This week we are so excited to showcase the work of artist Tracey Fletcher King as part of our affordable contemporary art range at The Arthouse Collective. Tracey, is an amazing watercolour artist, who has recently moved towards lino printing and we are absolutely loving her new work. She hand carves and hand prints all of her works allowing her to make limited editions of work, each individual and original. ‘Hand printing is such an immediate and intimate way of creating a print. Each one will be slightly different according to the ink roll, the pressure I apply, or the wear and tear on the block.’
‘I always wanted to be in art somehow so I studied it at uni and then went on to spend years teaching art in a secondary school and dabbled with selling my work and taking commissions, but it just never really came together and I was pretty over it all. I then took a break of ten years which we spent travelling for my husband’s job and being on the road with a baby, then toddler didn’t exactly make it easy to create art. When we returned home my daughter started school and I started to dabble again, but between studying for my Master’s degree in art education while also teaching art part time privately and in a school or two, meant there was little time. When I finished my masters I took time away from work and tried to find my style and exhibited in a few places and sort of dabbled and did lots of things but never really found my groove. I was selling my work a bit online, and in different outlets but never had the confidence to really push it or trust my personal style and it was all a bit hit and miss and a bit of a mess if I am honest.
In 2013 all of that changed when I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and given a very grim diagnosis and a scarily short timeline. I made a deal with myself during a very long year of treatment which involved more crap than I ever thought I would be able to cope with, that if I got through it I would give art a go and spend time doing something that I loved and create art that I liked rather than thinking about what would sell etc. After what I had faced during that gruelling year, a bit of rejection hardly seemed like a good enough reason to not do what I loved and it was time to believe in my art. Treatment was tough and I was quarantined for much of it so I was pretty isolated but drawing and painting really got me through that tough time.
Happily when I came out the other side and while I continue to beat the odds I had been given I jumped in and started putting my work out there on Instagram and saying yes to work opportunities that came my way. Within six months of starting to say yes I had illustration work coming in regularly and my confidence grew the more work I did, and so I started getting more into my own work and also selling online, and then I also started teaching an online class, which has expanded to three classes and now 2 years after finishing treatment I spend all week working creatively as an artist, an illustrator and as an art teacher. So for me out of the hardest of times came a courage to stop worrying about failing and just give it a go, and I knew if I could get through that year of treatment I could make art my career.’
The Arthouse Collective x Tracey Fletcher King:
Tracey’s was one of the first artist we found when we first went out looking for artists to be apart of our online platform. Her work caught our eye straight away. The bold use of royal blue on the crisp white paper and the intricate details of her carving got us excited. It was later, when we got to know Tracey, that we realised not only is she an amazing artist but an inspiration as well (and a great cook). Through a challenging time, Tracey was able to create beautiful art and we are so happy to be able to showcase it on our site. She has created a series of 3 large, blue and white lino prints of beautiful Chinese urns for The Arthouse Collective. Her series will be available for preorder in a couple of weeks, before we officially launch our first range of affordable contemporary art early next year. Keep an eye out for sneak peaks, these works are truely amazing.
A little Q&A with Tracey:
Where are you from?
I am lucky enough to have grown up in Wynnum, on the doorstep of Moreton Bay, which meant lots of time on boats and out on the water growing up.
Where are you living now?
After lots of travelling and living in different places we have ended up where we started back where I started in Wynnum.
What’s your favourite colour?
Blue… always blue in any and every form.
What’s your favourite food?
Passionfruit … didn’t have to think about that one!
What is your dream as an artist? What’s your ultimate goal? Your dream job?
I am a creator and a maker, not so much a marketer and quite frankly am rubbish at business so my dream job is to just create and make art that I love and have it out there in whatever form it takes while having people take care of the other stuff. I dream of all day in the studio, I dream of an endless supply of tea and I would love to have a studio that is bigger than 3 x 3 metres, and to not have to print on the dining room table… and maybe even have a press one day… and more inks… and more lino… and more blue and white china to make prints based on… and more hours in the day.