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  • Rachel Reynolds

Behind The Chicago Print Series

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Coming Soon: Chicago Print Series (Thursday, March 9th)

Hi friends!

Happy March! I’m so excited for this month - it’s #WomensHistoryMonth, spring is right around the corner, and somehow I am turning 30(??)! And to top it all off, my new Chicago Print Series is launching exactly one week from today :)

Today I thought it would be fun to share with you my thoughts about Chicago and what led me to paint this series. Obviously I live here - but I’d be lying if I said that Chicago and I didn’t have, at times, a …complicated relationship. But, after almost 4 full years of living in this city, I can confidently say that this is the city I am proud to call home - so let’s get into it!

Curtis actually took most of the photos in this post - how lucky am I to have such a talented husband!

If you don’t know, in my mid 20s I was living a nomadic lifestyle - I bopped around to different cities on a quest to find the one I would want to call home. My aunt and uncle generously offered to let me stay with them for a few months in Chicago, and while I was fairly convinced I would never want to move back to cold Illinois (I had spent the majority of the last years living in the south), I thought it would be fun to stay with them for awhile.

Well, that’s the thing about family - they feel like home. And soon Chicago started to feel like home. I loved that my grandma was a train ride away and that my parents were just a couple hours away. I loved that the people in Chicago are nice, but direct and honest. Honestly those months living with my aunt and uncle were the best - I was high on the city. I would take the L to meet up with old high school and college friends, I would go to shows, and I just really felt like Chicago was this never ending place to explore.

Then, I met my husband! And a whole new side of Chicago opened up. I met his friends and I was working at Equinox at the time and made great friends there, and I just really felt like I woke up one day and thought, wow - my whole life is here! It just came really naturally to me in Chicago, where other places had felt so forced. So, my aunt and I walked to North Face and bought a big puffy coat - aka the commitment coat. I was all in on making Chicago home.


But, like I said at the beginning of this post - things got complicated. I don’t think there’s one person in Chicago who hasn’t thought about moving at one point. The winters are cold, and add in a pandemic and civil unrest, and it’s easy to start wondering why the heck you live here. I think at one point all of my friends started to think about other places to live, Curtis and I included.

And I’m so glad that we had that complicated time - because that’s what really made me realize how much I love this city. Curtis and I would walk the lake and have all the heart to hearts and talk about all of the other places we could live. And while we really really got close to making the move - we just couldn’t. I’m trying to remember if there was one ‘aha!’ moment or if there were several moments, and I think it was the latter. Maybe it was the weekend we realized how easy it was to go to my parents, or maybe it was the time we met our friends out for drinks and accidentally stayed out til 2am, or the countless dinner at my aunts and the fact that Curtis's parents are in driving distance, or maybe it was just all the lake walks and convos - but, overtime we realized that really is our city, and we were ready to commit to it.

Leo reppin the Chicago bandana!

living his best life at Montrose Dog Beach

Honestly, I’ve never been happier with our decision to stay in Chicago! There’s really something so deeply fulfilling about knowing you have a place to call home. And what a place it is. A beautiful lake, amazing museums and shows, stunning architecture, all the sports, and restaurants ranging from the best hole-in-the-walls you could find to Michelin Stars.

And if I wasn’t already sure of our decision (I was), painting this Chicago Print Series has convinced me even more. I’ve painted the skyline multiple times before, but for this series - I really wanted to get into the details. I wanted to get into what makes Chicago, Chicago. Walking the streets and hearing the train go by, eating a hot dog at Wrigley, seeing the sailboats on the lake, going to a free zoo in the middle of the city. I really wanted to capture those moments and that Chicago energy.

I really think this series could go on forever. I swear, I get done painting one scene and think of three more. It’s been such a great reminder to realize that truly is such an inspiring city, and I am so grateful to live here.

So, there we have it! The New Chicago Print Series. I’m busy painting my heart out and getting them edited for prints, and they will be available in one week - Thursday, March 9th. Like I said, I could keep painting forever! I hope that these prints bring my fellow Chicago lovers the joy they bring me.

As always, I would love to know your thoughts! Do you live in Chicago and have a place that’s special to you? Or maybe you’ve visited and have a special memory! I would love to hear it all.

Cheers! Rachel

1 Comment

Connie Turner
Connie Turner
Mar 02, 2023

Loved all the pictures Curtis took. Beautiful!

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