Meet the Artist from Moongazey Art
I'm lucky to have one of her very beautiful framed hand painted moon gazing hares up in my craft studio.... I interviewed Tracey about being a fabulous British artist and would like to share with you all a look into the creative world of Moongazey Art.
"Moongazey was a name that found me as it encapsulated all that I love and am! Gazing up at a full moon, or just the velvety expanse of the night sky, is where I ponder on all of my thoughts and ideas. I am a dreamer, always have been, quietly sitting alone with a sketchbook and a mug of tea, lost in my own little universe. Happiest out amid the glories of nature...listening to the whisper of trees, treading the damp earth beneath my bare feet; running my hands over the surface of ancient stones and hearing their stories through my fingers; feeling the warmth of the sun leave tangled wisps of gold in my hair… then I am truly content. Of course I'm also bound in spirit to that magical, mysterious creature…my Muse...the dew hopper, the stubble stag, the one who seeks solitude. More active at night, a symbol of intuition and influenced by the lure of the moon, unpredictable, a wild soul that cannot be tamed. Two of my most treasured memories are of sharing a few honoured moments with these wild hares. Both appeared during periods of personal growth and were portents of success to me. So the name was waiting for me at a time when I needed something to believe in.
Initially, Moongazey Art was just a fleeting yearning many moons ago. I was on my art foundation year and had been told by a tutor that I lacked the drawing skills to be an illustrator. Far too sensitive at that age I took the advice to become a graphic designer without question. At art college I was the proverbial square peg, ever attempting an illustrative approach to briefs which was not well received. So, when during a recession I was made redundant from my first job, I took the bold (some may say rash) decision to leave that which hobbled my spirit and took a vocational training course in experimental archaeology...something I'd yearned to do since aged five when I was mesmerised by the fighting skeletons in "Jason & the Argonauts"! I had found my calling... As a child of nature and an avid historian I combined the two for many years, using my creativity to discover the past, through natural dyes and weaving, smelting, thatching, woodland management, and excavating our ancestors. In turn I used this knowledge to educate... in schools, universities, museums, on archaeological sites…and my beloved drawing was woven into everything, a continuous creative flow recording and enhancing my journey. Each day was a joy and I absorbed life through every pore into the very core of my being. So I slowly and painstakingly built a career out of what I loved. It wasn't easy...paid employment was rare and I survived solely on beans and passion! Then, just as I was almost there with steady work and a reasonable income my world changed.
I now look back on this event with more clarity but at the time the accident which left me unable to use my dominant arm, and particularly my hand, was a catastrophic moment. Of course I'm a leftie...the deviant, one who lurks in the liminality of light and dark, the shadow dweller… that dew hopper… It was a time of pain, of dark days, it hurt me physically and dampened my fire. I slowly crumpled in on myself like a discarded ball of paper. My mind closed off all thoughts of creativity, it actually hurt to see other's artwork...a vitriolic mixture of yearning and envy that poisoned my imagination until it shrivelled to nothing. I've always been stubborn so I carried on with my archaeology, focused my mind toward science and tried to retrain at university. It was too soon and my inability to write and think cohesively left me frustrated and struggling in a discipline I loved.
After a few more years of sporadic volunteering and dwelling in a deep pit of misery, I started following a few artists on Facebook. Their encouragement and friendship gave me the confidence to pick up a pencil again and, my therapy began! After a few wobbly starts, and having to change my style a little due to the constraints of my arm, a couple of commissions from lovely family and friends gave me the confidence to start Moongazey Art in April 2015. I now limit the size of my pieces as I cannot work on an easel. I have to rest my wrist on a table but it gives me the opportunity to draw my inspiration from the intricate detail I've always loved in work by artists and illustrators such as Rackham, Dulac, Klimt and contemporaries like Yerko, Jansson, Org. Pre-Raphaelite, Art Nouveau and Japanese art also figure highly in my influences. I adore artworks with a narrative, rich colours and flowing designs, even though drawing a curve is something I struggle with now. I also offer people and pet portraits and try to imbue an air of gentleness in the eyes as I believe this brings life to the subject.
Since Moongazey began I've moved counties and found reception work to supplement my drawing. It's a massive struggle financially and, often, emotionally, as it's frustrating having to deny the Muse when I have the day job. However, I'm not giving up! I have been working on collaborations with other artists and designers which have fueled my creativity and boosted my confidence a great deal. I'm hoping to make these inspirational experiments an ongoing venture.
My dream is...to draw and paint without the constraints of time, finances and lack of studio space… to make Moongazey Art work for me financially so I can live, not just survive. Not to stifle my freedom to draw what I feel but to enhance my imagination. I still ache to be outdoors when I'm trapped for my shift at work and I have a few health issues that could curtail my drawing at some point. Until then I'm still learning and living through my pencils and pens, being inspired by this amazing planet of ours and those creative individuals that share my passion."
You can visit Tracey's artwork on: