Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracy Miller.
Tracy, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have been an artist since I was a little girl! I got my bachelor’s degree in Applied Design and have been creating art as a full-time artist ever since. Early in my career I earned money by selling my work directly to patrons at outdoor Arts Festivals including the Sedona Arts Festival. Back then I was a silk painter and created petroglyph inspired wall art and wearables. After exhausting what I felt I could with the medium and subject matter I turned back to painting with acrylics on canvas. By this time, I was yearning to paint animals again like I did as a young girl, mainly horses, and wildlife such as elk, bighorn sheep, bison etc. The bright silk dyes definitely influenced my color palette with my animal art as the bold brushwork and bright color grab attention.
I started painting these animals in 2008 and not long after secured representation with Wilde Meyer Gallery which has locations in Scottsdale and Tucson. I’ve also been juried in and shown at the Mountain Oyster Club show now for several years as well. After leaving Wilde Meyer I showed my work in Sedona at the Great Southwest and am now represented at Cowbells and the Deer Snake Gallery in Cave Creek. About 4 years ago a publishing company contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in licensing my work to the print market. I’m so glad I said yes. My animals and now my dog portrait paintings have become well known throughout the world and have brought me many commissions to paint people’s beloved pets!
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
First of all I may have covered some of that in the previous question, but I paint with joy and color and strive to capture the essence of the animal I’m painting. The bright colors and expressions make people just plain happy! And it makes me happy to have this purpose, through my art bring some joy to people’s walls. And to commemorate a loved dog, cat or horse and give them a beautiful memory.
In reality I’m truly rooted in realism, you wouldn’t believe the number of pencil portraits I did as a very young woman, so even though the work I create now is colorful and a bit pop art, I really know my animal confirmation. I grew up with horses in on an urban farm where my parents had us raising cows, pigs and chickens. I also love all wildlife and have always made a point to study all animals.
I paint with acrylic paints and brushes, using techniques most oil painters use. Biggest difference is acrylic dries fast and with all the layering I do, it doesn’t have a chance to turn into mud. I mainly paint on stretched canvas but will work on cradle board, sometimes the really hard wood surface translates better.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I think in many ways it’s easier, the internet certainly has done that. Artists can create a business and market it online, but the downside is there are too many artists it seems, at least compared to when I first got started.
Artists need affordable places to live as our income can be a little unpredictable if we are totally self-employed.
I think cities and states both can help the arts by offering tax incentives, promote art through their chambers and visitor bureaus and even buy art for city funded projects.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
On my website www.tracymillerfineart.com and at the following galleries. Cowbells and the Deer Snake Gallery, Cave Creek AZ. Seaside Gallery, Pismo Beach, CA. Western Stars Studio & Gallery, Lyons, CO www.Ugallery.com
- Website: www.tracymillerfineart.com
- Phone: 7196500827
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @tracymillerfineart
- Facebook: Tracy E Miller
All images copyright Tracy Miller, photography by Eric Murphy and Brie Filler.