TRACEY CREIGHTON Artist | Designer | Tutor
My interest in art began early in life. Needless to say I was ecstatic when at sixteen years of age I was accepted into the Queensland College of Art. I completed a three year course in Commercial Illustration and went on to being employed in the advertising industry as a graphic artist.
My beloved grandparents lived with us from the time of my birth and it was my grandmother who taught me to paint. Throughout my childhood and teenage years I watched her create oil paintings until she was 83 years of age and near blind with cataract. It was she who introduced me to the works of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Hans Heysen, whose paintings are indelibly etched on my mind.
In January 1982, after seeing a need in the industry for better trained commercial artists, I established Queensland’s first private graphic art college in Brisbane, then another campus on the Gold Coast in 1989. The college was called the Commercial Art Training Centre but later became known as CATC Design School. I sold the college before moving to America in 1997. It’s still going strong today and is now the longest established private graphic art college in Australia, operating for 40 years with campuses in Brisbane, Gold Coast and now Sydney and Melbourne.
After enjoying the first twenty years of my art career as a graphic designer and art educator, I began oil painting classes. It was an exciting new change which brought about a whole new direction in my artistic life. So when I arrived in USA in 1997, having discovered a love for painting, I promptly enrolled in art classes at the local community college.
My first solo art exhibition was in Newport Beach, California and consisted of 27 oil paintings. Since then I have held solo and group exhibitions in Sydney, Melbourne, Mildura, Merimbula, Canberra and Hamilton Island – Queensland, where I was also invited to teach art classes to guests and staff at the resort. This second twenty year phase of my art career has been all about creating original works of art, testing my painting skill whilst exploring various mediums and techniques. It’s been about developing my own style, as well as helping others develop their individual style of painting through my private classes and workshops.
2013 saw Graeme Stevenson from ‘Put Some Colour in Your Life’ TV series invite me to feature on his international television program. It was a wonderful opportunity to show my art to the world and inspire others to get creative with paint. You can view the video on my home page or click HERE.
My artistic journey has now spanned more than 45 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.
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 through 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. 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.