My inspiration :
“I am drawn to Mexican and Guatemalan cultural objects—masks, carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys. On trips to southern Mexico and Guatemala I frequent local mask shops, markets, and bazaars searching for the figures that will later populate my pastel paintings and photographs. How, why, when, and where these objects come into my life is an important part of the process. I take very old objects with a unique Mexican or Guatemalan past—most have been used in religious festivals—and give them a second life, so to speak, in New York in the present. When I return home I read prodiogiously and find out as much about them as I can.”

A brief bio:  
Barbara Rachko was born in Paterson, New Jersey and grew up in a New York City suburb. 

She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in psychology.

After college, Barbara earned a commercial pilot’s license and Boeing 727 flight engineer’s certificate, then spent seven years on active duty as a Naval officer.

In 1986 while working at the Pentagon, she began to study figure drawing and medical anatomy, and began many long years of developing her craft.

Barbara subsequently resigned from active duty (but remained in the Navy Reserve and retired as a Commander) to devote herself to making art.

On 9/11 Barbara’s life was changed forever when her husband, Dr. Bryan C. Jack, was killed on the plane that hit the Pentagon.

Dividing her time between residences in New York and Alexandria, Virginia, Barbara enjoys a busy career as a professional artist.

She is represented by six galleries throughout the United States, exhibits nationally and internationally, and continues to win accolades, including completion of Ajira’s Emerge 2000 business program for artists, a 2008 – 2009 Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation award, and grants from the Templar Trust in Lichtenstein.

Barbara recently published “From Pilot to Painter” on Amazon…
“From Pilot to Painter:  Exceptional highlights from the premier year of New York artist Barbara Rachko’s blog, part autobiography, including how Barbara overcame losing her husband on 9/11, plus remarkable insights into sustaining a creative practice and living an extraordinary life. Richly illustrated with Barbara’s accomplished art and photographs. With a foreword by Ann Landi, contributing editor for ARTnews and frequent art and culture writer for The Wall Street Journal.Barbara discusses:
learning to fly at the age of 25,
how the Navy accidentally turned her into a visual artist,
why she fell in love with pastel,
how Mexican folk art became the subject of her work,
what it takes to be an artist now, especially one living in New York City,
and many other intimate reflections.Readers, especially artists and art lovers of every kind, will enjoy this rare glimpse into the life and work of a fantastically gifted and resourceful woman. Barbara Rachko is an American original, someone worth knowing because her life experiences have given her tremendous wisdom to share. Her first book, From Pilot to Painter, is not to be missed.”

If you would like to submit a guest post on food, wine or travel to Where and What in the World, I would be happy to feature your travel experience , drink, special wine tasting, or family or simply delicious recipe. If you go to submission tab, you will see how to submit, as well as have the opportunity of telling me if you would like to would like to be a regular contributor. When uploading a file for submission, you are also able to upload jpgs. Please feel free to put a last paragraph about you and a link to your profile. No html please. You can also include a head shot.