Barbara Rachko is an American contemporary Master Pastel Artist and author who divides her time
between residences in New York City and Alexandria, VA. She is best known for her
pastel-on-sandpaper paintings, her eBook, “From Pilot to Painter,” and her blog,
“Barbara Rachko’s Colored Dust.”
Barbara has led an extraordinary, inspiring life. She learned to fly at the age of 25 and
became a commercial pilot and Boeing-727 flight engineer before joining the Navy.
As a Naval officer she spent many years working at the Pentagon and retired as a
On 9/11 her husband, Dr. Bryan C. Jack, was tragically killed on the plane that hit the
Barbara uses her large collection of Mexican and Guatemalan folk art – masks,
carved wooden animals, papier mâché figures, and toys – to create one-of-a-kind
pastel-on-sandpaper paintings that combine reality and fantasy and depict personal
narratives. Her paintings are bold, vibrant, and extremely unusual.
New York critic Peter Dellolio remarks, “It is undeniable that, like de Chirico, Barbara Rachko has created a unique, original, and very private landscape.”
Arts writer Ann Landi writes, “Barbara Rachko’s antecedents are not in the folk art traditions of the cultures she studies and embraces, but rather in the sophisticated strategies of Henry Matisse (who
was a master at mixing patterns) and Edgar Degas (who exploited the power of oblique
angles and cropped figures).”
Barbara exhibits nationally and internationally and has won many awards during her
30+ years as a professional artist.