Q&A – Visual Artist Tracie Solomon
Solomon gears up to display her colour-filled canvasses at the Toronto Art Expo
Ask Tracie Solomon to describe herself as an artist and she’ll tell you she’s an abstract explosionist. (Take one look at her works of art and you’ll know why.) The Vaughan teacher and mother of two is gearing up for the Toronto Art Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (April 19 to 22) – the first time her unique, colour-filled, engaging canvasses will be displayed among other artists’ work. “My art is all about breathing life into flat spaces,” she says. “I use acrylic paint, plaster and resin to create dimension, texture, light and lustre, and am inspired by the colours that pop into my life.” It’s this inspiration that led her to create Colour-Pops, which feature materials she finds in her studio and reuses.
Lisa Goldman: Describe your art
Tracie Solomon: I never really think of my art as having to be a balanced part of my life. It somehow finds its way there. It’s an essential component to fuel the passion behind its creation. And when I’m finished a piece, I get the energy to fulfill other equally gratifying aspects of my life like mothering and teaching.
LG: What are Colour-Pops made of?
TS: No baker gives away her secret ingredients. Beyond the obvious paint, my pieces are composed of anything and everything that helps meet the criteria of making a creation that has dimension, lustre, colour and a sense of life. I reuse of materials that would otherwise be deemed not useable. That is my artistic challenge – to discover the materials and techniques to breath life into a flat space.
LG: What role does art play in your home?
TS: Whenever I move to a new home, the first thing I ensure is that I have a great workspace conducive for creating. I believe you can measure an artist's passion by the contents of their workspace. For me, the visual effect of hundreds of bottles of paints, brushes and other not-so-traditional means of applying paint serve as both inspiration and inner calm.
LG: Does a love of art run in your family?
TS: My childhood home resonated with creativity in many forms. My father’s (a talented artist and man of science) paintings hung all over the house. My mother has a sophisticated eye for décor, and she’s a gourmet cook and baker. When I was a teenager my father spent a lot of time submersing me in his passion for the arts. I vividly remember the time he taught me to lift watercolour paint off paper with a sponge to create an illuminating effect over a lake we had painted. Probably the most important thing my father conveyed to me was the notion that nothing in art is ever wrong. That has always been and has remained my artistic mantra.
LG: And where does your inspiration come from?
TS: I am inspired by any and everything that crosses my path. Another art piece doesn’t necessarily serve as my only inspiration. It can be as simple as the shades of green on a leaf that must take centre stage of the next creation. I have an insatiable thirst to see just how just about anything can be infiltrated into my art world.
Tracie’s work can be found at www.customizedcanvas.ca