Hi, I’m Tracy.
To me, making art is a quest to know more and look deeper!
My painting process is spontaneous. I work intuitively with colour and line in a range of mediums, including acrylic paint, oil based pencil, ink and oil pastel. Each painting is part of the visual journal of my quest. I think of them as talismans, imbued with the power and meaning of the marks they bear. Each one contains a lesson, a message or a map from my unconscious, an opportunity to grow and develop in my understanding of myself and the world.
Over the past few years, making art in this way has helped me know who I am and what I want from life. I have regained my creative power and rebuilt my life in a way that honours who I am. I do what I love and what I am passionate about! Life’s too short to do anything else.
“Brilliant work. Great addition to a burgeoning “outsider” art wall. Stunning and complex. Thank you!” – Alison Bettencourt, Occoquan, USA
My work is for sale at:
R326, Stanford, 7210 – tel: +27 28 341 0013
Through The Looking Glass Gallery
21 Queen Victoria Street, Stanford 7210, South Africa – tel:+27 60 487 7278
The Creative Hub
R 43 Close to Wolseley and Ceres – tel: +27 82 578 7881
My journey to art
I was born in Cape Town in 1971, the eldest of four daughters and a curious soul from the word go. I’m an experimenter. I learn best when left to myself to research and explore.
I was in my late thirties and had recently moved back to Cape Town from England after 13 years there, when I felt inspired to make art. I knew that it was what I wanted to do, I could feel it in my soul. But my inner critic was seriously dubious about the whole idea! She pretty much banned me from setting foot in the art shop! So I went to the scrapbooking shop next door and bought some odds and ends there instead. I made a few scrapbook pages with stick-on stuff and pretty paper, and was reasonably pleased with them, but this was not what I was looking for. I wanted to be more deeply creative!
A few weeks later, I made it into the art shop! I walked in and froze when the friendly lady behind the counter asked me if she could help me. What did I want? Could she help me? I mumbled something about just having a look. I’m not sure if she said anything else because all I could hear was my inner critic: “She probably thinks you’re some kind of middle-aged wannabe artist!” “I am!” I replied, “why is that a bad thing?” “Because you have no talent and you’re never going to convince anyone, least of all me, that you are an artist!” I bought some pencils and a small sketch book. Take that inner critic!
Finally I plucked up the courage to take a class, and then another, and another. I took a mixed media workshop, a series of pencil and charcoal drawing lessons, joined a watercolour group for a while and then took an evening class in illustration that I dropped out of because I found it to commercial, which wasn’t what I had in mind. I wasn’t sure what I had in mind, but that wasn’t it!
In all of these classes I felt like an imposter. Like I wasn’t supposed to be there. I mercilessly compared myself to everyone else. So did my inner critic. I didn’t measure up. But I wasn’t ready to give up either.
I went back to mixed media and had another go. This time I approached it all from another perspective. I spent hours and hours looking at art on Pinterest and reading about different techniques and different materials.
I collected some ideas on how I wanted to proceed and this time, although I was influenced by the work and ideas of others, instead of following someone else’s instructions or comparing myself to anyone else, I began to experiment. And that’s how I stumbled on the process that I use now and share with others here and in my workshops. It is made up of lots of ideas that I’ve taken and tried and brought together to provide me with a process that works for me, and can work for others. It’s a process that allows freedom of expression, happy accidents and a deeper knowing of yourself.
“The point of art is not simply to express ourselves, but to create an external, concrete form in which the soul of our lives can be evoked and contained.”
–Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Jungian psychotherapist & storyteller
Mother Nature, Jeanne Retief Hair Studio, Stanford, Overberg
Untitled, Millstone Farmstall & Cafe, Pinelands, Cape Town
Pop-up exhibitions @ Moon & Bird studio: June, October & December 2016
With Hugo Prinsloo, Jean Jonker, Val Myburgh, Sanette du Toit, Su Wolf and Charmaine Lacock.
Through The Looking Glass Gallery, 21 Queen Victoria Street, Stanford
Okkie Smuts Primary School Art & Wine Auction, Stanford Valley Guest Lodge, Stanford
The Stanford Local Art Harvest, Stanford Harvest, Stanford
I am self-taught with no formal art education. I started drawing in 2009, and painting in 2012 at the age of 40. I have painted over 200 paintings in the past five years.
I am NOT a psychologist or a formally trained artist. The purpose of advice given here and in my workshops is to introduce you to intuitive art, a creative practice that can help to highlight areas where you are impeding your own progress in creating a fulfilling life. Please use my advice along with your own common sense. Take what serves you and leave the rest. Intuitive art does not cure anything, it is one of many paths that lead to a more conscious life. It is NOT a replacement for professional therapy or counselling and if you are seriously stressed, anxious or depressed, please consult a mental health professional.