Tracey, the Artist: from There to Here
Ain't I cute? Don't tell any of my former students that I just used "ain't," but this picture calls for it. Here I am in the early years- second grade to be exact. You see those circles on my poster? Oh, that's just where I glued my favorite cereal, Fruit Loops, or was it a favorite candy, Lifesavers, onto the poster. This was an early attempt at mixed media. If my memory serves correctly, the were placed inside a lasso and I may or may not have been using them as bullet points. Then again, my memory could be a little faulty going back that long ago.
I am very much so the serious little artist here, but cute with a head full of blond hair. And that prize money! I can't remember if I received $5.00 or $3.00, but I remember it feeling like the world. That was dime store shopping money.
The hear and now: I won't mention how many years must have passed between second grade and when the photo above was taken which was about a year ago at the 41st Annual National Wayne County Juried Show. One thing is for certain, oh, the mixed media...and maybe the food...? I'm still gluing as you can see in the mixed media piece, "Gather 'Round." It's completely created with patterned paper and acrylic paint.
If you want to read more of my story from the there to the here, check out the beautifully written editorial from my friend Rebecca J. Whitman over on her blog, The Bohemian Princess Journal.
The Progression of a Painting
Early in August, I set a goal for myself. Feeling the need for more sky, sunrise, and saltwater, I started a new painting. What is the goal you may ask. Oh, that's easy to answer. It was only painting the largest canvas I have ever painted at the same time finishing it by the end of the month. By the end of August I had completed Peace, Be Still, a 30" x 40" acrylic seascape on canvas. It's the largest painting I've completed in the shortest amount time.
Goals can be good if you meet them or not. There's so much to learn about skill and yourself.
Check out the progression of a painting.
Not only is the original seascape available, but prints may be coming soon too! In the mean time, I've just added prints of Carolina's Calling: Kure Beach Sunrise to the shop. Please be sure to give it a look.
An Art Harvest
you Craven Arts Council for such an opportunity. New Bern is a fabulous town and it holds a special place in my heart. Stardust Gallery in New Bern was one of the first places my art was shown. Thanks Dara!
Series on Limitations
Since I started working full time in the studio this summer, I have finished works started during the school year and I have completed new works of art as well as revisited older works. These will all be available from Craven Arts Council during August and if you would like more information on any of these pieces, please leave me a comment or if you're interested in becoming the owning of one of these pieces, contact Craven Arts Council anytime during August.
She Has a Story
You may ask who is this girl in Put on Some Shades and Chillax. She is more than just a focal point in a painting. She has a story as we all do.
Years ago, my daughter and I came across a Rubbermaid container at a flea market. The container was filled with letters, handwritten poems, photos, love notes, cards, illustrations, and even a subpoena. Every single item chronicled the lives of one particular couple from when they first met, through marriage, and children.
My daughter and I were first saddened that someone’s memorabilia ended up forgotten, given away, and for sale at a flea market. Then, we became wrapped up in all the possibilities of using these items in our art and in a way that would be preserve the images and stories of these strangers. Now the real conflict began in how we would choose exactly what to buy out of the box. My husband, who is ever so wise, bought the entire box for us.
On the ride home from Raleigh, we began to scour through all the contents and it was like piecing together a love story along with all its ups and down. Each letter from when the couple first met, to dating, and then well into marriage overflowed with terms of endearment, sentimental words, missing each other, and/or even apologies. Family problems were even seen through one letter written to the mom from a son who had run away. In the writings he reassures her that he’s okay and to please not tell Dad.
One odd item that was preserved in the keepsake box was a subpoena for the wife. Apparently, she was a witness in a murder case. This provided such an intriguing mystery for my daughter and I to unravel. Of all things to learn, we found out that the defendant is listed in The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers.
Put on Some Shades and Chillax is in remembrance of Dot and to everyone who is living life with all its beautiful ups and downs in which sometimes you just have to put on some shades, take in all the glory around you, and chillax.
Be sure to enter the giveaway for Put on Some Shades and Chillax. By subscribing to the email list, you'll be entered in this giveaway and in any future giveaways as well as always being in the know. To sign up, just fill out the subscribe form on this page. The drawing will be held on facebook live on August 11 at 7:00 P.M.
Quiet times to talk with Jesus, lots of laughter, and a meaningful message to remind us who we are filled a recent weekend away at beautiful Carolina Point in Brevard, NC. Thank you so much to Zoweh and The Deepening Weekend for having me as part of the conference team. What a treat it was to lead the creative sessions during the free time!
The nature of art tends to be highly introspective, so I don’t often get the chance to work creatively with others. Having the opportunity to encourage others in their own creativity doesn’t happen nearly as often as I would like; therefore, teaching the two groups of ladies was most definitely a joy and the highlight of my own weekend.
The creative session named Time Alone with God Journal Cover Design encouraged each person to create a collage/mixed media journal cover that was unique to them. Each lady chose elements for her cover which were meaningful to her, her unique story, her aesthetics, or in the way God was moving in her life.
In addition to the beautiful designs created, the way in which everyone helped each other, shared ephemeral, and offered encouragement was truly beautiful. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories and why you chose certain elements as well as your words of appreciation and your words of encouragement to me.
It was two incredible afternoons of being reminded of doing life in community even creating in community. What a wonderful way to fill a creative well!
Check out Zoweh and their events to learn about the more God has in store for you. Also, check out some of the journal cover designs created by the ladies in attendance.
When stepping back into art in 2012, I carved out a space to create out of my home. It was such a blessing to have the space for a home studio, but there is a season for everything. At the beginning of December 2020 I opened the door to what would become my new studio in beautiful downtown Goldsboro.
I'm always taking an empty canvas and transforming it into something new. Transforming an empty room into a space for creating is no different. Some things go as plan and others do not.
See the journey through photos below!
The move in begins and believe me it takes good friends for moving and celebrating!
The chalk painting debacle. Don't buy into the hype of no prep needed. You might get lucky. You might not. With this old piece, we did not get lucky. Word of advice- try searching for problems with chalk paint. We highly recommend Zinsser Oil Based Primer.
Many, many layers of paint later not to mention the prep work, I am so excited to have this hutch my dad gave my mom as an anniversary present in the studio. It's like having a piece of them with me. But please don't mention the word chalk painting.
Every good idea begins with Pinterest? Begins being the key word. From concept to front porch carpentry to studio table.
This season or year especially with school is the busiest I’ve ever had. A new way of teaching means new problems, learning new methods, and preparing new material. Daily. Then there’s the daily living, family, and art not to mention this is the holiday season that is busy in its own right.
December is staying true to form and is proving to be as busy and exciting as ever! With that being said, I have a big announcement. Recently, I had three paintings juried into the 41st annual Wayne County National Show. The show ended just before Thanksgiving. Before going to pick up the paintings, I received a call from the arts council letting me know that two of the paintings had sold and would I like to have the third painting moved over to the art market. That was an easy yes. The icing on the cake came next when I was told they had a studio available. Was I interested? YES!
On December 1, I signed the lease on a new studio! Tracey Penrod Art will be moving to 102 N. John St. Goldsboro, NC. You will be able to find me in Suite 3 above the Arts Council of Wayne County. I’ve just started moving into the new space and with teaching all day, it’s just been a few things at a time. I’m not sure of my hours yet, but you will be able to visit me during open studio hours on First Fridays starting in January.
Within a matter of minutes on the evening that Gary and I decided to say yes to the studio, I received a message from the gallery director from the Craven County Arts Council. She asked if I would be interested in being one of the featured artists in 2021. I don’t have all the details on this one yet, but I’ll share when they come together.
Shocked at the opening doors would be an understatement to say the least. I would say, however, that this has been a process of stepping out in faith and prayerfully saying yes. I am feeling blessed beyond measure.
The making of a recent commission piece was an exercise in artistic freedom. There’s nothing quite like creating an expressive work of art for a like minded person especially when there are no boundaries. “Crescendo” is a 16” x 20” mixed media work of art created in the style of expressionism. This original work of art was commissioned by a lover of the arts and of music. The patron had requested a piece to accompany an acrylic painting he had acquired earlier. In the previous painting entitled “Prelude,” I had painted in total response to music and what came across on canvas was an opening, a door, representing stepping into something new.
Keeping within the same theme, “Crescendo” was painted in response to music, but the initial inspiration came from someplace else. Having gone out and walked the fields near my home sometime after a hard rain, I was drawn to these cracks which had formed in the soil. Looking closely, I could see the individual grains of sand, new growth, and shadows where light had not yet reached. Within these fissures, it was like the anticipatory build up to an eruption. Maybe, it’s the thing that marks the ending of one and the momentous beginning of something new like life springing forth, the first cry of a baby, or the realization that this is it. This is what I walked through that “door” for.
In music, this eruption is referred to as a crescendo. It is the highest or loudest point reached in a gradually increasing sound. As the sound builds, the suspense increases in anticipation until the final eruption much like the excitement of reaching a crescendo in your own life.
Painting a Song?
I don’t believe there’s a painting I’ve ever completed in which music has not been a huge part of the process. In fact, when creating some of my paintings, the paintings and the process have almost been entirely dependent on the music since I paint whatever happens to unfold with the songs I play. It’s a completely intuitive process. At other times, I paint with a clear image and then set a playlist that matches the image or theme accordingly.
I’m currently taking an online workshop and in a recent assignment, I had to paint to a piece of music and I had to finish when the song finished. Now, you want to talk about something being challenging! That was most definitely it. Did you know that most songs are generally only 3 - 5 minutes in length? Go ahead picture me shaking my head. Painting to music, however, I do this all the time. Piece of cake. Right? It took me four tries with four different songs before I could get out of my head.
I thought I’d share my attempts with you and the song choices. See if you can figure out which piece matches which piece of music. As you can see, the four pieces do not look anything alike in the same way that the four pieces of music were not anything alike. I’ve, also, included the first couple of lines for each song.
A. “It’s Quiet Uptown” from Hamilton
There are moments that the words don't reach
There is suffering too terrible to name
I want to reiterate the part where I said I had to paint "to a piece of music" not create a painting to a piece of music. In the spirit of redemptive art, I plan to take the idea behind one of these one of a kind creations to develop further. I’ll be posting the expressive work of art on social media in the upcoming days. Look for Tracey Penrod Art on facebook or instagram.
Answers are below...no peeking.
1. A, 2. C, 3. D, 4. B
I have such a special place in my heart for Beloved Daughters. It is a 16” x 20” acrylic painting, but the technical aspect of size and medium is not the reason for why it has so much meaning to me. I began these ladies several years ago when a group of my friends and I were together and we were all creating in our own way. It had to have been one of the hottest afternoons of the summer as we created in an un-airconditioned shop.
On that day, Beloved Daughters was started but not finished. I had no clear vision or idea of the direction it was headed. It was just lines or runs of color. What was started on canvas was the result of the camaraderie between friends with a common interest. This particular canvas would then find its home in the corner of my studio, waiting quietly and patiently for the right time. It stayed that way for months.
When I found my way back to the painting, I had just recently served at a women’s event and I was so amazed at how so many women had come together with a single purpose and passion. Yes, some were looking for purpose, passion, and hope while others may not have even known why they were there. Needless to say, everyone came together for each other.
There was so much connection and sisterhood I saw and was a part of that I can’t put it into words. Not being able to put it into words is why the act of painting can be so important to me. That’s when I placed the canvas back onto the easel. With a flip of the canvas, the images of these beautiful women came into mind. A beauty so unique to each one regardless of age, season, or race. To borrow from the lyrics of Chris Tomlin’s song “Waterfall,” it was “Deep call[ing] to deep. Your love is like a waterfall, waterfall raining down on me.” This painting was a celebration of diversity. A celebration of being the beloved daughters of God.
This was not supposed to be the topic of my first blog post. My intention was to write about redemptive art, but then things changed. On May 25, America watched as George Floyd was murdered.
In times like these, my mind comes back to Beloved Daughters. You see it’s not just a celebration of diversity, but it’s also a celebration of unity. Take a closer look. Each daughter, although different, is connected to each other. Go ahead, look at their hands. You'll see one holding another’s hand, a hand on a shoulder, and a tug on another’s dress as she holds her pregnant belly full with life. There’s no tearing down, only encouragement and a building up of one another.
This is an impenetrable barrier. It’s a celebration of diversity. It’s a celebration of beauty and belovedness. It’s a celebration of unity. This is Beloved Daughters. This should be all of us on any given day living in a way that shows support and raises up our brothers and sisters regardless of age, season, or race.
Be sure to subscribe to the mailing list during the month of June for a chance to win an 11” x 14” print of Beloved Daughters. The winner will be determined by a drawing and will be announced on July 1st.
I'm an artist working in acrylic and mixed media. I love looking for the seen and the unseen by exploring matters of the heart. My one of a kind works of art are in the style of expressionism, representational art, and inspirational art. All of my works of art share in the qualities of redemptive art.
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