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Meet Rachel Pohl

Posted on January 11 2017

Rachel Pohl
Instagram: @rachel.pohl

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What's your name, where are you from?
My name is Rachel Pohl, and I was raised in Bozeman, Montana. I spend a fair amount of time traveling, but this will always be home. I live in the mountains and grew up adventuring in rugged playgrounds with a family who instilled in me a deep respect for wild places. Even still, as I fall asleep each night, I listen to the hush of winter's silence, a chorus of coyotes howling and elk bugling in autumn, or sandhill cranes and hawks calling through the summer air. Wherever I roam, I always return home to these familiar sounds and the slow pace of Montana with a new found appreciation of my home.
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When did you get into painting and what does it mean to you?
I started painting when I was three years old. That's also when I learned to ride a bike without training wheels, and a year after I took my first turns on skis. I've never looked back or wavered from what I love to do, which is to dynamically interact with my environment and tell visual stories of the places that make me feel whole. My stylized, colorful paintings explore our relationship to The Wild through both visual verisimilitude and my emotional reactions to the landscapes. I believe that meaningful connections to a Place have the power to enhance our lives by encouraging optimism and intention. When we find the place we are most ourselves that we feel deeply connected to, we carry our best selves through our daily lives, our work, and our interactions with others. Painting is how I share my vision of the world with the intention to inspire others to seek those infinite, heart-stopping, overwhelmingly gorgeous experiences of momentary perfection.
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What gets you out of bed every morning?
Just being alive makes me so darn excited I usually leap out of bed each morning. Food, music, and knowing that I get to do work I absolutely love, connect with people I care about, and of course the prospect of athletic endeavors are endlessly motivating. Even if I have something daunting coming up, or it's freezing cold outside of my sleeping bag, nothing beats tackling a challenge and making today awesome. Even if it isn't that great, I get to leap out of bed tomorrow and try again!
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What's a typical day like for you?
I don't really have a typical day. When I am home, the norm is working from the moment I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. Painting, packaging and sending off prints, computer work, eating lots of cookies, meetings, collaborating with outdoor brands. I ski and bike as much as possible, and a few months ago joined a mountain athlete gym, so that has been pretty awesome. Physical activity is an essential part of my day, even if it's just for an hour. I also love cooking, especially with friends, and I put in a lot of effort to see family and friends, which leads me to the other third of my typical days. I spend a lot of time on the road. I work with companies like AndShesDopeToo in Utah and have friends who live in cabins in the woods in the PNW. I just started painting murals last summer. I painted two 900+ square foot ones and it really is the alpine climbing version of painting! Also, I visit the desert as much as possible because it's so different from Montana and opens up a whole new color palate for my paintings. My purpose for being on the road is to stay inspired, connect with friends new and old, and paint along the way. I also travel a lot for film work, so end up being in places from our National Parks to international cities like Zurich to Mexico City for that. In the summer, I try to rollerblade as much as humanly possible.
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What's next?
I am going to Nepal in March with some friends, and we are shooting a film about the rise of a women's mountain bike culture there. None of the four women riders on our trip have been to Nepal, and we've never directed a film ourselves. It is sure to be a pretty life altering experience. We will be carrying only what we can fit on our bikes, and connect with local cyclists who dream of empowering women to push themselves athletically and intellectually. 
My other big adventure will come this spring/ early summer when I will acquire a sprinter van and build it out into my home/ art studio! It will probably be one of the hardest projects I've undertaken yet, but I am beyond excited to make it happen. I want to live everywhere and do everything, paint all the places we collectively love most and discover more about myself along the way.
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Here are some of our favorite paintings from Rachel.

Be sure to check out more of her and her work here, where her prints are available for purchase.

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