Tracy Love

"I paint portraits, landscapes, and still life—inspired by the people I meet, the places I visit, and the things I like. I'm inspired as well as challenged by creating something interesting, even beautiful, out of what can be perceived as mundane."

Heavy Metal - Watercolor on paper 76 x 56 cm, £1,800

"I paint portraits, landscapes, and still life - people, places, and things. Although my work encompasses a rich variety of subject matters and mediums, watercolor landscapes are where I thrive. My artistic intention is to show that the perception of old, abandoned, or mundane subjects can be striking. Strong themes in my landscape compositions explore the space between man-made structures and nature. It is within that space, where nature reclaims the things we've made, that our vulnerability to the process of decay is demonstrated. The passage of time weathers and tarnishes; yet there is beauty in this imperfection I endeavor to capture.

I typically work inside my studio to develop a painting. The ideas come from places I visit, people I see, or scenes I think may make an interesting painting because of the light, color, or composition. I tend to take several photos, which I edit, merge, and use for reference. I decide what size the painting should be, then spend a significant amount of time working out a detailed drawing. Next is color, and sometimes a quick test-painting or study to work out a broad direction with respect to technique or method. With watercolors, I tend to paint in sections using a layered approach, usually from light to dark, to build the image up slowly. In this way, I can react to what the painting may need, problem-solving along the way without feeling I've gone too far; it is crucial to know when to stop. Detail and realism are crucial aspects of my work, and to engage you, the viewer, I like to exaggerate elements of my composition so you feel as though you are part of the scene.

I am an emerging self-taught artist, painting largely by instinct. Since my early twenties, after taking an intermediate drawing class, I knew that I wanted to make art full time. I wanted to see how far I could go and what I could create. One of the best feelings is starting with a blank canvas or paper and seeing a three-dimensional image come to life, one where you feel transported."

Triple Junction - Watercolor on paper 76 x 56 cm, Prints available
Reclamation - Watercolor on paper 56 x 76 cm, £1,300
Brentford Covered Warehouse - Watercolor on paper 56 x 76 cm, Prints available
Birds of a Feather - Pastel on paper 84 x 60 cm, £400

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist


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