Tracey Martin Penrod, a native of eastern North Carolina, is a visual artist who focuses on showing others the beauty that always surrounds us. Sometimes it can be difficult to see the beauty surrounding us because of the busyness of our lives, but it is Tracey’s goal that her art will offer encouragement, insight, and a message of hope.
Tracey’s artistic expression is mainly delivered through acrylics on canvas and mixed media; although, she also creates renderings in colored pencils, oil pastels, and Inktense pencil. Many of Tracey’s images originate from scenes she encounters in her everyday life; whereas, other paintings are inspired through visual epiphanies. This sudden revelation of an image can be realistic in nature and reflective of Tracey’s connection and relationship with Jesus. The relationship with Christ is most often rendered in a symbolic image on canvas. Many of the other epiphanies come to life by Tracey’s response in paint to music. As a result, the paintings are expressive as well as abstract and conceptual in design which asks the viewer to reflect on its meaning and how it may apply to them. Tracey’s artwork, both acrylic and mixed media, is developed in layers of color and ephemera. The ephemeral, paper and other memorabilia, is purposefully selected because of its connection to the content of the painting making it more meaningful and personable.
In the past, Tracey’s work has been shown in Morehead City, Smithfield, Black Mountain, and Goldsboro, North Carolina. Currently, her work can be viewed at Stardust Gallery in New Bern, North Carolina as well as local restaurants. Additionally, her artwork is enjoyed by private collectors.
Although Tracey has had some formal art education, she does consider herself a self-taught artist. Upon graduating from high school, Tracey sought a degree in commercial art and advertising design. Nearing completion of the degree, Tracey’s redirected her pursuits toward a career in another creative outlet, cosmetology. After sometime, Tracey once again felt an urge to do something different with her life. In 2000, Tracey began her career in middle grades education. She continues to work in public education as a middle grades English Language Arts teacher.
With the absence of artistic expression from her life and with other major life changes, Tracey felt incomplete. In 2012, she was eventually led back to her first love of art. Today, Tracey continues to work toward improving her skills through community with other artists and artistic workshops. Additionally, she uses her talents by serving on the kid’s ministry stage design team and by leading a Bible art journaling group in her local church.