Reaching describes the spirit and thinking behind my work. I am always reaching for a line, a space, and a visual feeling in each piece. Reaching for combinations of materials and art materials with a “what if” question behind what I use and do.
Textures are my attractions. Using many different mediums and a variety of materials to form them. I want to have forms reach off the two dimensional plane allowing me new experimentation.
Collages combined with other mediums enrich the statements that I want to make visually. Often these statements rather than being an object or scene are statements of sentiment and feelings that I believe are universal experiences.
Relationships as in living describe the life lived, so in art, relationships of space, form, line, color and values describe the context and language in each piece of art.
SHORT BIO STATEMENT
E. Tracy Williams Biography
After completing a BA degree at the State University College at Buffalo, I continued studies in the Fine and Applied Art Techniques of Sculpture, Figure modeling, Painting, Collage and Drawing at the Cincinnati Art Academe, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Arts Student League of New York City. I was deeply influenced by my teachers, renowned artists Leo Manso, Bruce Dorfman, and Charles Hinemann, to choose collage and assemblage techniques for my own visual expression.
Relocations throughout the northeast USA allowed me to immerse myself in quality historical and contemporary collections of art in numerous world class museums, which had a resounding impact on my work. I believe art, as all of life, is a sense of relationships.
My abstract collages are a medley of color; texture, shape and depth, exploring the interaction among seemingly unrelated materials to achieve a harmonious, emotional effect. Fabric, papers metals, paint, and twigs nothing is tabu.
It is an honor to have been recognized in the “Artist to Watch” article of Watercolor Magic, December 2005 issue and to receive an Honorable Mention in the “Best of North Carolina Artist”. 2005 publication. It’s been a wonderful experience for me to be juried into and win awards in many local art competitions of my North Carolina area. My acceptance in the National Collage Exhibit, 2007, was a first for me to be in a national juried exhibit. Please feel welcome to see my artwork often on display, when showing with several of our local art groups. Joining the “Cary Gallery of Artists” in 2009.
My work was the advertising Poster Art for 2008 Spring Daze Cary Arts and Crafts Festival.
And it won for the town first place in a state festival competition for posters.
March 19-April 24 2010, juried into the CCA Exhibit Kinston, NC.;
Works were juried into the Durham Art Guild 53rd Annual Juried Art Show Oct 25-Nov. 28, 2007, and in 2008. May 3, 2010, I was Juried into 31st National Juried Exhibit at the Arts Council Gallery, Goldsboro, NC. There received honorable mention award for "World Wrapped in Red" also juried into the CCA Exhibit Kinston, NC to mention a few.
These North Carolina exhibiting opportunities have been juring my work into shows since 1995, winning a First prize at VAE.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center purchased an important piece in 2009 called Three Graces.and have a donated piece in the Cary Wake Med Birthing Center.
A founder, organizer of the first Western Wake Artists Studio Tour in my area brought another aspect to exhibiting my work. Check out www.wwast.org and visit me
Juried into the Cary Gallery of Artists: Aug. 2010. Accepted as finalist in Artists Magazine Competition.2011
Juried in Village Art Circle Gallery, Cary in 2013
LONG BIOGRAPHY WRITTEN BY FRIEND JEWEL KECHECK
Ella Irene Tracy Williams was born in her Grandmother’s house in Maplewood, Pennsylvania on June 24th, 1935, to Lawrence Dudley Tracy and Rena May Monroe. She revealed that she was a shy child that enjoyed doing things with her family. She recalls her father taking them on family picnics and to visit with relatives, especially an aunt that lived at the beach. She frequently listened to the radio, visualizing the appearances of the characters and the scenes where the action was taking place. Reading was another favorite pastime. At thirteen, she set and reached a goal to read 100 books, mostly about the Salvation Army, in one year. Experiencing nature by walking out in woods and absorbing her surroundings; thinking and dreaming of growing up, going places and where life would lead; form vivid memories of her youthful days. As the eldest of seven children she was often busied by chores and caring for younger siblings. She credits a great deal of her knowledge of herself and of relationships, with these childhood experiences.
Some of Ms William’s first creative memories were of drawing. She would often look at a picture and then attempt to draw her own vision of the scene. She also enjoyed cutting shapes to create collage-like pictures. The school she attended was very small, offering no instruction in the arts; however, one of her grade school teachers after observing her art in class, suggested that she could become an artist. At the time Ms Williams stated she did not really understand what the teacher meant. In fact, Ms Williams did not think her drawings were very good. One of the subjects she took pleasure in drawing was horses; she had always loved horses and yearned to own one. She entered her drawings in the local fair and won some ribbons. Going to the local fair and seeing her pictures displayed in the exhibits was rewarding. Ms William’s interest in art and her desire to learn to play the piano made her wish she could take art and music lessons, but with a large family to support, there was no extra money to spend on those luxuries.
In high school, Ms Williams included art in her assignments as often as possible. She was the captain of the cheerleaders, a leader in her class, and used her love of art working on the yearbook staff. Although she was already an artist in her soul, when she started college she felt she had to choose a major other than art. She stated, “It would have seemed a bohemian choice, so I chose a respectable responsible study of liberal arts concentrating in law and social studies”. However, upon her engagement to a minister officer in The Salvation Army and having grown up in the church with officer parents, she chose to go into the officer training program and became an officer herself. She completed an Associate Degree in Office Management to become more proficient in her responsibilities in the Salvation Army. “Creative endeavors were always a part of my Salvation Army responsibilities”, she stated. She continued her exploration of art attending various workshops and experimenting with various techniques and media. When the opportunity arose, she completed her Bachelor’s of Art at the State College in Buffalo, NY. She also studied fine and applied art techniques in sculpture, figure modeling, painting and collage at the Cincinnati Art Academy, the Rhode Island School of Design and the Arts Student League of New York City.
Appointments within the Salvation Army throughout the northeast afforded Ms Williams opportunities to examine quality historical and contemporary works of art in numerous top-notch museums. These had an influence on her vision to create art. She had a great interest in creating sculptures, but that medium required much space and materials to which she did not have access. Many of her instructors had complemented her abstract collage work. Her choice of collage and assemblage was also influenced by known artists and teachers such as Leo Manso, Bruce Dorfman, and Charles Hineman. She loved the tactility of collage and assemblage, familiar from her sculpting experience. She had been called a “closet sculptor” using a 2-D ground to sculpt upon using whatever materials she deemed appropriate for a particular piece. She stated, “Collage offers the opportunity to create art with more than a brush or pencil in one’s hand”.
After years of rearing 6 children, studying and creating art part time, and a career in the Salvation Army, in 1994, Ms Williams decided to become a full time artist.
When we stepped into her studio, I thought, “What a wonderful place to create!” It was light and bright and had a cheerful feel about it. There were many horizontal surfaces of various heights to facilitate chosen processes. The light gray walls, a color suitable for displaying art of all colors, provided gallery space to hang some of her collages. Bookshelves, full of books about art, artists, art history, techniques, processes, etc. displayed her personal reference collection. There were groups of supplies on carts and almost everything was on wheels offering flexibility within the workspace. Sheets of handmade paper, hand painted paper, tissue paper in every type and color imagined; collections of used packing materials and labels were available for use. Transparent drawers full of three dimensional, recycled objects were labeled for easy access. Boxes were stacked in nooks and crannies full of treasures, waiting to be included in the right piece of art. There were bits and pieces of art everywhere. Even a small collage with a magnet was placed on the cart holding the color wheel, spray bottle and towels. There were paints, waxes, gels, mediums, dyes, many types of glue, and mixtures of all kinds to include in the physical creative processes.
“What is your creative process?” I asked and “How does it begin?” She replied,
“My creative process begins with the excitement of a white open space that I can change. It may begin with a found object, a piece of paper, a new paint, etc.
I put it on a piece of ground and then intuitively continue to add piece defining their relationships one to another. Then the pieces may remind me of something so I may follow this thought asking “what if” questions to the point of chaos where much often needs resolving. Sometimes, when the piece speaks in my thoughts, addressing my questions about relationships, it is giving me the path to resolution.”
I had chosen three objects; a broken earring, a piece of felted wool and a broken arrowhead and gave each to her one at the time, asking if she would share with me her thoughts about including these objects in a collage. The reaction I liked most was when I presented the broken arrowhead. The expression on her face is what I think inspiration might look like.
She headed to the far side of the studio and pulled out a big plastic bag, emptied the contents on a table and laid the broken arrowhead on top. Her intuition, an emotional guide of sorts, led her to this collection. When she spoke, it was if she was thinking out loud, “This may work, maybe a natural place, maybe an origin, with a kindred of colors, and a splash of red and blue…”. At this moment, there is no title, no real anticipation of what the piece would look like or say, exactly, just a feeling that this is where the broken arrowhead may be part of the thoughts these pieces might engender. I asked her if I could revisit and see this piece upon completion. She assured me I was welcomed back anytime.
In the room next to the studio was a computer where we sat and looked through numerous photos of her collages to choose some for a presentation. Photographs of Ms Williams retrieved from an old box were scanned to lend a visual peek into her personal history. Matting, mounting and framing materials, an important and necessary part of the process when one enters works to be juried into exhibitions, were set up on a table in the center of the room. Mats and frames were lying on several small collages to compare which would compliment a certain piece. One of the small pieces caught my attention. She explained that it was an encaustic piece, a process using an ancient technique of layering paper and paint with pigmented hot wax. It creates a subtle effect of floating textures and images. The wax can be cast, carved, scraped or scratch to provide a wide variety of intriguing results.
A third room served as a holding area for completed pieces, secured in handmade bubble wrap bags, on their way to or back from the various exhibit locations of her work. Much time was spent pulling pieces from the protective bags, sharing each one’s purpose and meaning and discussing the creative processes involved in completing each piece.
The evidence of creativity however, was not limited to these three rooms. There were signs of creativity hanging on the walls of every room and hall that I entered in her home. It is a “lived-in” gallery reflecting Ms William’s creative accomplishments at every turn, expressing every possible emotion within the human spectrum.
After years of experimenting and learning in her creative undertakings, Ms Williams has found purpose in her art and uses her unique artistic voice to express her visions. Through her unwavering fascination with creating abstract collage and assemblage, Ms William’s spirit integrates and transforms a diverse variety of tangible materials – fabrics, papers, metals, paints, twigs, and other found objects into unified pieces of art filled with expressive sentiment. As relationships among people describe the context of the lives being lived, her sense of relationships among space, form, line, color and value reveals the context existing within each piece of her work. These relationships unveil the connection between her artistic voice and the viewer’s roused response. Her work does not speak with recognized pictures or scenes to kindle the viewer’s response; but reaches off a dimensional plane with an abstract concurrent flow of thoughts, feelings and emotions that is universal and personal in the same moment. A nonfigurative patois may evolve as these artworks offer the viewer a visual, cohesive, interactive connection with one’s mind, heart and soul.
I have heard that voice: is has communicated with my soul. I hope her art will speak with you.
Current Artist Status
E. Tracy Williams currently lives in Cary. She spends as much time as she can in her studio delving into her creative process. Her work has been juried into too many shows to list and recognized by numerous art organizations and publications, as well. She is active in many organizations that promote the arts. When asked, “Who are your favorite artists?” she replied, “Some of my favorite artists include Georgia O’Keeffe, for color and the monumental feeling in small works; Paul Gauguin, for his compositions and feelings being spoken; and Rene Magritte, for his humor and the clean organized lines and forms telling us to think”. Her favorite pastimes are studying and making art, worshiping in her church and enjoying her relationships with people, especially her family; her husband of fifty-two years, her children and grandchildren; and her friends. You may visit her website, artbyetw.com, to see currently displayed artworks.