With a focus on nature and farm life with a Scandinavian twist, Rachael Koppendrayer captures images of her Minnesota home and heritage in colored pencil.
Rachael Koppendrayer, a colored pencil artist from central Minnesota, was first introduced to colored pencils as a professional medium during art courses as an undergraduate at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Though her degree was not in art, she continued honing the techniques she learned in colored pencil drawing after graduation and began selling prints of her artwork in 2015. In 2016 Rachael and her husband moved to Sauk Centre, MN—a small town known for its beautiful murals and public art—where she has been creating and selling ever since. She is also the illustrator of Isaac’s Ice Cream Tree by Angela Henderson and subsequent Isaac books.
Raised on the small dairy farm in Randall, Minnesota that my great-grandfather established when he emigrated from Sweden in the late 1800’s, I grew up surrounded by field and pasture, woods and swamp—all ripe for exploration and inspiration. I discovered my love of wildflowers at age eleven when we braved the mosquitoes and water-logged cattails to see the showy lady’s slippers in popple island in the middle of the swamp. While I have been photographing wildflowers since that day, after college I transitioned to drawing them in colored pencil as well. It wasn’t until the ladies of my prayer group encouraged me that I began pursuing colored pencil art as a profession. Minnesota nature and farm life—with a nod to my family’s Swedish heritage—have provided much of my inspiration. My next series will be looking again at lady’s slippers—or moccasin flowers, as they are sometimes called—and drawing them with an indigenous twist.