Photos submitted by Rachel Druten

By DeAnn Lubell

Extraordinary.  That is the only word to describe Rachel Druten: artist, writer, and nonprofit founder.

For years, Rachel has been recognized for her commissioned portraits, contemporary paintings, mixed-media prints, etchings, and works in clay. She is a published author of historical and contemporary romance novels, children’s books, newsletters, newspaper, and magazine articles.


Following college (UCLA and Occidental College), Rachel became a portrait painter, worked in ceramics and multi-media art, and opened The Four Oaks Gallery in San Marino. She ran the gallery for fifteen years in the 80s and 90s, exhibiting such artists as Roger Kuntz, Arnold Meches, and Peter Voulkos.

Rachel Druten’s talent for writing emerged in her late fifties when she bought a computer and discovered spell check. Since then, she has written nine historical romance novels for the inspirational market. Her work has been published for the seeing impaired and collected in anthologies from which she continues to receive very, very small royalty checks thanks to and her publisher, Barbour Publishing. Her most recent tomes, Paradise Found, and I’m Back, for which she received the Readers Favorite 5-star award, are collections of short stories written and illustrated by Rachel, featuring the adventures of Hazel Flick and her pesky pup, Fanny, living the good life in Palm Springs and environs, published by Tilton Bass Publishing.

In 1998 Rachel founded TOOLS FOR TOMORROW, a nonprofit, after-school arts literacy program integrating writing, art, music, drama, and performance in elementary schools throughout the Coachella Valley. She was inspired by her experiences with the Palm Springs Art Museum “Making Friends with the Masters,” and with the Idyllwild Arts Foundation Summer program. Rachel has dedicated her life to the arts and the children of the Coachella Valley.  She dreams that every child can participate in a Tools For Tomorrow program.

Rachel sits on the board of directors of Tools For Tomorrow and the Desert Friends Of Music, Rachel is active in the Artists Council and the Western Arts Council of the Palm Springs Art Museum.  In 2007 Rachel was named a “Woman of Distinction in the Arts” by the National Pen Women, and in 2015 she was initiated into the Palm Desert Rotary Education Hall of Fame “In Recognition of her Lifelong Dedication, Leadership, and Commitment to Education.” In 2019 she was given the award for “Excellence in Community Service” by the DAR.  Currently, she is a speaker with Women of Wit & Wisdom which presents programs for clubs and organizations throughout the Coachella Valley. For information & to schedule a program or call 760.340.2598