Lois Bartlett Tracy
Lois Bartlett Tracy was born on December 9, 1901 and died on April 8, 2008 at the age of 106. Hers
is an artist's legacy. Her work hangs in some of the worlds finest art museums. She left the world a more
colorful, richer place. Rather than tell you her story, we thought that she could do a better job:
Biography below is written by Lois Tracy herself:
I was born in Jackson, Michigan on December 9, 1901. By age three my favorite activity was picking up
gravel and stones and watching their colors and shapes when placed in jars of water. I spent hours
admiring how beautiful they looked. Even now I love rocks. They talk to me. Trees have always talked
to me too. I believe my paintings came into being from my feeling one with nature.
Because Motherís health was poor, we could not spend winters in the North. When I was young, we often
traveled to Florida by train with a change in Chicago. I remember when I was about six or seven,
jumping off the train and running towards the Chicago Museum. There was one particular painting on
the first floor to the right that was painted with very thick layers of paint. I fell in love with
that thick texture. It left me with a glow of satisfaction. I decided right then and there I was
going to be a painter.
For the most part, we children were taught at home but we learned History by traveling to Civil War
battlefields where my father paid old men to tell local stories. We learned Geography by learning
the names of rivers and cities as we explored them. We had an art teacher once when I was about six,
but there was no color. The only material we had was sepia, and that did not inspire me.
College in the 1920's
I didnít have another art teacher until I was a freshman at Florida State College for Women in 1920- Ď21.
Since the College was for women only, all subjects were simply branches of Home Economics. Painting
was not taught. We were not allowed to speak to any male, not even the father of a roommate. They
would line us up to go to the picture show and count us off as we came out. I often felt like I was
in prison. I rebelled against these attitudes towards the education of women by cutting my long
wavy golden hair to a short bob. I left and entered Michigan State College soon after women were
first admitted there.
At Michigan, my painting teacher just let me go ahead on my own. I started using oil paints and
would paint everything I saw. We were both startled by my work. To the amazement of us both, he
soon informed me that I was painting just the way those wild men in Paris (Van Gogh, Cezanne, etc.)
Selling Art in the Early Days
By the time the Depression came along, I was married and living in Winter Park, Florida, attending
Rollins College. To help with our support, I sold pictures of palm trees, five dollars a tree.
If there were three trees in the painting, it was fifteen dollars. Then I painted the buildings on
Rollins campus for my 1929 yearbook.
In the 30ís, in Venice, Florida, certain scenes would just cry out to be painted. When a field of
cabbages asked me to paint it, I realized that cabbage leaves are just as beautiful as a field of
flowers. Mostly, I painted the Florida jungles. In the morning I used to ride out to a Florida
ranch on a cow pony (a rather small, tough, horse used to drive the cattle - Florida used to have
the second largest number of cattle of all the States). The cowboys would leave me in a hammock
and continue on to their dayís work. I would paint there all day until they would pick me up on
their way back in the afternoon. I would usually have enough done on two 30x 36 or 36 x 40 canvases
that I could finish them up at home.
Teresa Robinette's art form is currently based on her love of Southwestern Virginia. She has been
involved in the creation and restoration of over 77 murals throughout the US.
Education: Virginia Commonwealth University
● Bachelor of Communication Arts and Design, emphasis on painting and
● Masters of Painting and Printmaking
Brera Academy, Milan
● Art restoration and conservation
Academy of Fine Arts,Vienna
● Art theory and cultural studies
Sotheby s Appraisal Certification Studies
● German/Austrian abstract expressionism, early history and authentication
Knickerbocker Artists of America
Celebrate Colorado Artists, gold medal
Smithsonian funding for solo exhibit in conjunction with ETSU