As Within So Without by Tracy Lewis
Watercolor artist Tracy Lewis has new work at La Luz de Jesus Gallery as part of a group show running from July 7th to 30th 2017. The blurb from the group show is below:
Tracy works primarily in transparent watercolor, layering luminous glazes of pure hue to give everything a candy coating of Easter-like color. Inspired by a collection of curiosities, along with a love of fairy tales, Art Nouveau and Old Hollywood Glamour, Tracy creates portraits of ephemeral beauty, often in a contradiction of disquiet and harmony; the compassionate femme fatale. “I am fascinated with the interconnectedness of all things, the strength, and fragility of our world, the duality of nature. The metamorphosis of life and death, the beauty of it all captures my imagination. By listening to nature’s incantations, I hope to portray in my work some of these delicate and unseen forces that surround us” states Lewis.
Transcendent by Tracy Lewis
The description “a candy coating of Easter-like color” appears on Lewis’ own website a number of times, which means that she either wrote the blurb herself, or the gallery borrowed it from her (a very common practice). Oddly, that’s exactly what I wouldn’t say about her work because I don’t think it quite gives credit to the strange intensity of her figures (her daughter, Gretchen Lewis, is the model).
Easter, Ostara, the Spring Equinox, whatever you want to call it, is when the word starts to come back to life in a blush of hesitant color. The colors are pale – completely consistent in palette for this selection – yes, but they’re also contemporary. Almost painfully contemporary and grounded so much in the now; after all, Pantone’s colors for 2016 were Rose Quartz and Serenity, the exact color schemes of all of these watercolors. Or is it more ‘millennial pink‘? Many of the pieces boast peonies, the official flower of Instagram. Art Nouveau and Old Hollywood Glamour don’t come to mind for me one bit, and I love it, because these pieces don’t feel old or backward-looking.
In the group show they aren’t in a sea of similar pieces, the fragility of the color scheme makes them leap out. While other artists seem frantic, angry, and consumed with the ugliness of consumer society, Lewis’ work is – to borrow the title of the piece to the left – Transcendent. It doesn’t strike be as ars gratia artis, but more showing the mystical spirituality in nature.