-time creative. I homeschooled. I set my own schedule. I gladly drove carpool, had dinner ready every night, kept the house *cough* orderly, ran errands and embraced the roles of haus frau and independent artist.

It’s not working out.

Here’s where I caution self-employed people to always pay their estimated tax, because that shit will come back to bite you. In fact, it’s taking a great-white-sized chunk out of my calm right now. I spent the morning in the IRS office which I don’t have the stomach to discuss but it boils down to this:

I’m going back to work.

And also, I need to sell like 50 paintings in the next two months to pay my taxes or things get messy.

Thinking of ordering for Christmas? Great! Father’s Day? I’m on it.

What I’m saying is – if you’ve been thinking about ordering a portrait, now is the time to do it! When I get a full-time job my wait times will likely increase and also, yeah. Taxes and stuff. Email me at to order.

I’m also on a bit of a Frida Kahlo kick right now and I’m offering prints of new paintings as they are completed. Click over to Etsy to check them out!

Operation Tax Payoff has commenced.

Rachael Rossman



With clients on all continents except Antarctica (penguins are apparently not big fans of my work) I rarely, RARELY meet my clients. Not knowing what someone “really” looks like can be a blessing and a curse. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I only have a 2-dimensional photograph for reference. So on the few occasions where someone says, “that eyebrow isn’t quite right” or “her eyes look brown in the photo but they’re really green” I have the excuse of not really knowing the person to ease my ego.

When I paint someone that I know personally – my family, my pets, my friends – I burden myself with an extra layer of artistic responsibility to “get it right.”

When our friends Ari and Amanda were married this spring, I knew I wanted to paint a portrait of adorable Killian. Unbeknownst to them, I trolled Amanda’s Facebook page for this great shot. (Fact: internet snooping is one of my superpowers.)


I was pretty pleased with the likeness. Amanda told me, “The painting is prettier than he is!” Which of course is not true but I am not above taking a compliment at the expense of a child.



They had a lovely wedding, worthy of a bridal magazine, no joke. And someone managed to capture this photo of me with Dr. Rossman in his beard-y glory. It’s seriously better than the photos we had at our own wedding. I don’t know who took it but god bless you.


Rachael Rossman


Public Hanging

I was recently asked to join a group show in Lake Oswego, Oregon featuring pet portrait artists. I said, “Sure!” I don’t do a lot of shows because I never have “inventory” in the way some artists do. Ninety-nine percent of my work is commissioned, custom work which I don’t reproduce as prints so once it’s sold, it’s sold.

However, my new-found underemployment and the end of the homeschool year have left me a little time to paint some project just for me. The show only required 4-6 works, so I was able to pull together a few paintings I had languishing in the studio, as well as a new one I painted just in time.

The artists reception was last night. I donned a vintage palette brooch and sipped just enough wine to make myself social. There were seven really great artists included in the show and if you are local, and so-inclined, you can see the works until June 15. Thanks to Realty Trust for including me!

Art in the Bark

May 21 – June 15

Realty Trust

600 A Avenue

Lake Oswego, Oregon 







Rachael Rossman


Totem Pole

This painting was inspired by my love of totem poles and also a photo I took the other day.


The final product has received a lot of love on instagram so I might have another animal series on my hands. I’m really digging it so if YOU want a custom totem pole featuring your own pets, let’s talk!





10501798_10152702730121199_6730938699657688660_nThe hardest part was definitely getting them all to sit still.

Rachael Rossman


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