I’ve made this series to highlight women who are starting out. They have created something out of nothing, following those whispers and are moving forward with bringing their dreams to life. I believe in the power of sharing our stories, supporting and lifting each other up. There is enough for everyone to be successful, in what ever way feels right for them.
I N T R O D U C I N G
Tracy Waite is an artist. She is now based at her studio in Western Australia after travelling the outback for six years. Living remotely and in between travelling, exploring and prospecting, Tracy painted either on a small easel at her caravan table or plein air. Immersing herself in the stunning landscapes, she found it only natural to want to record her travels in a way for her that photos just can’t portray. Starting out with a small plastic box of oil paints and small canvas panels bought from outback stores, Tracy soon realised that her painting obsession was likely to remain part of her daily life, for the rest of her life.
There is oil painting, water colours, encaustic art, weaving – creating sculptural pieces, and developing a range of natural inks that Tracy paints with and also sells.
Painting from home means painting from photographic inspiration and drawing on the memories of how places felt. This has resulted in Tracy’s landscapes naturally becoming more abstract. Tracy is represented by Artopia Gallery in Kununurra, Western Australia, and had her first solo exhibition there in August 2021. Now also represented by Aspire Art Gallery on the East Coast of Australia, Tracy has just won the Aspire Gallery, Petite Pieces 2023 Judges Award.
1. Would you share a little about yourself and why it is so important for you to follow those creative whispers?
I believe that painting or Art making…creating of any kind is so therapeutic especially in today’s high stress world. I think that is probably why I originally began spending my weekends immersed in Art books and new art supplies to experiment with. You learn to see in a whole new way, looking for the colour nuances and beauty in everyday life as opposed to the negatives that surround us and sometimes take away too much space in our thoughts and our feelings.
I can’t even begin to imagine my life without creativity and painting now. It is what makes me a more fulfilled, much happier me.
2. Favourite time of the day?
My favourite time of day is that early evening in summer. When the orange glow of sunset illuminates and bathes everything around us with a golden/orange glow and everything is peaceful. The birds are settling in for the evening.
3. Life is full of distractions, what keeps you focused?
What keeps me focussed is mostly working with the Gallery and knowing that I have windows of time to get a number of paintings done. Also working on pieces for shows I want to enter and planning out which shows those will be.
In saying that, I do accept that we tend to work in seasons and mine are quite literally just that since my studio is way too hot in Summer so I use that time to explore other creative avenues such as weaving. I do work on smaller Art pieces, at my art desk, in the house but I am more limited by space and not wanting to have my creative mess in the house!
I am ok with having more down time in Summer to explore and experiment with ideas for the coming Winter, when I can light my wood fire stove in the studio and settle into painting.
4. What has surprised you?
I have been really surprised at the number of people who have collected my work over the past few years. Especially when there are so many Artists and paintings out there!
To know that someone loves something you have created so much that they want to hang it in their home and connect with every day is always a real honour to me. I never take it for granted and that feeling of excitement never gets old!
Something else which has surprised me and makes me really happy is the number of Artists, I discover regularly who are really making an effort to have a healthier practice for both themselves and for our precious planet.
This is so important to me and something that I have been researching a lot lately. I am now solvent free in my studio and make my own mediums from safe, natural ingredients. I also have a range of Natural Inks and plan to soon start making my own oil paint.
5. One piece of advice you would like to pass on to someone who has always wanted to take the next step and pursue their artistic and creative dreams full time?
One piece of advice I would offer to anyone wanting to pursue their Artistic dream full-time is to take it slowly, and know that making Art as a living can often feel quite different to what you dream it will be like.
There is still all of the work to get your art out into the world – websites, admin, social media and marketing. Personally, I don’t enjoy this side of the business but it is essential to success.
Don’t give up, no matter how many times you feel like “maybe you are just not meant to be an Artist”. We all feel like that … usually just before something great happens!… if you really want it, do everything you can to make it happen.
Interview Series: Tracy Waite, Artist.
April 30, 2023