Rachel Castle – Things To Do with Painting

by Jenny Butler
Friday 27th April 2012

Thank you Rachel for a FANTASTIC week on the Guest Blog! We have all loved seeing your Things To Do this week and I think it’s possible that Castle HQ might be the happiest place on earth! The music, the beautiful Castle bedding and cushions, piles of felt and inspiration and happiness all around = complete perfection. Thanks again, and we look forward to seeing your final exhibition pieces at Koskela in July. – Jenny x

This is the fun bit. If ONLY it was every Friday I would wet myself. Sadly it is hardly ever because we are so busy on the bedlinen/orders/embroidery/printing days that Friday is always catchup. So I would say once every blue moon I get to have a ‘play’.

Today is new ideas day. I have a show coming up in July at Koskela in Sydney and here are a few things I am playing with for it.

Painting #1

I have been painting for a while now but have not until now really been ‘ready’ to put anything out there. Still not, how scary. Its hard on screen because we can’t show fluoro colors, but the basic premise is layered pastels in the back, and full on fluoro colour on the front. I absolutely love them. I am making myself a GIGANTIC one, not sure which yet, for when our renovation is done. My present to myself. I am like a plumber with a badly leaking tap, in need of something nice in the house.

Painting #2

This is a really good one, I had it framed to see how it comes up in a white wooden box case, and this is what I will use for all of the paintings in the show.

Painting #3

Paintings 3 – 9 are unstretched. I paint them flat then have them stretched and framed. I find the better the base linen the better the result, so I use the best one I can find which is a raw flax linen primed in white acrylic. You will need to excuse the dimpling, as they dry they crumple, but stretched as in painting 2 they come out so beautifully.

The yellow in this is seriously fluoro. The backgrounds take FOREVER. I try to dry with a hairdryer to get them to hurry up, but this is pointless as they are best when I just leave them and come back the following day.

Painting #4

This is my favorite. It’s a massive 4 leaf clover. You can’t see but the background is intensely layered. I said to Daz if no-one buys this, it is THE ONE for our living room.

Painting #5

I am loving the texture of the note on this one, the matt layers behind. I like this one a lot, especially the colours.

Painting #6

Am loving doing something a bit more freeform. I forget everything. EVERYTHING. The prints and the embroideries are so exacting and precise because this in my head is the only way that I can get everything done. So for the first time in a very long time I am loving putting paint on linen and just being creative and not obsessing over perfect lines.

Painting #7

The fluoro pink and white I am loving.  Like anything, you can labour over something until you can’t see the wood for the trees, and then sometimes it just works all naturally and organically and it is a pleasure. These days I COMPLETELY follow my gut instinct.

When I love it and Cleo my 12 year old loves it too, then it is a goodie. She is my greatest, most honest and accurate critic. The comments range from ‘GROSS’ to ‘NAAAH DON’T LOVE IT’ to ‘NICE’ which means it is a deadset bestselling winner. Actually there are only ever these three comments and nothing in between which is why she is a CASTLE father’s side through and through. She is the best (seriously cutest ever) critic to have.

Painting #8

These are little criss cross ones that are really cute and fun. They are just such a POP of colour. Is it really bad for me to say I love this one too?

Painting #9

The shape here is really working in my opinion. It’s a flower to me and I am loving the navy on fluoro.

The show may or may not feature any of these works. It is hard to say when any of them will be ready but I will be working from now until the last day of June making sure that I have 15 I am really happy with. There is one rule and one only. If I wouldn’t have it pride of place in my front hallway, dead knocker in the centre as you open the front door, it hits the cutting room floor, i.e. it ends up in my front hallway front smacker the first thing you see as you open the front door!  That plumber thing, it’s really not fair.

Painting #10

Just as an aside, because doing one thing at a time is just a bit boring at times, I have done a few little bits with medals. I love medals, they are so meaningful and I find them so joyously full of life and color. And this week it was ANZAC DAY and I get a little teary and sentimental for my Papa.

Things to do #11 and #12

This just some playing with texta and paint…. just putting together an idea, will it go anywhere, not sure. Maybe. Maybe not.

Second last thing to do #1

Sit at desk and keep doing emails. They are relentless. Luckily I love my life, and this is just one big part of it. I sometimes imagine this is the view my family have of me. From the back, doing the emails.

So tonight I will have a disco with them, One Direction, LMFAO, living room floor, Daz on Sonos, kids rocken their little socks off. Lord give me strength and I pray they will let me have something by Boy George or Marilyn but I so know they won’t.

Very last thing to do #1

My goodbye to you all. Thank you for having me Design Filers. Your emails and posts have been overwhelmingly touching. Thanks, thanks, thanks and THANKS. Thank you for having me Lucy and Jenny.

Love RCx

by Jenny Butler
Friday 27th April 2012


  • Amanda 5 years ago

    Thanks Rachel. I have enjoyed a look into the things you do.

  • kylie 5 years ago

    best guest posts ever – loved every part of it. Truly one of my favorite designers.xxxxx

  • Alice 5 years ago

    Wow! Wish my week was as inspired as Rachels… Love the paintings, the layering texture and colour is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sally Ryan 5 years ago

    Oh be still my beating heart! Sooooooo much goodness……how on earth does one chose??can I have #3, and #7…..and # 8, oh and #9 as well!!! Loving loving loving the direction – here’s to days where you can play!

  • Penelope 5 years ago

    I have LOVED this weeks guest blog – well done Rachel, you are amazing and inspiring!!

  • Megan 5 years ago

    I’m crashing the disco tonight
    Oh castle your
    Paintings… Your
    Paintings. How did you get to be soooo clever at so many things. Seriously how.

  • Zoe 5 years ago

    Oh Rachel, your posts all week have re-inspired me and lifted me from a ‘why the hell am I doing this?!’ feeling! Your work is stunning and I love your amazing confidence with colour…you make me want to cover my house in polka dots! Thank you for sharing all your thoughts, ideas and lovely little snippets into the daily life at Castle HQ…Ta lady! x

  • Fiona Kate 5 years ago

    Loved the posts. First time ever I have checked the guest blog everyday. What a wonderful creative life

  • Judy 5 years ago

    Rachel, have thoroughly enjoyed your blog this week. You are an inspiration. Good luck in all your projects. Though I don’t think you need luck – you have so much talent. Enjoy!!

  • Georgina 5 years ago

    Oh … number 3 sends me a little weak at the knees. Divine.

  • Saja Gallie 5 years ago

    Best guest blog ever! So funny, inspiring & real. Miss you already

  • Em 5 years ago

    You are just so clever and inspirational. What a wonderful week on the guest blog. Lots of smiles x

  • Pia 5 years ago

    You are an inspiration, thanks for sharing your world and work. I think I’m not the only one here that wishes they could click their heels three times and be there with you in that studio of heavenly goodness and live your life?! I have thoroughly enjoyed your blog this week, thank you xx

  • Lauren 5 years ago

    Have really enjoyed this guest blog! I am in love with no 2 and 8.
    Amazing work throughout the week! Thanks Rachel

  • Hey Rachel, thank you for your intensely visually-delicious posts; it’s been a real treat! And I wish I was in Sydney so that I could attend your class! :0 Cx

  • Jodie 5 years ago

    Thanks for a great week of posts. I love everything.

  • Kristy 5 years ago

    Best guest blog ever :)

  • Clealala 5 years ago

    Looooooved it! Coloured my week bright and sunny!

  • rachel castle 5 years ago

    How lovely of you all. I will miss The Design Files loving, I really will. Have a great weekend everyone. Wish me luck at the disco. RCx

  • Clealala 5 years ago

    Paintings 1 2 3 are YAY fabulous!

  • Sam 5 years ago

    LOVE the new paintings RC especially the clover seriously gorgeous x

  • Melissa 5 years ago

    Have loved your guest post Rachel. Thank you for sharing so much. Love your new paintings.

  • stav 5 years ago

    I am so excited about the koskela exhibition – woohoo!

    I love my artwork from you so much, its been the perfect fit in our home.

    Thank you for your posts, so enjoyed them this week.

    Party hard at the disco! x

  • Monica 5 years ago

    Wow! Love, love, love the paintings RC! How can I get my hands on one?? Do I have to wait for the exhibition? They really are amazing.

    I am also absolutely in love with those quilts…..seriously in love. Must have one!!…or two…or three…..and those cute new pillow cases……

    Loving the constant inspiration……. a never ending dream of colour, texture and beauty…..and then there’s the music…

    Thank you you inspired creature you!! Thank you for sharing.

  • Tana 4 years ago

    Where can I find that wonderful work station table? Love it!

  • Ruchi Rai 3 years ago

    hey rachel, you are truly an inspiration. I follow you on instagram and love your simplistic way of creating artwork and confidence with fluoro colours. I myself have just graduated from surface design diploma and try and gather courage every day as HOW to tell the world ‘hey look at my work’. Some great tips on how to reach out there like having own website etc would be great. I guess I’m a very shy person….Ruchi xx

  • Sarah Gibrán 3 years ago

    Is one lovely place !! kiss


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