Nature is a Phoenix and so am I

Phoenixes are usually depicted being reborn from flame. I have always identified with this for a few reasons. Born in November, my zodiac sign is the Scorpion. The ascendant of the Scorpion is the Phoenix. Scorpio, all grown up, becomes the fiery bird of rebirth.

Rachel Ratcliff, Rebirth 2019

Early on in my adult life my house went up in flames and I had to rebuild from the ground up. At the same time, the end of a significant relationship led to me relearning and recreating myself. Later on, a work accident left me with a burn scar covering half my arm. I was out of work for a while because of this, but it gave me the time to take a step back to reevaluate and renew. I have needed to rise from the ashes, remaking myself over and over throughout my life.


Nature always had held a central source of inspiration for me. Everywhere you look you see parallels to the things we grapple with in our everyday lives. When I make my paintings I’m hoping to find a synchrony between the two. Both the challenges we face inside of us, and the answers to that you can see in the natural world around us, balanced on a single canvas.


With my new piece, Verdant Renewal, I wanted to express a different view of this  idea. Instead of being reborn from fire, I wanted to show rebirth and renewal through nature. Nature is in a constant cycle of death and new growth. In the same way we experience seasons of cutting back and growing in new ways. Roots deepen, soil is nourished, and life comes back stronger and better for the death of the old.

Rachel Ratcliff, Verdant Renewal 2021


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