Rhea Pettit majored in fine art at the University of Texas, but ultimately switched to a more "practical" degree in graphic design. For 25 years she was a professional graphic designer, doing a few paintings here and there as time permitted. Since 2013, Pettit has diligently devoted time to practice fine art and grow as a painter. She has taken numerous workshops, including those at Atelier Dojo in Austin. She continues her education with at least one workshop a year because she feels more information is essential to growth.
In June 2016, Pettit transitioned to painting full time as a professional artist. Her preferred medium is oil, and favorite subjects are people and animals. Her style is realism, sometimes loose and painterly, sometimes more tightly rendered. A consistent thread through her works is the concept that we are connected to each other, to other species, and to the natural world. She often paints dual portraits, combining 2 people, or people/other animals.