Tracy Girdler is from a grand lineage of artists, such as her great-great grandfather who began Crayola to help young children master drawing in colour. As part of her development as an artist, she studied art in Washington, USA and also worked as an intern at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. She draws upon her eclectic experiences from different cultures, first beginning during her family’s frequent moves around the globe, whilst she was growing up.
The work itself is abstract, with suggestions of figurative elements. The painterly surface is textures with sgraffito techniques, thick paint, staining and overlaying of transparent and opaque colours. The ideas behind her compositions seem to be about the physicality of paint and surface and an organic development of colour, tone and texture. Inspiration is taken from many sources and instigates the painting rather than controls the outcome.
Tracy H. Girdler
“They are not pictures or representations of any specific thing, but rather products of my vision, which I hope you will come to share. I want you to see what you find yourself, not what you are told to expect. When I paint, I often surprise myself with where I come out, but there is always a personal vision underlying the work. This does not conform to any particular rule or teaching, but rather springs from the creative urge.”
Her work appears ‘textile-like’ in the sense that the layers of colour remind me of weaving and also there is a scattered and fragmented pespective, with some works appearing like ariel images. There is also an energy and playful quality to the marks she makes, with rapid circles and lines.
Tracy H. Girdler “The process of creating a painting is in my case often a messy one: I may variously paint, let it dry, scrape some off, paint again, paint over, and use my fingers– whatever seems to be wanted.”
Some work has a touch of Rothko to it. Perhaps this association came to mind, when I read she had work on display at the Four Seasons Hotel Lobby In Boston, evident in the he defused bands of colour that cross the compositions.
Girdler seems an unpretentious artist, where she is keen to create artworks that respond to a the client’s space and where work can be hung to the client’s taste. For example, Girdler has an interesting take on commission based work, where she will visit the environment first, to get a feel of how the artwork will relate to the surrounding space. I also like the fact that you can rotate the images on her website to view it from different angles and even after the work has been hung, it can later be rotated to see the work afresh.
Tracy H. Girdler
“The underlying vision may arise from my experience– African landscapes, Rome’s history-soaked downtown, California’s broad, open beaches, the edge and grit of New York City– or from some recess of my mind. Each work, however, retains its own mystery and visual challenge, leaving it to you the viewer to find meaning and emotion as you will.”
Great review! Loved the research, description and analysis, especially your observation about the artist not being pretentious, it gave me a new way of thinking about art.
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Thanks for a great review and for introducing us to Tracy Girdler. I love the variety in this artist’s paintings – you can see how her international experiences have influenced her and given her many perspectives. I especially love the way she layers colors, finishes, textures – there is so much going on in the paintings. It is refreshing to have an artist not dictate how their art must be viewed. Thank you, Tracy Girdler, for allowing the viewer to experience and interpret your art in any way that the viewer desires. Although I very much like all of the artist’s work shown in this review, the last photo is my favorite. Bravo!