Artist I Designer I Tutor I
Australian born artist Tracey Creighton knew early in life she was destined for a career in art. At 16 years of age, she attended the Queensland College of Art, completing a three year course in Commercial Illustration. Tracey went on to work as a graphic artist and in January 1982 opened Queensland’s first private graphic art college in Brisbane, then another campus on the Gold Coast in 1989.
Her college – The Commercial Art Training Centre later known as CATC (under new ownership since 1995), is still the longest running private graphic art college in Australia, and students are employed in the advertising and graphic arts industry all over the world.
It was after spending 20 years as a graphic artist/educator that she began oil painting classes in Melbourne at the Doncaster Templestowe Art Society. This brought about a whole new direction in her artistic life. When she relocated to the United States in 1997, having now discovered a love for painting, she promptly enrolled in classes at the local community college and trained with a prominent contemporary artist, Chris Gwaltney.
Tracey’s first solo exhibition was in Newport Beach, California which consisted of 27 oil paintings completed during her time in America. Since returning to Australia in 1998, she has held exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Mildura, Merimbula, Canberra and Hamilton Island – Queensland, where she was also invited to teach art classes to guests and staff at the resort. She has held numerous solo exhibitions within her own studio gallery – Boardwalkart in Merimbula where she resided for 18 years, as well as contributing to joint and group shows on the Far South Coast. Tracey continues to develop her style and technique, exploring the unlimited capabilities of oil, acrylic, watercolour and mixed medium, with each painting reflecting a vibrant kaleidoscope of colour.
In keeping with her love of teaching she continues to run private art classes and group workshops at her home in Tura Beach on the Far South Coast of NSW and also interstate.
Artist’s Statement I Tracey Creighton
When painting I draw on my own personal experiences – spiritual, emotional and physical. Each piece is influenced by that experience, albeit the use of colour, texture, form, design or some other intrinsic elements. Whilst I work mostly in oils and acrylic, I have in more recent years introduced fibre/ textiles into my paintings which has seen the immersion of myself in what seems to be ‘endless’ possibilities of mixed media.
I don’t purposefully set out to paint anything in particular but rather allow the painting process to take me on an exquisite journey. That journey may be guided by my mood or my desire to capture a moment in time, a feeling or perhaps a place I have visited. Moulding myself into my artwork, finding myself one with the paint, I intuitively choose each element, freeing my mind of all thoughts other than where the painting dares me to go. It is with unabashed excitement I view the blank canvas before me and with great gusto I launch myself into the unknown.
Excitedly I watch as each piece evolves though the layering of paint, mediums, textiles and texture allowing the artwork its own personality and unwritten words to speak. I am in love with the creative process. My artistic journey has now spanned forty years and today I am still as excited about being ‘on the road that never ends’, as I was when I was sixteen attending my first day at art college. I expect the coming decade to reveal new works with strong imagery and design, drawing on my cultural, life and travel experiences to create ever-changing works of art that reflects to the viewer a sense of mystery, wonder and beauty.
Influences: To my beloved grandmother – Olive Howell who lived with my family since the time of my birth. Throughout my childhood and teenage years I watched her paint, until she was 83 years of age and near blind with cataracts. It was she who introduced me oil paint and watercolour, and to the works of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Hans Heysen, whose paintings are indelibly etched on my mind.