Natasha is featured in our Local Arts Index: Nyack News and Views

Local Arts Index: Natasha Rabin

Meet Natasha Rabin.

How Did You Become an Artist?

I loved to draw as a child. I was an arts & crafts counselor at 15. I entered college an art major, but switched to psychology. The next time I picked up a brush was in Kyoto, Japan during the very hot summer of 1990. I was there to study traditional Japanese arts – tea ceremony, dance, and calligraphy. I arrived some months after the loss of my mother to cancer. Before she died we shared a profound closeness.


With open heart I found my way to a store named “Painted Cloud” and purchased paints and brushes. It was upon arriving in Bali a few weeks later that I sought out an artist to teach me. He spoke no English. “Just do what he does,” said his cousin, who brought me to Ketut Karta’s magical house above the rice fields. I returned to Bali three and a half years later to paint my first solo show.

What Kind of Art do you Make?

Much of my work has been portraiture. If you really look at people, you will find something arresting in each face. Sometimes it’s the length of a neck, the angle of a cheekbone, or how the lips curve up and communicate an inner sense of joy. Then too, I attempt to capture essence: two sisters cheek to cheek, their love palpable; a father’s arms wrapped protectively around his small child; the goddess energy that exemplifies the woman who photographs it in other women. Another focus of my work is collage.

Through the juxtaposition of self-authored photographs and found images, with all manner of paint and an ever growing treasure trove of papers from India, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Thailand, etc…a piece is born. It is always a journey of discovery and surprise. I also create images with words. My first children’s book – Year of the Cat – was published this past year.


What’s Your Muse?

My Muse can be a book that I’ve read [foremost on my list to paint, Einstein’s Dreams] or people whose lives draw me to spend time with them at my easel [my shows: Father & Child, Luminous Women and States of Grace]. I have created a series of music collages [samba, raga and flamenco, thus far] and painted a yearlong love affair with flowers.

Numerous collages have been inspired by India, where I long to go. Italy, where I have studied art and traveled as often as possible, has been the impetus for both portraits and collage. And, a self-portrait is the Muse that provides me the chance to ‘see’ myself. All the art I create evolves from a reverence for beauty – the shapes, textures, colors, patterns, spirit and inherent grace of a thing, a place, a face.


Photography By Myles Aronowitz

What’s Next?

I have had a continuing desire to create a series of 26 paintings inspired by the letters of the alphabet; two down, twenty-four to go. My next exhibit, however, will present smaller groupings of work. Entitled, Trilogies, the show will reveal my ongoing penchant for working in series of threes. The exhibit will be on view at the Nyack Library for the month of May.

As for my next children’s book, I am writing one entitled, Being Esmerelda, which I would like to illustrate as well. Though the skills required for illustration differ from painting, my characters are imploring me to go for it.

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Esmerelda Gardinia Goldfinch

Lilly Oncology on Canvas:
Celebrate the art. Celebrate the hope.

Lilly Oncology on Canvas is a biennial art competition and exhibition that invites those touched by cancer to express, through art and narrative, that which gives their cancer journey meaning. People diagnosed with any type of cancer, their families and friends, caregivers and healthcare providers are all eligible.


Oncology on Canvas, which is currently touring the country for two years, includes 580 separate works of art and accompanying essays.  Though the tour schedule does not designate which pieces are on exhibit at which venues, seeing any of the works is a moving and inspiring experience. So check the website below to determine if and when the exhibit will be in your vicinity this year, or next. You can also go to
to see some of the works that are being exhibited.

At the kick-off of the exhibition, four works from Lilly Oncology on Canvas, among them "Groucho" were seen by millions on the Regis & Kathy Show. When "Groucho" was shown, members of the audience expressed an audible sigh; a sigh of relief perhaps that there could be humor expressed as part of a cancer journey.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of my mother's death from cancer. She will be the emissary of this message on tour, and at the cancer facility that will receive the painting as a donation for their permanent collection.

If you would like to be notified of Natasha Rabin's upcoming exhibitions please let her know by  sending her an email.

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