artists register

Tracy Whitbread

Edge II

Edge II


Oil and Acrylic on Canvas
50cm x 100cm


My work is about giving form to internally felt shapes colours and moods often echoing those of the environment around me here in Devon - the iron red of the earth or the changing blues of the sea. I am particularly inspired by the coastline, and the experience of being near or in the sea. It is where I most strongly feel a sense of Spirit curving into matter - where the sublime permeates the elements. I enjoy the interplay between the natural world and the manmade, the chaotic with the ordered. In my painting process I often find myself  working from a chaotic layered base then eliminating details to create clarity and space. I also feel a very physical relationship with the canvas - the texture of the surface and the sensuality of the paint, as if I am working with a living thing. I find that the paintings have a life of their own and even though I have some idea of what I want to achieve, it all happens through the process of working in relationship with the materials on the canvas. I feel that my paintings are of the stuff of life itself rather than a painting of it.


11 March 1960Born in Yorkshire

"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.