Thursday, March 15, 2012

Featured Artist: Tracey Fletcher King

This is the premier blog post for my continuing series focusing on some of the amazing artists I've come across as I peruse the blogosphere. These artists exemplify the meaning of talented. In the series I have interviewed each artist, asking about their art, process, tools & inspiration. You'll be able to learn all about each artist in his or her own words. The series will feature a new artist every month. I hope you enjoy our first featured entrant.

Tracey Fletcher King is, in my humble opinion, an extraordinary artist of the highest caliber. She hails from Beautiful Australia where she happily creates in her studio producing incredible artwork. Tracey has a distinctive style that I could pick out of a painting line-up if said paintings had been arrested, lol. She does though, switch it up a bit sometimes and do a different piece that allows the viewer to see a different side of this artist. Let me illuminate this for you pictorially.

Whimsical & adorable teacups
These stacked teacups are very much in Tracey's wheelhouse, she is usually object oriented and she tends to use wonderfully bright, clean and cheerful colors. This makes the viewer want to come back for more because her graphic style gives visual content and her color saturation is a feast for the senses.

Extraordinary Peony painting
On the other hand, sometimes Ms. King throws a proverbial wrench into one's expectations and throws us a curve ball. When she does this I think I learn the most about her as an artist. I KNOW she does graphic work so darn well, with amazing coloration and style, but when she goes another way I find myself reevaluating everything I was previously assuming or counted on. This "changing it up a bit" is such a good thing as it keeps it fresh for both the viewer and the artist. No one wants to be predictable, especially a prolific artist.
(Please remember to click on the pictures to see them in all their splendor!)

I did a virtual interview with Tracey Fletcher King and she was so generous to answer my questions. Here's the interview:

Jenn: How did you get started making art?

The Chrysanthemum
Tracey: I always loved art and at college I studied to be a secondary school art teacher, then while teaching I went on to do post grad work and upgraded my qualifications to teach all grades from K-12. After teaching for several years I got married and travelled for the next 8 years with my husband and, as we lived on the road, there was little time for any art at all. For a couple of years we divided our time between Florida and Australia, which was much easier after our daughter was born. As she grew and started playing with paints & pencils, I found myself drawn back to it. 

When we resettled full time in Queensland, Australia I found that I finally had time to haul out the paints and canvases. I spent a few very frustrating years trying to get some skills back and to struggle back down the path of fine art and landscape work, selling some work here and there and schlepping work to exhibits & competitions.

  
I enjoyed this work but it always felt not quite right to me. I kept hearing the lecturers whispering in my ear about image development, originality and pushing boundaries but I always came back to the idea that I wasn’t being true to myself. To tell you the truth, I pretty much decided I was a teacher rather than an artist. So, I again headed back to University to do my Masters in Art Education. At the same time I was running a small art school out of my home, teaching about twenty-five students (5 to 14 years old) every week. I majored in Creativity Theory in an attempt to understand why I struggled with my process so much and it was through this that my whole life changed.

Ordinary things make great art.
I realised that my art could be drawn from around me and that creativity is about decisions, being myself and trusting that I had my own way of seeing things. The study was wonderful and I even got awards for my work. I just loved all of it and from there I haven’t looked back. I abandoned teaching, again, and took short courses in different techniques to explore new processes. I have slowly but surely edged back into a creative life and rebuilt my artistic skills. I worked out what I love and what makes me happy, I no longer feel hemmed down to try to make “meaningful” or “serious” art. Rather, I found the freedom to make my art my way and have confidence in the decisions I make... So now I blog and paint and draw and I am making my first zine which is in its very early, very exciting stages. I also use my work to make prints, cards, jewelry & notebooks and I just have the most amazing time doing it all!

Tracey's work printed onto note cards
Jenn: Do you sell your work? If so, can you tell us where?

You've Got Mail!
Tracey: I sell my work through exhibiting, most recently with the Botanical Art Society of Queensland and also through a (brick & mortar) store called the Collective Store which only stocks handmade items. It is a great place to sell your work as it is also a supportive community and I have made some amazing friends through having my work stocked there. I also sell through Facebook and my blog and have had a surprising number of people contact me and have placed orders directly, which has been a fantastic process because it is so personal. I am looking at starting an online store through etsy.com, but am also investigating just connecting it to my blog and just not sure which way to go there just yet. Either way I will be up and running on line by mid-year.

Jenn: What is your process in creation? (do you like plein air best or use of a photograph, or your own imagination, or follow where the art supplies take you?)

"I work from whatever grabs my eye."
Tracey: My process is all about what is important right at that time in my life. I work from whatever grabs my eye. I don’t try to think it through too much, but rather see what is right in front of me. We are surrounded by subjects and ideas all day, everyday, we have just been trained to not notice them. I try to notice them and record them however my mood dictates. I try to find a composition that's interesting and then I just go for it. I experiment with new supplies regularly, but there are many pieces that just don’t get seen until I'm happy with them. I tend to make lots of mistakes and messes before I get to a place with supplies that I feel free with them, but I kinda think that's the fun of it! You don’t have to share those mistakes, but it is important that you make them.

Jenn: What are your favorite artist's supplies?

My favorite supplies
are water colors...
Tracey: Favorite supplies are watercolour, pen and ink and polychromous pencils.... I love being able to draw something up and then get the immediacy of painting them in with watercolour and gouache. I do use acrylics at times, but I am pretty impatient so watercolour and gouache works really well for that. I love smooth, smooth paper and like hot pressed water color paper because it is hard and smooth but takes the water well and works no matter what I am depicting. 

...and pen & ink.
At the moment I'm making a mess with Twinkling H2O’s and Inktense pencils, but they aren’t really to a point where I feel they're ready to share my work in them.  Both new supplies are at that fun stage where I can see the possibilities rather than just being frustrated with them.

Jenn: How does making a spectacular piece make you feel?

 Tracey is
addicted to
Arizona Tea!
Tracey: When a piece comes together and I am happy with it, I feel ready to get going on something else. When a painting works I always feel reinvigorated for another piece, and so they can all feed on each other. I find that when I am working well and pulling creatively from around me, that I feel most comfortable. I’m not always happy, or relaxed through my artistic process, but it feels “right” and that feeling motivates me to keep going. Ideas and positive thoughts feed off each other for me, which is a bit like a legal high in my book.

Jenn: What do you do with a less than stellar piece, do you rework until you're happy?

Tracey: Sometimes I rework it but to tell you the truth, I have a drawer full of half finished work, work that has become too frustrating, or is just plain sucky. Mostly I think that not getting it to a complete stage is just fine. Why do we have to finish everything? I think it's the scourge of adulthood that we believe we have to finish things off. If you watch children, they often have no problem leaving things half done, sometimes they come back to them and sometimes they don’t but either way it's no big deal. I kind of work like that now, not being too concerned about the results. I have to say my, life is much better for it.

Jenn: Is there anything else you'd like me to include about you or your art? (anything you'd like to elaborate on would be great!)

Tracey's blog header painting
Tracey: I wouldn’t do any of this without the blog. Blogging has helped me find my voice publically and be part a community of people who share my interests. Even if their homes and lives are more organized than mine, and let’s be clear here, that isn't too difficult to achieve, they are accepting and supportive and all round generally wonderful. I love my blogging world, the friendships and caring that is out there has helped me find the confidence to be myself visually. And with my blogging, I have transformed what used to be a fairly solitary practice into something that I share with people all over the world and with the most wonderful group of friends. They are real friendships, they support and nurture me, they accept and encourage me, they share their experience and wisdom with me, and are such a positive part of my creative process. The only down side is that they don’t turn up and do my ironing or wash the dishes, or pour me a glass of wine. Then again, they don’t hog the bottle either, lol.

  
Thank you, Tracey, for being my first "Featured Artist"! I really enjoyed getting to know you better and perusing all your lovely artwork. I'm thrilled to consider you a new friend. I would love to own one of your piece some day. Tracey can be contacted through her Blog or Facebook if you're interested in purchasing her artwork. You can also contact her directly through email.

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed my first installment of a "Featured Artist". This reoccurring series will bring a new amazing artist to light every month. In the future, if you'd like to read all the "Featured Artist" posts, just click on the "I've Been Featured" button in my sidebar and all the posts in this series will pop up.

Remember, on Saturday the first "Artist's Play Room" challenge will be up and one week later a wrap up of this week's entries will be showcased. So, come on back on Saturday morning to get the challenge, then link up before the end of next week! Until then, I'll talk to you all later.

Best,






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11 comments:

  1. I love this, what a wonderful "meet the artist", thankyou for doing this great post! I love her work and enjoy following her journey!

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  2. Jenn,
    You did an amazing job of interviewing. Great questions and you have a writers talent to make the reader feel they are sitting in on the interview. I love this idea. I am already a fan of Tracey's work, but I thoroughly enjoyed
    Learning more about the artist. I think you have a winner here ! I am going to try play the challenge on Saturday!

    Cheers!
    Kim/ Imgirl

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  3. Interviewing someone isn't easy, but you just did a great job. Bravo!

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  4. Jenn, what a fabulous and beautifully written feature! I love Tracey's wonderful art work and so enjoyed learning about her and her creative process. Thank you for writing this terrifc & inspiring article!

    blessings!
    diane ~ the Expressive Palette

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is one great interview of a great artist, and I heard she loved the process and she is very very excited to be interviewed and part of your blog, but that she is pretty full of herself already so this is the last thing she needs... this sort of recognition and encouragement are just going to push her over the edge I am sure... the only thing she needs is a little humility and to show a little grace in the face of such wonderfulness...

    seriously though Jenn I loved doing this and it is sooo amazing to be recognised and you made it such a pleasure to do... you are a very generous soul... thank you for being so kind
    Trace xx

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  6. Love Tracey's work. So glad you picked her for your first wonderful interview and showed lots of her beautiful pieces. :)

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  7. I love this interview. Tracey is a fabulous artist that I've come to 'know' through the community on Paint Party Friday. Her work is stunning and her posts are really witty - she could be a stand-up comedian with the way she writes about the everyday things in her life!

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  8. Thanks Jenn! I love Tracey's work and it makes me happy to see her featured here!

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  9. I've been a fan of Tracey's forever and am please to see this interview with her - I learned a few more things about her. This is a great idea for a series! Thanks for the IA visit....

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  10. Great interview! Tracey is such a talented artist.

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  11. Hi Jenn. Thank you so much for stopping by and following and for your sweet comment. I signed up on Linky Follow the other day and when I went to login the day after it said I wasn't signed up, so I'm not sure what that is all about...this whole thing with GFC is driving me crazy. Anyway, as soon as I get that all figured out I will follow you there. For now I am following via Twitter, Bloglovin and on Pinterest. Well, have a wonderful and safe St. Patrick's Day! Oh and you have a very lovely blog also.

    Sarah
    ps I visited your Etsy store, if you would ever be interested in having a review done and/or doing a giveaway, I would love to do that. I'm always looking for fashion, jewelry, art, and all kinds of stuff to review.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave me a comment, I've sure missed hearing from you!

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