Artist Interviews

We have reached out to a handful of artists who have participated in our virtual exhibition on May 20th to June 3rd to participate in a series of interviews.

Join us here for a written Q&A as we get to know the artists. 

For live streamed interviews, visit us on our social media:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
Tracy Hartery

Hello Tracy, thank you for being willing to share more on your work. We had briefly discussed the format of our interview as a Q&A. I would like to dive right in and begin by asking; what does it mean to be an Intuitive Artist? 


Thanks for having me Nicole, I appreciate the opportunity to share a little insight with you.

Being an Intuitive Artist means being in touch with self and being able to put the ego aside and really listen to the higher self and discern what my spirit is trying to say to me. I (must) let go of any notions I have about a piece and let it be what it is.  


It’s a question Art Nova has asked before, the difference between planning out a piece vs. feeling inspired to create spontaneously.


There is some planning involved, for instance I would need to decide on color scheme (also intuitive as I ask spirit what colors are required), substrate and the size of the piece but I do not plan the outcomes. In some of my alcohol ink tiles I use black, white and gold or a sepia tone to get the portrait effects I want but the actual image evolves on its own.


What roll does your intuition play in your creative process?


I believe I am only a conduit for the expression of creative energy. My intuition is required to interpret the images that come through and embellish them so others can see what I see. As we know art is subjective and everyone would see something different and each painting could have any number of images in it. I also know that every piece is a 'self-portrait' or a message to self, so each piece speaks to me personally and is interpreted based on my own emotional/spiritual state at the time. I often will look at a piece for many months and each time I see something different. Other times I will look at a piece that I am planning to embellish, and I ask it to reveal itself to me. Oftentimes, there is more than one energy in the painting, but I always go with the loudest energy. It is hard to explain but it is almost like the image shouts or jumps out at me. My job is to paint what wants to be revealed and not what I think it should be. Anytime I have painted from ego it never works out. Using intuitiveness allows me to do a lot of letting go.


When creating, many artists describe the sense of being connected to something deep within or at times even beyond themselves. Why do you think that is? 

For me, that is the energy of creation, the higher self. I believe my paintings not only speak to me but also to humanity and I trust that each piece will find its way to the patron that needs to see it. Most of what I do is conveying an emotion and that is what resonates with people. Emotion is energy in motion, and I like to think that my work brings people a sense of joy and healing. in my experience the connection deep within is kind of like a trance, all is quiet, and the mind chatter shuts off, it is state of bliss. 

What is the experience of creating like for you? 


It really varies. I have come to understand that I have to be settled in order to allow the process to take place. I always want to paint but if I am tired or stressed than I am putting pressure on myself and I cannot create anything. it feels forced. I work full time in a high stress environment, so my painting time is usually limited to weekends. i tend to mass produce my backgrounds in one sitting as it is quite an involved process and although I have 3 studios setup only 1 is conducive to messy work. I usually do this in the summertime and then once they have cured, I work on them throughout the fall and winter. I have some themes/series develop this way, but they were not planned. Most of what I do is small, I have done larger pieces but I really don't have the space for it so I am looking for  a larger studio so I can create more impactful pieces on a larger scale. it is quite easy for me to lose track of time, forget to eat (thank god for my husband who will bring me food) and just get lost in a piece. I have to be careful not to overwork it. I seem to be painting a lot of archetypes in my work such as Goddesses, Warriors, Shamans and even Alien like beings, not sure what it all means but I find it fascinating. i am just going with the flow if you will. 

You tend to veer away from traditional surfaces when you paint. What got you into painting on tiles and can you share on how the technical aspect of your work has changed for you over your creative career? 

Well I am an artist on a budget and art supplies are not cheap. I had got the idea to make some coasters for an art show I was going to be in and checked out the local Reuse-it store and picked up some 4x4 tiles which are the perfect size. I also tend to go into a frenzy when I do a session and I want to paint on everything and use up all the paint, so I ended up with a lot of tiles! I buy them by the box and usually they are .10 cents a piece. I decided to explore painting on larger tiles like 4x6 which is a good size for display. sometimes I can frame them, but they are heavier, so I use a display easel instead. The 12x12 make good trivets too. Tiles are nonporous if you get the glazed ones and they only require a good cleaning with some alcohol to remove any dust or dirt. They take paint very well and they are excellent for alcohol ink work as they are very forgiving. if the image isn't working, I can just wipe it off. I like tiles for their versatility. I have created coasters, trivets and various size paintings using them including 3x6 altar tiles and 1x1 fridge magnets.

Art speaks to people on a deep level, what message(s) do you hope to convey with your work?


I hope that people will see my work and the message they are seeking will be revealed to them. Perhaps my work will remind them of something or someone they had forgotten, or it will help them to release emotions that are not serving them or bring them the joy and peace they are wanting. The primary message is that 'you are not alone’, and 'all is not lost', there is still a great deal of love to be had.

Can you elaborate more on the meditative process you use when creating?


I get into a quiet head space and connect with the energy of my studio. I usually burn some incense or smudge with sage to cleanse the space of negativity. Then I will gaze at the art and ask in my mind for the being or entity to 'show yourself'. Sometimes there is more than one image as I mentioned before so I will sit quietly and wait and then jumps out and I know what to do. It is very important to just let it happen and not try and force it. Sometimes I cannot connect to any image so on those days I just don't paint, and I will ask on another day. This is a fun way to engage the imagination and not have to rely on references or copying. Everything I create is original.

If you had a message now to share with other creatives and art lovers, what would it be?

Get in touch with yourself, know yourself and be fearless in your creations. It will aid you in discovering your own unique style. "paint what you see" has taken on a deeper meaning in my art practice.

Shayllen Colquitt

Hello Shayllen, thank you for contributing to our series of interviews. 

Could you introduce yourself and tell us about your work?


Hi I'm Shayllen Colquitt, I'm a visually impaired artist that does oil painted portraits. The portraits typical follow fantasy elements with contrasting colours.

I'd like to know, what about the creative process excites you the most?

The part of my creative process that I love the most is those early stages of painting. I love it because while it's known as the "ugly" stage the piece has its most potential at that time, anything could happen and it's nice to see it take some sort of form. 


You had submitted a piece called "Pastel Moonlight" for our online gallery. Can you share on what this piece means and how you came to create it?

Pastel Moonlight was a piece that I had been envisioning for a few years and i had never felt like at the stage I was at that I could do it justice. I finally took that leap of faith and to me it shows a women emerging from this moonlit waters like I emerged into a new style of painting. 


What about the creative process do you look forward to experimenting the most?

The part of the process I look forward to experimenting with the most is the idea phase. because I take my ideas from emotions and feelings I get in the work I have the most freedom with the first stages of conception and theirs a lot of experimenting that can happen.


You had mentioned in your submission to Art Nova that you have a visual impairment, your pieces are incredibly vibrant. Was there ever a time the change in your vision impacted your work?

My vision impacts every piece I do. I always try to have contrasting colors as much as possible that way theirs no question where one thing ends and another beginning. I also try to make sure my values are as light or dark as they can be because I have trouble with those small changes in contrast. 

Can you share on your experiences as an artist, why you create and what need creating art satisfies?

I create because it's the only way for me to take these screenshots of emotion and pause them forever in time. The feeling I get from someone seeing a piece for the first time and watching them feel the emotions I wanted to give them is like nothing else. 

If you have a message for other creatives just starting, what would it be?

A message I would have for someone just starting would be, you'll never improve over night but rather over days, so don't compare yourself to other artist but to the artist you were in the past. 

©2020 by Art Nova.