Artist Interview: Tracey Ellis-Guss

Who are you and how long have you been an artist?
I am Tracey Ellis-Guss.  I have been an artist for about 35 years, but it is only in the last 3 years that I have made a concerted effort to get my work out into the world. So as far as showing my work is concerned, I am a newbie. I just had my first solo show in July.

What medium(s) do you work in & why?
There isn’t any type of medium that I won’t try working in. Lately I have been doing a lot of mixed media work. It began with the series “The Women” that is on display at Aromatic. These are combinations of watercolor, acrylic and ink. Now with my new series of work “Always Beautiful” I am branching out further and combining other mediums- photographs, collage, wire and thread.

What is your creative process like?
The work at Artomatic is chanced based work. I allow the medium to dictate what the image will be. So each piece began without any concept of what it would turn out to be. The watercolor was applied and combined on the surface (most often Canvas) and allowed to dry. Then I look to see if an image presents itself to me. If I see something, I develop it.

What is the best art-related advice you’ve received?
Just do something. Don’t allow yourself to stagnate. Even if something you try doesn’t work out, it may lead you somewhere else. Creativity is a muscle, you have to work it, to keep it strong.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?
Time. I work as a teacher and it can be challenging to arrange time for my own work and balance the responsibilities of teaching and family life.

Choose one piece that you currently have on display at Artomatic and tell the story of that piece:

"Lady" by Tracy Ellis-Guss

“Lady” by Tracy Ellis-Guss

This Painting “Lady” is a mixed media work using Watercolor, High Flow Acrylic, and Acrylic based inks. This was one of the first mixed media works I did incorporating acrylics with the watercolor. This was also the first to use metallic watercolors and acrylics. I feel these give the image a special depth and add life and energy.
Being that the series is based in the chance arrangement of the medium to create the image, I have always felt that the subjects were like visitors. They have come to see me and tell me something about themselves through their image. The few watercolor and ink pieces done prior to this had been nudes or portrait like images. “Lady” emerged dressed, with an air of reserve to her. A very proper young woman down to her high buttons shoes, which although you can’t see, you just know are there.

What is your favorite part of the Artomatic experience so far?
This is my first AOM event. The people have been great and the artists I have spoken with have been so friendly and full of useful advice. And of course seeing other artist work is very inspiring.

What is your website (or other method of contact):

You can see more of Tracey’s work on display at Artomatic 2015 on the third floor, space 5-051.