- Guest Artist -
Welcome to an interesting artist I recently interviewed. I got to know this talented guy when he sent me a great email after reading some of my books.
Welcome, Tracy ...
1. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR ARTISTIC JOURNEY.
I grew up in a small farming community. Art wasn’t generally looked upon as an option. I relied on music as my artistic art form. I currently play the guitar, ukulele, harmonica, didgeridoo and dulcimer. I played the piano, trombone and drums as well.
It wasn’t until I got into college that I took my first art course. It was my favourite class. Sculpting, painting, etc. However, I still focused on a business degree and relied on art has a hidden hobby.
I draw a lot in pencil and charcoal. I also like Aboriginal work. So I’ve even tried painting Aboriginal type paintings. Growing up in the country and being a “manly man” I’ve taken up sculpting with a chainsaw. I also do wood carvings.
I particularly enjoy doing ethnic/cultural type art. For my chainsaw carvings I like doing Hawaiian Tikis and Totem Poles. I like painting Aboriginal dot works. I like drawing people such as street performers. I even like tying Flies, which I think is a fine art in itself. I think you get the picture as to what I like.
I keep a blog and put all the stuff I work on there. I do have my few followers, as well as family members and friends who like to keep up with what I am doing.
Here is a link to my blog.
2. WERE YOU GOOD AT DRAWING AS A KID?
Not really, or at least not that I am aware of.
3. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ARTIST?
I moved to Sydney from America when I was 30. I had a fairly stressful technology job. So I decided to take a drawing class as a way to destress once a week after work. It was a charcoal and graphite drawing class. It was from that point on, 20 years ago when I was 30 that changed my life? I like drawing people, such as portraits, urban settings with people, etc. Since then I look and see things much differently. I appreciate my surroundings much more.
4. WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ARTIST?
Finding the time in everyday life to do it. I am also very critical of my work. And knowing when to stop working on the drawing or sculpture is a challenge.
5. DO YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF, OTHERS OR BOTH?
I work for a technology company. About as far away from art as you can get. But I work near Circular Quay, so I go out at lunch and sketch some of the street performers. I also commute 1.5 hours each day from the Central Coast in NSW to Sydney every day. So when it’s not too crowded I pull out my moleskin notebook and sketch folks on the train. Secretly…so they don’t think I’m some sort of weirdo.
6. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
My greatest personal achievement is raising 3 beautiful daughters and having a successful marriage. As you can imagine they have all had drawn at one point or another. I used my middle daughter as the icon on my blog.
7. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Greatest art form of all…brewing beer. I thought I would have a go at that.
Besides that, I’ve been sketching an accordion busker at Circular Quay. And just finished an Aboriginal type painting. https://sites.google.com/site/tracysartroom/other-projects
8. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEDIUM?
Graphite for drawing and a nice big Gum tree for carving.
9. WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The talent that some people have is amazing. Every day I look at works people have done and posted on Pinterest and Facebook. It amazes me how talented some people are. It also inspires me to continue with my art when people comment positively on works I’ve done. I’ve been on the train where people have been observing me while I draw and then meet up with me before they get off and tell me how wonderful it is. That makes me feel good. My harshest critics are my family.
10. WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO PAINT OR DRAW?
I like drawing because I can do it anywhere. I just pull out a sketchpad and pencils and then I’m good to go. I always have a pencil and notepad with me. I do like to go back and touch up my drawings later by adding water colours to them.
Here is some of the stuff in my notebook: https://sites.google.com/site/tracysartworld2/my-drawing-pad
11. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING ARTISTS?
Just do it as much as possible. It’s amazing how much better you get with practice. And don’t listen to the critics. There are more people who critique your art that could never produce what you do.
12. DO YOU SUFFER FROM ARTIST’S BLOCK?
At times. Generally that happens when I doubt my abilities.
13. DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE?
Usually late at night when the rest of the family is in bed.
14. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE TO WORK?
I like drawing at the beach. There are a lot of people to draw at the beach. Below is a couple of 5 minute sketches from the beach. You can also find me sitting in a corner of my house with my headphones on and a bottle of beer.
15. WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
When I think I’m done and I look at it and say to myself, “Yep, that’s good.”
16. WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST / ILLUSTRATOR AND WHY?
I don’t have a favourite, as I like so many different artists. However, the few that stand out is:
Steve Barton – He is an American painter who paints tropical scenery. But he uses a wavy frame. It’s cool, check it out here… http://bartonstudios.com/. I also really like a young Aboriginal painter, Chern'ee Sutton, http://www.cherneesutton.com.au/
Other painters I like include Linda MacAulay, John Patrick Dynon, and the old greats, i.e. Vincent van Gogh
Drawing, I like J. D. Hillberry, Darrel Tank and Henri Matisse.
17. WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
I received an email from someone who visited my blog and they said that I inspired them to start drawing.
18. WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED?
I don’t remember. More than likely I probably didn’t give a crap what they said.
19. WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
No. I just really like people, their faces, expressions and actions. I don’t generally have lots of friends. Just a lot of acquaintances. I like to study people. I grew up in a small town. Not too many people in the town. There weren’t many kids in my school either. So…maybe yes, that is what influenced me in my life and the desire to observe people.
20. HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
No. I’m more of a closet hobbyist. I don’t really want to pay someone an entry fee to have them tell me my stuff isn’t as good as everyone else’s.
21. OTHER THAN DRAWING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Music. My house has a lot of music. My whole family plays violin, Sax, Guitar, Uke, Piano, Harmonic, Dulcimer and singing.
22. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ALL WORLD LEADERS IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY?
Get in touch with the people. Most of our leaders have never experienced life the way most people do and just don’t understand what the common person goes through on a daily basis. So they have no idea what’s in the best interests of the people they represent.
23. DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Wake up to a nice warm day where I can walk out on my porch with a cup of coffee and hear the birds and the ocean. Then spend as much time with my family as possible doing the things we love together. We draw, paint, fish, knit, play music together, and go to the beach for sunset picnics… wait a second, most of my days are perfect. Now if I could just get rid for commuting to the city and going to work, it would be perfect.
24. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Not sure. We’ll see wherever life decides to take me. It’s been an awesome journey so far.
25. HAVE YOU MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY?
Yes. I’ve met great musicians and artists. Many influential politicians, and many other folks. Some of the greatest people I have met on the train. Just the average person on their way home from work who are willing to have a chat. I only hope they feel the same way about me.
26. HOW DO YOU PROMOTE YOURSELF?
Word of mouth, Facebook groups and my website.
27. DO YOU MENTOR OTHERS?
My kids. They are very artistic. So I give them tips and tricks and keep encouraging them. There are also people I have worked with who shared the desire to draw and I persuaded them to take it up and then kept encouraging them to continue.
28. DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR?
No. Just YouTube, Pinterest and artist friends on Facebook. It’s amazing what you can learn on YouTube.
29. ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
The world would be a much better place if there were more artists, musicians and authors.
“Everything always works out for best. Sometimes it may not seem like it. But if you wait long enough….it will.” – Tracy Dumpert
“People come into your life for a reason, a season or lifetime. When you figure out which it is you’ll know exactly what to do.” –From a great author…sound familiar??
MORE OF TRACY'S WORK
Clancy's comment: Thank you, Tracy. Great work. Very clever. Your Aboriginal paintings are excellent. Nice final quote by the way. Sounds very familiar. Oh, I just love homemade beer. Just sayin'.