• Quyen Hutchinson

Local Artist: Tracey Taylor

Updated: Feb 14

From production powerhouse to full-time artist, talented cover artist for Issue 2, February 2021, is Narrabeen's Tracey Taylor.

Tracey at home, in her Narrabeen studio

How long have you lived on the Northern Beaches? Close to 10 years. I grew up between Parramatta and Blacktown, but have always wanted to be near the beach. So I moved here as soon as I was able to.

What’s your favourite beach?

Dee Why for its vibe and energy.

Where’s your favourite place to eat, drink, hang out? 'Oceans', a really good breakfast, lunch and dinner place.

What’s the best thing about the Northern Beaches? The the amount of space we have and the variety of beautiful places there are be outdoors and enjoy nature.

If you had to live anywhere else in the world, where would it be? I've got my eye on Mudgee. A little valley in the country with a river and a barn I can make my studio. As I get older, I find myself wanting more isolation, more silence. I just want the chance to be on my own and paint.

Issue 3, February 2021

What inspired the cover art? I walk over the Narrabeen Bridge every morning. Watching people jump off the bridge is so iconic of the lifestyle and the playfulness of the Beaches.

What else inspires your art? The human form, and being able to capture relationships or moments or interactions. Over the last year or so I’ve moved away from trying to capture reality, instead concentrating on capturing the essence of a scene. I’ve developed my style to be much looser with paint and forms.

How would you describe your art? In a non-formal way I'd call it impressionism.

How did you discover you had a gift for art? I discovered that I could draw at a very young age. I was always observing how light played on surfaces. My mind sees the planes and the shadows; but I've never seen that as talent. It's just the way my brain works.

How did your style evolve from realistic to impressionistic? It was just having the time to really explore and push the limits of my art until it started feeling truthful. That’s how I knew I had found my style.

Have the events of 2020 impacted your art? Covid has brought a lot of suffering to so many people. In some ways it ended my career, but then again, I was ready to walk away. I was made redundant last March from Managing Director of a production company. In some ways it was a blessing as I finally had time to explore my art. I feel guilty that it has been such a good thing for me, though it hasn't been easy getting my head around the fact that I went from earning lots of money, running teams of people and being wanted and needed to suddenly being at home. I clean and wash and paint and nobody cares what I'm doing. But how lucky am I that I’ve been able to focus all of my attention on my art and that people have responded so well?

Did you study art? Nope! When I was 17 my Mum took me to a week long holiday art camp but that was it.

What else are you working on at the moment? I’ve got a large commission I’m working on and I'm also doing a painting for a gallery exhibition for International Woman's Day.

How can people buy and support your work? Simply letting me know you like my work would be supportive. And if you’d like to buy my art, you can find my portfolio at: https://bluethumb.com.au/tracey-taylor

Any words of wisdom for young, aspiring artists? Being an artist today is very difficult. There are many online sites selling art for ridiculously low prices. Do you hold out and try and get a gallery to exhibit you (which is almost impossible), do you try and build your brand online, or do you make it a business and sell your art cheaply hoping for quantity sales? I don’t have the answers, but I think aspiring artists need to know their end goal in order to plot the path accordingly.

What is your favourite thing about what you do? There is a sense of wonder and fulfilment in creating something.

Do you have a suitably pretentious quote to impart? Be true to yourself because no one else will be. And be kind to each other, we need it.

Tracey's art is available for purchase & commissions. Contact via social @traceytaylorart

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