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Tracy Wandling

I started painting in February of 2006 and haven’t been able to stop. I am a self-taught artist. Being an art lover, I had a pretty good idea of what 'good' art was, so I read a couple of books, and then sat down with paper and paint and brush, and painted until what was ending up on the paper was what I had intended - or a close approximation. Watercolor is a medium that has to be experimented with constantly. New ideas can come out of new 'mistakes', and technique grows out of constant experimentation, and those happy accidents that we watch for. I never tire of watching a painting grow - from a photograph (or 12) to a drawing to a full blown piece of art that makes me clap my inner-child hands with joy, happy that I did it again!

I think growing up in northern British Columbia - where the growing season is short and winter-bare trees predominate the landscape for a large portion of the year - has shaped my painting styles somewhat. I love a painting with a lot of white space, leaving the viewer free to explore the subject without the extraneous information provided by background. Conversely, I also love to fill the paper with detail, creating a wild mix of color, form and shading that keeps the eye busy, and invites the viewer to climb inside and explore. But no matter what style I use, I love detail; especially the wonderful flaws and surprises found in nature.

I am drawn to the natural elements, in all their flawed beauty. I’m not trying to make people see things in a new way, or a different way, or my way. I just want to help people see; to really look. In all of my paintings, I invite the viewer to come in and crawl around and see nature up close and personal. And the next time they are walking down a city street or a country road, they might stop and see something in the natural world that they would not have noticed before. That is what I want my art to do.

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