Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tracy Hall

Red Squirrel, 1.75" x 2.25" (4.45cm x 5.72cm)

Living in the remote Orkney Islands of Scotland for the past 20 years, Tracy Hall was very busy with commissioned art projects until 2007, when she had a revelation regarding her own art. As she puts it, "I saw potential paintings everywhere I went but always seemed to be filing them away to paint 'some day.' It was frustrating, until I realized that the only person who could make 'some day' arrive was me. So I made time." She gradually found a balance between her commission assignments and her personal work and feels both have benefited as a result.

Young Otters, 2" x 3" (5.08cm x 7.62cm)

Starting out with ACEOs because of limited time, she soon discovered the world of miniature painting -- where painstaking detail is not only embraced but encouraged -- and found it very liberating. Because of the incredibly small size (Tracy's miniature paintings are often 1.75" x 2.25" -- smaller than a standard business card in the U.S.) she works on smooth-surfaced Crescent rag board using a magnifying glass and fine-point brushes that range from size 3 down to 10/0. Although many people assume miniatures will be quick to paint because of their small size, Tracy has found that "if anything, the reverse is true -- I find the more I do the longer they are taking!" With her deep love of nature, birds and animals predominate in her work which is painted exclusively in watercolor using both transparent and opaque paints.

Red Admiral & Rook, 2.25" x 1.75"
(5.72cm x 4.45cm)

Within a year of starting to work in miniature, Tracy had won awards in all the miniature shows she entered in the UK and US, culminating with the prestigious once-in-a-lifetime Gold Memorial Bowl from the Royal Miniature Society in 2008, and she was awarded signature status in the Hilliard Society of Miniaturists (UK) in June 2009. Tracy recently completed a four-year collaboration on The Orkney Book of Birds, painting 50 full-color illustrations for the volume. She is a contributing artist to The Watercolor Flower Artist's Bible and The Watercolor Artist's Flower Handbook and was featured artist in Animal World magazine (US) in both 2005 and 2006. Tracy is included in a special feature on botanical artists in the June 2009 issue of Artists & Illustrators magazine (UK), which is also running a special feature on her miniature paintings in the forthcoming September issue, and she is currently writing an article on miniature art commissioned by Leisure Painter Magazine (UK) to appear in their October issue.

Inca Tern, 1.75" x 2.25" (4.45cm x 5.72cm)

Superb Starling, 2.25" x 3.25" (5.72cm x 8.26cm)

Please visit Tracy's blog to see more of her work. It's well worth your time to go from there to her website to see even more of her excellent work.