My work is about people. I work with imagery that depicts and narrates moments in time. These are glimpses of figures moving about hurriedly, or stopped to greet an acquaintance, or paused to acknowledge a disruption. I leave gender, race, and age hazy and uncertain. At times these bodies interact with the viewer provoking unexplained emotion. I find inspiration through observations of my surroundings; community members, friends, especially the women in my family. I introduce my subjects when I see an opportunity. The characters are introduced through rigorous drawings, an approach that begins with broad movements of my arms, brush in hand. A large mirror is essential to my process. It allows me to reference my own features when working with the figure.
I work in oils, acrylics, charcoal and graphite. Thin layers of color overlap, and paint is drawn and sketched vigorously across and up and down as I manipulate images that appear through the paint. I dive right in, the next mark steering my next decision. I abandon my subjects drawing my attention to the negative spaces. Cutting in with my fan brush I make quick decisions, sculpting with paint. Patterns, blocks of color, noting current styles, finally the last moments consciously I forget about a focal point. Standing back I evaluate the work as a whole.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
As a native of rural Missouri, Tracy’s artistic roots grew from a family of craftsmen and artisans. She is a seasoned interdisciplinary artist with a focus on painting. After receiving her B.F.A. in painting and drawing from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, Tracy attended The Art Institute of Chicago where she completed the Post Baccalaureate certificate program. In Chicago she completed her first private, public art project for the St. Louis Metro Link station, which she completed in 1993. During this time she began exhibiting her paintings and started a decorative arts service business called Studi-O (now TOHArts). She completed projects for The John G. Shedd Aquarium, The University of Pennsylvania, Jelly Belly Candy Co., Warner Brothers, The Cliff dweller’s Club, Art and Soul restaurant-Washington D.C., The Garfield Park Conservatory, Ralph Lauren, and Sonova. She has received a Chicago Arts Assistance Program grant award.
In 2017 she carved and painted a tree for Chicago Sculpture International and The Chicago Tree Project. Her paintings are representational and most associated with representing an every-day genre, from exploring the mundane aspects of daily life to the extraordinary events that we all can identify with. Her work is collected by private collectors nationally and internationally in corporate and public spaces. Tracy lives and works in Chicago’s E. Garfield park neighborhood in the Carroll Avenue Arts District with her husband and two children.
© Tracy Ostmann Haschke