Featured in Fringe Art Magazine, Issue 34, Spring '13
6 Pieces by Tracy Levesque
From the Paradise City Marlborough Spring Guide 2013
From the Melrose ARTISTS Talk blog posted March 21, 2013
The shared thoughts and artwork of Tracy Levesque.
Tracy is a visiting artist from Lowell, MA. Her work will be on exhibit at the Melrose Arts Festival on April 26-28, 2013.
Q. What does Art mean to you?
Art is life itself in its truest expression. Nature is constantly creating, evolving and changing and so is art. As human beings we can’t help but respond to the changes we see going on around us and recreate them in our own little universes. An artist embodies this creation on a very small and individual scale in comparison to nature, but I think art is a very innate expression for human beings. Creativity is as natural as breathing and as essential.
Q. What role did art play in your life as a child?
Art was (and still is) to me what Oz was to Dorothy and what Wonderland was to Alice – a wonderful world completely of my own creation.
Q. As a self-taught artist, how did you develop your talent and artistic perspective?
I grew up in a creative environment where drawing and making things were the normal everyday activities. My parents and grandparents encouraged my sisters and I to read, draw, use our imaginations and spend time outdoors playing in and observing nature. I was always in love with the magic of our world; the uniqueness of people’s faces, the beauty and color in their expressions, landscapes and trees and of course, the mystical moon. I practiced painting these things over and over until I found my own way of seeing. Later, I read every book I could find on the technical aspects of drawing and painting as my interest in the arts grew. I also asked working artists lots of questions on technique and process. I researched the work of artists I loved and started to understand where and how inspiration could be funneled into technique. Experience, in the end, is always the best teacher. Life takes us all on an amazing journey and we can pick choose what we let into our own personal world and as an artist, this is the most important part of the process. Life, more than any school, technique or person, is ultimately what makes an artist.
Q. How do you interpret life through your art?
I use the color, texture and line to evoke and emotional response from the viewer. People have a strong reaction to bright color – it truly makes them feel happy. I use the line and texture to draw them in – they follow the lines and get lost in the textures. It makes them think about what they are looking at because even though they may know what it is, it’s a fresh and rather unconventional interpretation that sparks their imagination.
Q. Through the capture of nature and life, your paintings balance fantasy with reality? What influenced this?
We all love to dream, but no matter how fantastical the dream, it’s always rooted in reality. I started out as a realistic artist staying close to the traditional interpretations of landscape and portraiture, but over time this process evolved organically and I moved further away from realism into the kind of work I do now. I think it’s important to learn to draw things properly in the beginning and be true to nature before you find your own voice. I believe realism is important in the sense that people need to recognize what they are looking at in a painting, but I think that is all that is necessary. I have always loved to read and I think that has influenced my work a great deal. I love telling stories through my work and inspiring people to see something special in everything. Like I said before, people like to dream, they like to be happy and be surrounded by beauty and I think when a person looks at a painting they should be completely whisked away into an enchanted world filled with magic. Reality is everywhere and too much so nowadays, so it’s important that a painting should take you back to your imagination. For instance, I paint a lot of birch trees and people always know that they are looking at birch trees but then, they find something else there between the expressive lines and exaggerated colors – they find a personal memory or a place they once knew and they are happy. I feel the same thing when I paint. I love these beautiful places that the world is full of and I want to share them with the world.
Q. Your work displays an importance to lines and abstract shapes. How do you relate this to what you are capturing?
If you look close enough at nature, everything has texture and is abstracted in a way. Leaves become seas of color and tree bark transforms into geometrical patterns climbing towards the sky. When you are standing in a forest all your senses come into play, not just your eyes – you smell things, feel things and hear things. A two-dimensional painting needs to be exaggerated to recreate this kind of sensation, so my work tends towards a more tactile representation. I use a painting knife and thick impasto paint juxtaposed against smooth brushwork to evoke this kind of response. I want to capture the flavor of he visual feast so I exaggerate and play with visual representation quite a bit.
Q. What importance does your work hold in your life?
My work is paramount in my life. I truly love what I do and I am always working towards improving my abilities and understanding of my craft.
All the work on this website is copyright © Tracy Lévesque. Use and reproduction of any images on this sight is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.
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