I first met Tracey Fletcher King through my local art shop (I think it was back in 2010, but it seems like we have known each other for so much longer). I had left a few business cards on the counter one morning while I was in picking up some brushes, my business cards took Tracey's fancy, she took one home with her then looked me up on Facebook that afternoon and we have been chatting online and off ever since. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of having a cuppa (or two) with Tracey and a home and studio visit too! This week Tracey took the time to answer a few questions about herself and snapped some photos of herself and her artwork.
Who is Tracey Fletcher King?
I am a former specialist art teacher and have taught art on and off over the last 25 years -I can’t be that old!!!- to all ages from 4 year olds through to retirees. I am a wife to Matthew and a mother to an amazing 15year old daughter Phoebe. I have wonderful supportive friends and family and love that life is filling up more and more with creative pursuits.
In six words describe your practice.
Botanical, collage, personal, detailed, colourful, schizophrenic.
How long have you been creating and how did you get started?
I have always loved art in every form and can’t remember when it wasn’t part of what I loved, but found that there was little room for it for many years while we were travelling and living between two countries with a young daughter. On moving back to Australia full time I started to explore painting and collage and fell in love with it all over again. I went back to uni and did my Masters in Art Ed and the creative components and some wonderful teachers really inspired me to look at my practice and try to explore realistic depiction and return to rendering which led me to botanical art.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Inspiration for botanical art is easy as there are so many wonderful fruits and vegies out there, and flowers are just wonderful subjects. I cruise the fruit and veg section of the supermarket, and garden centres, florists and farmer’s markets give constant inspiration. I am also lucky enough to have a husband who brings home flowers regularly so botanical inspiration is easy. As I return more and more to collage and mixed media work I am finding inspiration in beautiful papers and bits of map and ephemera which I have been saving for years. I have two huge draws of bits and bobs of paper that I can find inspiration in at any time.
Who are the people that influence and inspire you?
I am influenced by other members of The Botanical Artists’ Society of Qld and they constantly offer support and valuable guidance, and I also love the work of many contemporary botanical artists. Do a google search and you will be bombarded with amazing images and work. I also love the work of Robert Rauschenberg for mixed media and find his imagery and techniques a rich source of ideas. I love love love Cressida Campbell and her intricate woodcuts, especially the domestic scenes. I enjoyed sharing the book with Tracey the other day at morning tea. I can’t believe anyone wouldn’t be inspired by her work. Years ago I taught with a Bayside artist, Jack Oudyn, and his work has always inspired me and I love that we have so many of his pieces around the house. They never fail to inspire me.
Three things stand out for me in the past and the first has been starting a blog, which has been a great way to reflect and discuss my work. It is evolving and changing as my work evolves and changes, but it has been a great tool to explore ideas and give my practice a bit of structure. I have also loved being part of The Collective Store at Wynnum. The owner Leonie has been so supportive and encouraging and my confidence and belief in my work has grown hugely. I love that people have been buying my work and are hopefully enjoying it as much as I enjoy creating it. I have also taken part in a couple of exhibitions with the Botanical Art Society and it is great to see your work hanging in galleries such as Redlands and Redcliffe Galleries. These things have challenged me and forced me out of my comfort zone, but I have loved them and am so glad I have done them.
What are your experiences with being involved in the MPC?
The MPC for me has been a great experience. I love the sense of camaraderie and being part of something that has a regular deadline. It is also a great way to make yourself try new things and it is really exciting watching the works go up one by one on the 15th of the month. It has been a much richer experience than I expected and I feel as though the group is starting to develop surprisingly strong bonds. I feel quite attached to my cyber buddies and I love that the internet is such a great resource for artists and it helps them connect with like minded people. I have found wonderful friends like Tracey, and painter Von Kennedy through the internet, and both friendships enrich my world.
Where to next? What's on the Horizon?
The horizon is filled with more MPC challenges, exhibiting more with BASQ, developing the blog, maybe starting to sell some work online, and continuing to create work for The Collective Store. I am enjoying using my work to make jewellery and exploring other products and ideas but more than anything I am just loving every creative minute I can cram into my world!!
Thanks for taking the time to chat and take photos Trace. I really enjoyed that chat, so enlightening. You are a true inspiration.