A Series of Paintings

February 10, 2009

I am in the process of creating a series of very special paintings. These mixed media paintings have political meaning and implied social commentary. This blog entry will give you an inside look on their meaning and process.


Josie & 1,138

The first piece of this series was painted as a gift for Josie and currently hangs on her bedroom wall. It was done in the Human Rights Campaign‘s colors of blue and yellow. The painting has 1,138 small dots on it which symbolize the number of federal rights, protections and benefits guaranteed by marriage in the United States and denied to millions of loving same-sex couples.

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

The piece I recently finished was inspired by the life of Harvey Milk, and it is for sale in our etsy shop.

Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White. Harvey Milk famously said, “If a bullet should enter my brain, let the bullet destroy every closet door.”

This painting is definitely a conversation starter. You’ll have people wondering from the moment they see it about the meaning behind the very specific number of dots. It has three groups of dots: 11, 27, and 1,978, symbolizing the day Harvey Milk was assassinated.


10% of the proceeds from this sale will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign. HRC is the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

“Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.” -Gloria Steinem

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

Harvey Milk November 27, 1978 – Original Mixed Media Painting – 24×36

Original Mixed Media Painting

Medium: Acrylic paint, paper, & black sharpie on canvas

Title: Harvey Milk November 27, 1978

Size: 24″ x 36″

Date: February 2009

Artwork copyright © 2009 Rachel Shattuck

Signed and dated on the back

Gallery style canvas, stapled on the back

Intended to hang unframed with raw edges


Each painting is thick and textured with acrylic paint, hand torn craft paper, and black permanent sharpie marker.

So far there is one more painting planned in this series. Its focus will be the historic moment that Barack Obama became the first black President of the United States of America.


One Response to “A Series of Paintings”

  1. […] 13, 2009 I’ve started the third painting in the series I talked about a few days ago. I thought I’d give you a little behind the scenes tour of my […]

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