In The Studio With Renowned San Antonio Contemporary Artist Tracy Williams

By Eleanora Morrison      Photography by McKenna Kinder

Tracy Williams in her studio

The most inspiring adventures often begin in the most unexpected ways. On a warm weekday afternoon recently, I was out on a writing assignment when I found myself hesitantly approaching the unmarked door of a mysterious building whose structure had seen better days, doubting whether the address I had pasted into my GPS from a text thread was actually where I had been delivered.

I held up my right hand and made a fist. “Here goes nothing,” I thought. Knock-knock-knock (staccato). The door opened to reveal Tracy Williams with her beaming smile, appearing part glowing and ethereal, part gritty and grounded in her relaxed painting clothes. The visual tension of her appearance struck me as unique and effortlessly intentional, which I’d soon come to find out is a theme at the core of her work. Welcoming me with open arms into her studio, I stepped through the door energetically aware that I had just entered a portal into her mystical world—her sacred space of isolated creation.

Arrested by an endless exhibition of visual stimulation, I struggled to focus my attention on what to admire first. Feelings of respect and reverence swelled as I felt the honor of observing Tracy’s process and gift in her environment. Vignettes of curated color palettes and layered comfort objects adorn the studio interior. One wall is lined with mood boards, and another lined with paints. Stacks of free-standing paintings, works both finished and in progress, are precariously propped against perimeter walls and pieces of furniture. Featured at her painting station is her cherished collection of her great-aunt’s oil paintbrushes.

Tracy’s path to becoming a professional artist wasn’t traditional. The distinct visual style of her work wasn’t molded by professors in art school. It was the childhood influence of her great-aunt, a prolific oil painter, that inspired her love of art, coupled with a menagerie of inspirations from fashion and interior design. Starting her career in design and fashion, Tracy found herself first putting paint to canvas while living in California. It was then when she had her epiphany that visual art was what she would pursue for the rest of her life.

“As a self-taught painter, I just work from my heart, and I am guided by my faith,” says Tracy Williams. “My process is very emotional, and I have had to prove myself with passion. When viewers interact with my work, my hope is that they walk away feeling good and inspired to live their best life without sweating the small stuff, and to appreciate beauty in the simple things.”

Tracy’s body of paintings demonstrates continuity and meditation in movement through the energy and gestural exploration of her brush stroke, line, and color mixtures. Her work has been exhibited locally in San Antonio and has been collected by admirers across the U.S.She is currently preparing to create this season’s commissioned works.

To schedule a studio visit and inquire about a Tracy Williams commissioned piece, email tracymwilliams@swbell.net. Learn more about Tracy Williams at tracywilliamscontemporary.com, and follow her on Instagram @tracywilliamsart.