"After leaving High School in 1978, I trained as a Graphic Designer and spent many years in the packaging industry, working on both drawing boards and computers. I gained a management qualification and organised a busy Graphics department. I also trained in Ghent, Belgium on the latest computerised packaging graphics technology, and won several awards for my ‘Design for Print’ designs. After becoming interested in Counselling and holistic healing, I had a change of career in 1992 and studied Art Therapy at Sheffield University. After gaining my post graduate diploma I worked as a part-time Art Therapist in Mental Health hospitals and day centres in East Yorkshire. I also organised creative workshops for Special needs groups in colleges and schools. In 1995 I travelled to Canada and eventually settled in Calgary in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. I stayed in Canada for one and a half years and during this time regularly exhibited paintings and other pieces of work. Upon my return to the UK I took part-time work in Graphics and the rest of the time I spent painting and exhibiting. At the end of November 2000 I moved to Devon to concentrate more on painting, and to live a life that brought me more into contact with nature. I also began working as an Art Therapist at a local rehabilitation centre for addictions. In 2012 I joined The South West Academy of Arts as an Academician. Presently I spend most of my time painting and exhibiting."
Tracy was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer in October 2017 after complaining of digestive troubles over the previous summer. She lived out her final month spending quality time with her son Finlay.
Tracy peacefully Journeyed into Satcitānanda in the early hours of Friday December 8th 2017.
"I'm friendly but not tame, so please know the difference.
My feet tread too deeply in the forest mulch to walk your path of expectation.
I dive too often in the river beneath rivers to sit quietly in that chair.
I prefer the rhythm of a skin drum so I cannot dance to your tune.
My heart beats heavy with grief and love, so don't expect me not to cry.
My eyes seek the infinite starry sky so I may not see what you see.
I prefer a crackling fire so do not fill my space with your endless cackle.
I am friendly but not tame, so please understand the difference.”
Tracy Whitbread 1960 - 2017
Mother, sister, lover, friend … sage.