How One Artist Protected Her Passion: The Landscape

“Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” When Percy Bysshe Shelley made that declaration, it’s likely that no one—even in England in 1840—believed him. Poets and other artists, at least in the public perception, have their heads in the clouds, and in order to influence policy, you need to have money in your pocket and your feet on the ground. But when a church proposed an expansion that would have devastated a green space in my neighborhood, I became politically active. I had heard Marcia Burtt, of Santa Barbara’s Oak Group, lecture on successful activism to preserve open spaces with “Paint-Outs” and exhibitions. In 1998 and 1999, after I attended the initial public hearings on the proposed expansion, I had the idea to organize a Paint-Out, where artists set aside a day to paint en plein air en masse. I also agreed to curate a gallery show of landscapes inspired by the site.

“I simply try to paint the images that take my breath away with their beauty and strength,” says Tracy Williams, a resident of Bermuda whose work has been included in the last three Bacardi Ltd. Biennials at the Bermuda National Gallery. She has painted a wide variety of subjects including architectural details, floral scenes, still lifes, and botanical and equine art. And she has participated in numerous local and international exhibtions, including Watercolor West. As an equine artist, Williams won the Best Sporting Art award at the American Academy of Equine Artists exhibition. She’s a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and Syracuse University.

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