My FACE OF VENTURA PROJECT continues, our third sitter hitting the newstands today. I am finding this portrait series painted from life in conjunction with The Ventura Breeze so incredibly rewarding.
Portrait by Johanna Spinks
Rachel Morris believes talking is fine, as long it leads to action. She’s worked on issues that range from af- fordable health care, to fair elections. From freedom of radio airwaves, to Native American rights. From gro- cery strikes to international peace. From natural childbirth, to natural building. Her passion now is climate change. She is the executive director and cofounder of VCCool, a non- profit organization that takes on global warming by promoting green living and green business in Ventura. Some friends think that she lives at #350 because of the big, sunny mural painted across her garage. Smil- ing she says – “Ac- tually it’s a re- minder of the safe upper limit of CO2 in our atmo- sphere, measured by parts per mil- lion. But you can find me by that. ”
Rachel is also a musician and song-writer. She is a retired dancer, farmer, and software designer. She has lived on the Avenue for six years. She has two daughters and two granddaughters. Rachel grows much of her own food, bicycles, and uses an African designed non- electric “refrigerator” to keep her food cool. She is also learning to take a day off now and then. One day she hopes to help start, and live in, an intention- al eco-community within Ventura. What do you like most about living in Ventura?
of potential. The people are involved and passionate. The City seems en- gaged and available. We have fantas- tic surf, with a freeway cutting us off. The Avenue Neighborhood is full of culture and history and great food, yet it doesn’t even have a lighted crosswalk on its busiest street in front of an elementary school. The weather is fantastic, the town is fairly level for the most part, yet streets haven’t been designed for safe bicycling. So much
to do, so much opportunity, and so many fantastic and gifted people working to polish the jewel in their own way.
And how was the ex- perience of having your portrait paint- ed by Johanna?:
I come from a family of artists, so being in a studio un- der an artist’s eye, the quick brush work, the blending of colors; really brought me back to my childhood. Johanna’s idea of a community portrait is such a beautiful one. It gave me a warm feeling be part of that, and to have my essence brought out in tones of orange and turquoise. Being surrounded by her other beautiful works, with the an- tique easel and oil smell, I felt like I had stepped into another world for a moment. It was also nice to see the camaraderie and support be- tween Sheldon and Johanna. I look forward to seeing her emerging cast
...being in a studio under an artist’s eye, the quick brush work, the blend- ing of colors; really brought me back to my childhood.