Space. It is a wondrous place, full of beauty and mystery, something which a Hastings artist wants to capture.
“I have always loved looking up at the stars,” explains Rachel Mammone.
“When I was younger there was a stage when I wanted to be an astronaut, not so much any more, and had a telescope which I loved to use.
“It is something that has always fascinated me.”
Now Rachel creates constellations and galaxy pictures using watercolours.
Graduating from university with a fine art degree Rachel’s first foray into being creative resulted in her designing stationery.
“My husband and I were living in a little flat and I didn’t have any room to do much else,” she explains.
“But when we bought a house we changed a bedroom into a studio.
“I decided to stop doing the stationery and started painting.
“I love the colour blue so I started with large seascapes on canvas in acrylic which I do still do but most of my work now is the galaxies.”
All the pieces of art are originals but in the future Rachel is considering creating prints to offer her customers a range of items at different price points.
“I don’t think I would be able to recreate them each one is unique,” she smiles.
“I recently bought a new pink paint so I am in the process of doing a new series in that colour.”
The sizes range from postcards to A3, but much of it depends on if she can find the right paper for the right piece of art work.
Most of the constellations are created and ‘made up’ by Rachel but she has had custom orders from people who want something in particular.
“It can be their star sign or something that means something to them, which is just lovely to do for someone,” she says.
“Cassopeia was the first custom order I did.”
Each piece can take between half an hour to four hours for Rachel to do. She layers the colours and then sees how they look before either adding more depth to the piece or drawing on the stars.
“I get inspiration from loads of places.
“I look at plants the sea and the sky and take inspiration from the patterns and colours I see.”
On starting the business Rachel made a conscious effort not to use a computer for her work and instead does it by hand.
“When I was creating the stationery line I would paint and then do a lot of computer work so when I moved into the artwork I didn’t want to work on a computer any more. I wanted to create original pieces.”
Coming from a fine art degree, Rachel is surprised where her career has ended up.
“I do love it though,” she smiles.
“I love the creativity and the colours.
“When I moved away from stationery I thought I would go into seascapes but I have gone down another route.
“It is a nice way to relax and I get lost when I