Striving for Quality Over Process with Tracy Fetter

Striving for Quality Over Process with Tracy Fetter

February 20, 2019

Tracy Fetter uses saturated jewel tones, metallic glimmer, and complex patterns to create bold semi-abstract paintings. Her uniquely textured and luminous paintings express messages of love and hope.

Tracy Fetter lives in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. Her work has been shown in the online versions of Architectural Digest and People Magazine. She was selected for the “Hearts in San Francisco” 2016 by the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation. Her many exhibitions in California include Triton Hotel, Misho Gallery, and Modern Eden Gallery, among many other venues.

Her light-filled, rhythmic and vibrant art work has captured the hearts of viewers and collectors around the globe. Her goal is to bring more joy to the world.

"Sapphire", Tracy Fetter, Acrylic on Canvas, 122cm x 122cm, 2017


What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?

The powerful ability one single work of art has to allow anyone to escape reality.

How would you describe your own personal style?

Colorful, sparking, accepting.

What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?

My earlier paintings are more representational being a mother greatly changed my ability to focus. The loud mom alarm in my head loosened up my work and allowed me to enjoy the briefer moments that I get to go into my own head and paint, so I have had to strive for quality over process. I am significantly happier with my more abstract paintings.

What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?

I love creating things. Daily stress motivates me to take time and ease the stress by creating something that is beautiful and unique.

Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?

Not really, but when I was in high school I failed drivers ed and was going on the school trip to the east coast. The highlight of the trip for me was the first blockbuster exhibit of Paul Klee at the MOMA. I think the teacher chaperones drew straws to see who had to take me. It was Mr. White the drivers ed teacher. It was in the days before audio exhibit tours. Mr. White and I were forced to talk. To my surprise, I became very knowledgeable about modern art and I was the teacher and Mr. White the student. Mr. White said this to me, “Tracy I was wrong about you. You are not the difficult idiot I had thought you were. You are very smart--you just don’t have the normal desire to drive a car.” Up until that time it had never occurred to me that older people can change their perceptions. We are all capable of learning and making friends if we stay open.

When it comes to creating your work, do you have a preferred medium, certain types of brushes or tools you love to use?

Yes, I either start with the canvas and ask it what color it wants to be, or I start with the color and it tells me it’s preferred size and shape.

When it comes to the subject matter of your work, what draws you to those themes?

Color. Only once have I refused to listen to a color. From November of 2016 to this last November I was irrationally mad at gold. I directed my hate of Trump to gold. Trump is not gold’s fault.

Could you describe the process behind your art? How do you get from concept to execution?

Dreaming and time blocking.

"Blanca", Tracy Fetter, Acrylic on Canvas,  91.5cm x 61cm, 2018


Could you describe your normal day as an artist? Have you set routines and rituals or is a more a case of when the moment is right you work?

I time block and also allow for spontaneous creation.

When you work, do you focus on one piece at a time until completion or are you working on multiple pieces at the same time?

I focus on the details of one but will prepare other canvases between layers.

How has your art evolved to be where it is today?

It went from representational mosaic style, to flowers, to abstract color fields.

Which of your artworks are you most proud off?

The heart that I painted for the San Francisco General Hospital’s Hearts in SF.

Is there a fellow artist alive today that you admire? If so, why?

My friend Matt Pipes. We went to high school together he has kept his authenticity.

If you could travel back in time, is there a particular artistic period / era that you would like to have been involved in?


What challenges do you feel the 21st century artist has to overcome?

The ever changing world of marketing and gallery representation.

What advice would you give to a young aspiring artist currently studying art?

Do what makes you happy because you will live with it, and store it, while is waiting to sell or show.

"Paul", Tracy Fetter, Acrylic on Canvas, 91.5cm x 91.5cm, 2018 


Despite having developed your own distinctive style, is there another style of art that you are immediately drawn towards and admire? Why?

I really like the Bauhaus and Dutch Masters because they were self-aware enough to push change.

We have all heard of the unfinished masterpiece, even Da Vinci laboured away at the Mona Lisa for years and years, have you works that are in a continual process of evolution? When working on an artwork do you find it hard to let go? Knowing when enough is enough?

No. It’s rare for me to feel something is incomplete if I have spent enough time on it. I think I am guilty of adding more than it really needs.

Many people see artists as storytellers or advocates for a cause, do you believe that it is an artist’s responsibility to shine a light on a particular subject / theme, or do you create purely for the sake of expression your creative nature?

No. I do artwork purely for the expression of creating something I think has value. I have never had one artwork change me. Artists and professors have changed me. I think if someone lives by example and it’s not hypocritical then they can influence people.

What are you working on at the moment?


Have you ever been part of an artistic group / movement? How did your work benefit from that experience?

Not that I am aware of, but maybe someday that might be my legacy -- happy artists. I have had collectors years later tell me they are still very happy with my artwork.

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