Courses & Workshops: Five Questions with Tracey-Mae Chambers

Tracey-Mae Chambers is an emerging Métis/Ojibway artist in Dunnville, Ontario. She is an abstract artist painting in acrylics and mixed media. Much of her mixed media work incorporates found objects and focuses on the wastefulness in our culture by turning rubbish into art. In her work, she strives to reflect the spiritual nature of her culture and her connection to her heritage.

So, Tracey-Mae, what does “mixed media” mean?

Well, to me mixed media means any art form that uses more than one type of material or paint and manipulates them in a different fashion.

You have been a practicing artist for 12 years; what inspired you to start creating and what inspires you to keep creating now?

I have only been painting full time for just under three years. I started painting at 11 and stopped during the time I raised my sons. I started creating again just as a diversion. It ended up being a full time thing!

How do you feel your artistic practice reflects your First Nations heritage?

3. Frankly, I have always felt a keen connection to what I consider to be the Mother. By Mother, I mean this life giving planet which we desecrate so willingly. My mixed media practice involves using as many recycled materials as possible, right down to the dried paint on my palette. I feel in this way I am doing my part to honour my heritage by wasting as little as possible.

What do you hope participants leave your workshop understanding or thinking about?

4. I want them to leave feeling more comfortable with non-representational art and with a sense of how important colour and texture really are. I would also hope they will be able to look at the items all around them and see potential for different uses for them rather than just as refuse.

No art experience or drawing ability is needed to participate in your workshop–what encouragement or advice would you offer to those who are concerned that they aren’t “good” at art?

If people show up with an open mind and are willing to experiment they will leave happy. They will open themselves up to learning new things and experiencing new ideas in the company of others who want the same thing! I would hope people would want to come to a class like this just to try something new. We all have hidden talents and strengths that sometimes are more easily shown in non-representational work.

To learn more about Tracey-Mae and her art, visit her website. Want to try your own hand at mixed media? There are still a few spaces left in Tracey-Mae’s workshop this Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 10:00AM to 2:00PM. For more information or to register, click here or call 416.973.4093.