When Darlene McLellan, at the time the curator of the ARts Festival Gallery, offered abstract expressionist Tracy K. Felix a solo show at the gallery in the Frances Anderson Center, the timing couldn’t have been better. Felix had been looking for a way to bring her focus back to what she truly loves. Painting.
“There is nothing like a deadline to light a fire under you. I’ve been wanting to continue working on geometric color field painting. This gave me the impetus I needed,” Felix said.
If you are familiar with the murals around downtown Edmonds, you may have seen Sun-Rise and Moon-Rise, on the side of the Edmonds Bookshop at 111 5th Ave. S. This work is similar to what Felix is preparing for her show. Much like composing a painting, putting together a collection of paintings for an exhibit is a similar process. This series of large, vibrant paintings will start out with precise geometric shapes. As you follow the series, it will gradually transform into more ethereal and amorphous images. The artist wants to tell a story using symbolism: from literal to atmospheric, to an almost celestial interpretation.
Every show needs a name, and Felix has hit upon an apt descriptor: “Portals is the most straightforward way to describe the imagery in this series,” she said. “I became interested in creating geometric based color field paintings, and fascinated with the idea of capturing the emotion of looking into these spaces by filling them with ethereal images and atmospheric effects. Portals is the culmination of techniques I’ve devised using acrylics, oils, resins and encaustics. If you look closely at the work, you can find collaged papers and even sand encapsulated. I do not limit myself to one medium since each provides specific effects that give my work the interesting and unique qualities I’m looking for.”
Although Felix is a traditionally trained artist, her work has morphed over time toward more abstract and non-representational imagery. Influences are Mark Rothko and Richard Diebenkorn, color field painters from the ’50s and ’60s. She has shown work at multiple galleries in Everett, Edmonds and Seattle. You can also find her work at HouseWares and the new Cole Contemporary Gallery in Edmonds.
Felix has been an active artist for decades now but for the past several years, she has been involved with other art-related activities. She taught art rotations at Maplewood K-8 school for six years, and for the past 10 years continued her love of teaching by heading up workshops in both acrylic and encaustic techniques at Cole Art Studio. She played an integral role in starting the Edmonds Art Studio Tour and facilitated the Edmonds’ Artist Connect networking group for a year. She opened a fine art gallery in Pioneer Square in 2010, and opened ARTspot on Main Street in Edmonds in 2012. She’s currently president of the Downtown Edmonds Merchant’s Association, and is working with Mary Olsen to create Graphite, a 28,000 square foot multi-use art facility slated to open in 2019. You could say she likes to create things.
But being so active in the local artist community has distracted her somewhat, and cut into studio time. She’s determined to direct her focus back to her fine art career. This will be her first solo show in over six years. Portals will also be the last show of an individual artist at the Arts Festival Gallery. After Portals, the Edmonds Arts Festival Gallery future exhibits will be focused on group shows.
Solo Exhibition of New Paintings
Tracy K. Felix 2018
New Work in Oil, Encaustic, Acrylic and Resin
Arts Festival Gallery
700 Main St.
Feb. 12 – March 27
Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.
The public is invited to meet the artist at a reception during Edmonds Art Walk Thursday, Feb. 15, 5-8 p.m.