Tracy Melton is a full time artist based in Knoxville, TN. He has sold thousands of paintings in the past ten years. His work has recently been published by Mcgraw-Hill publishing and featured on, “The Martha Stewart Show” this past March.
His work is a expression of what he sees while hiking and camping in the Appalachian Mountains. It is based on how nature develops, grows, dies, then starts again. Tracy says, ” I like to engage in a nonverbal conversation about nature with the viewer through my paintings. They make me think abstractly about the process of life. I think my paintings look really cool!. If I don’t why should I expect you to?”
Tracy is inspired by objects found in nature, wet river rocks, the insides of trees, wildflowers, spots on salamanders, negative spaces, clear mountain creek water, fungus, patterns on rattlesnakes, mosses, lichens on rocks, smells on a summer night, rain that pours straight down in the evening at night in June, the lushness of the Smoky Mountains in July, looking at creek bottoms while under water, creatures under rocks, Tennessee in the cool green spring, the grand canyon in winter, and wide open spaces.
Hello. My name is Tracy Melton. I am single and have had many dogs throughout my life, and only one cat I could stand. My last dog was amazingly smart, but not smart enough to come home when the strangers would give him love, so unfortunately he lives under someone else’s roof now. Its sad, but that was long ago.
If I described myself in ten words or less, I would choose three; caring, funny, and human. A day in the life of Tracy Melton consists of waking and drinking coffee. I don’t really like the way it makes me feel, but I really enjoy it. Why don’t I drink decaf you might ask? I don’t know. Its like drinking n/a beer. I just don’t enjoy it as much knowing that it isn’t giving me some kind of buzz.
After I get all geeked out on caffeine, I clean myself up and think about the day ahead while doing it. Have I lost you yet? Sure I have. So, lets just skip to the good stuff: CREATING ART!!!! It’s what I do everyday!! It is my job, my passion and what I was put on this planet to do. When I leave this world my paintings will be around for hundreds, perhaps thousands of more years after me. Knowing this makes me wish I could stick around to see what becomes of my work. Will it be lost? Will it be in some new museum 500 years from know in Iran? Who knows. Hopefully I will find out after I am gone somehow.
Some of my favorite websites are re-nest.com, fecalface.com and Etsy.com. I know fecalface sounds strange, but it is a great website about art. When I lived in L.A I would check it out to keep up to date on art openings, and I still check it at least once a week. You should too.
I started painting when I was a baby just like everyone else. Except I never gave it up. It is something I craved. In 3rd grade I would get upset because this really smart girl in my class always blew me out of the water when it came to academics, but when art class rolled around I just loved kicking her ass at painting!! That’s how it was all through grammar/high school. I sucked at everything except art. I was the best at art.
I attended the Columbus College of Art in Columbus, Ohio. After that I thought I needed to go out and find a “real” job. After a few failed attempts with desk jobs using Auto Cad software, I just started painting and eating bread and water. I knew I could make a living at painting. I also knew it would be very difficult, but I feel like I have persevered. Some of my clients include Martha Stewart and Mcgraw-Hill. I have been in many different publications over the past few years and currently show my work in galleries across the nation.
My recent body of work includes many landscapes (I do a lot of traveling so its only natural for me to paint what I see) and a series of paintings I call the ‘Tree Ring” series. The series is made up of colorful concentric circles painted on wood and inspired by the growth rings inside of trees I would see on backpacking trips in the Appalachian Mountains. Some are painted on manufactured board, some are painted on cut pieces of Red Elm that I cut down with a chainsaw in my parents woods in Northern Indiana. Lately I have started to incorporate the Tree Ring paintings in with my landscapes and my non-objective abstract paintings.
I love design and I feel like I have a eye for it. Especially interior design. A few years ago I remodeled two large log cabins in the mountains near the Great Smoky Mountains N.P. in Tennessee. They turned out to be some of the best design/carpentry work I have ever done. Still patting myself on the back over that adventure!
If I could give a some of advice to anyone wanting to make it on their own, I would say this – Quit your day job and follow what you love to do! It is going to be tough, you will have many breakdowns. You will have many joyous times. You really only have this one chance. So get out there and get to work! Create something good EVERYDAY and good will come back to you EVERYDAY! Thanks for reading my words. I hope I have instilled confidence in you to pursue what you want, and I know you can break through barriers to make this world a more beautiful place for yourself, and the rest of the people in this world, because we are all connected through art!