Barcelona is thrilled to welcome Tracy Victoria Starr as our September and October Featured Artist.
Tracy Starr is an artist working primarily in painting and drawing. Her work examines the boundaries between narrative and disorder, between reality and imagination.
Her subjects range from oceanscapes, to scarabs, to the figure. She approaches her dream-like subject matter with a carefully articulated depth blended with a colorful urgency, and just a touch of whimsy.
Starr’s work is derived from a process of intuition and discovery, where real-world artifacts become the basis for surrealistic images.
A creative since she could hold a crayon, Tracy works in many mediums, including oil, acrylic, steel, resin, plaster, clay, facepaint, and costuming. She has studied Fine Art at Columbia College and Viterbo University, as well as solo training from James Xavier Barbour Atelier.
Tracy has exhibited in dozens of group and solo shows throughout the United States, many in San Francisco, CA, where she lived for 14 years. She currently lives and works in Columbus, Ohio.
I paint to explore the boundaries between narrative and disorder, between reality and imagination. I am entranced by the delicate balance of beauty that emerges between the dark and the light, and work to weave stories that take my audience on that journey.
Beginnings are disordered. My work tells me what it wants to say versus starting from a preconceived image. I most often start with a background that is created in a chaotic and messy way: painting with my fingers, pouring paint, tempting gravity, employing masking materials, and using an airbrush, sans paint, to push the paint around. Then I sit and commune with these backgrounds and what wants to live there eventually emerges and a narrative is suggested. Sometimes it’s an image completely out of the blue, other times a drawing from one of my sketchbooks is brought to life.
Lately, I have been inspired by sea creatures. All of my Ocean Portals, and my surreal paintings, are done background first. My backgrounds have a galaxy or outer space feel and I’m compelled by the juxtaposition of outer space and the depths of the oceans.
Kind of like creating my own worlds, I let the feel and emotions of the final background command who or what gets to live there. I begin designing the sea creatures from source images but ultimately make creative tweaks to their appearance to make them even more whimsical.
I am captivated by the wild and alien-like creatures that dwell in the deep—creatures whose worlds I have inhabited, briefly, in the liminal zone of a diver. The sad environmental state of the ocean and its effect on its magnificent inhabitants breaks my heart; I feel that bringing the creatures to life in large scale works may help others appreciate the mystery of the seas and be inspired to protect them as well. To this end, I’ll be donating a portion of all proceeds to the Surfrider Foundation.