Monday, June 5, 2023

Within Water on Exhibit at Wild Hearts


Marcia Rackstraw's newest work is focused on water – the animals and vegetation that live in water, the distorted patterns of images under water and the beauty of light and color playing upon water. These images portray the silence of being underwater, contrasted by the disturbance of breaking the surface – that flash of color, the muted sound of a splash and then silence again. And within that is the play between what is realistic and what is fanciful – the riotous colors given a black-and-white animal or the curious shapes of imaginary plant life.

After graduating from UNM with a Masters in Art, she built an art studio in Placitas where she has created her paintings, drawings and linocut prints for the past 42 years. Before retirement she was an art director for a publishing company and a book illustrator for works focused on environmental issues. Her business career made the formal properties of design an important element in her studio work.

“Over the years my work has been inspired by annual visits to the island of Kauai, a landscape dramatically different from the high desert of Placitas. I study the brilliantly lush vegetation of a tropical environment to create small landscapes of the more intimate spaces; a close-up view of the plants and water, the patterns of shadows and the light reflections. I am interested in making images that draw the viewer into an unknown space, one that can promote a quiet contemplation, perhaps a mystery to be solved or a challenge to know what is being shared.”

Wild Hearts Gallery is an artists’ collective, supported by 16 local artists. The gallery is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm You can also take a visual tour of the gallery by visiting


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