Painting the Unexpected

Minnesota Features

August 23, 2018

Taylor Anderson|Lake Time Magazine

Tracy Frizzell was born in the wilderness of northern Minnesota. It was this proximity that instilled in her a love of all things "water." Passing the summers in watercrafts of all shapes and sizes and the winters ice fishing and skating, gave her a memory store of images of water in all its changeable states. When she began her career as an artist she didn't know that these were the types of images that would preoccupy her mind. She was fascinated with trying to make sense of the seeming chaos of waves and reflections and see them for the patterns that existed underneath. With each piece she strives to not only accurately portray a scene but also capture that elusive "something" that makes it worth painting in the first place. Painting mostly in oils and watercolors, she utilizes a style that adds action to her paintings.

Growing up in a family of artists, Tracy started her art career at a young age. She has fond memories of piling into her grandparent's Ford Econoline van and going on family sketching excursions. "GENERALLY, WE WOULD SET OUT ON HIDDEN, BACK COUNTRY, LOW MAINTENANCE ROADS AND LOOK FOR THE UNEXPECTED GEM OF A VISTA TO STOP AT AND PAINT OR DRAW. I CAN REMEMBER ONE PARTICULAR EXCURSION WHERE WE WENT WALKING IN THE WOODS TO LOOK FOR TREE FUNGUS THAT WE THEN TOOK BACK TO THE CABIN TO PAINT LANDSCAPE SCENES ONTO WHILE DRINKING ORANGE PEKOE TEA (MY GRANDMA'S FAVORITE) AND EATING HOMEMADE SUGAR COOKIES (MY GRANDPA'S FAVORITE)."

With college degrees from North Dakota State University in landscape architecture, environmental design, and art, it is no surprise that her subject matter mostly revolves around landscapes, waterscapes, and nature. Her favorite subjects to paint include Minnesota and Canadian wilderness scenes, and urban industrial landscapes that characterize much of Minneapolis.

Awards she has received include: Winner of the Annual Congressional Art Competition where her winning piece hung in the United States Capitol building for one year, People's Choice Award from The Five Wings Arts Council's show "Artists of Cass County," Winner of the LHB Landscape Architecture sustainable design competition, and Best of Show in the "Fall Has it All" annual arts show in Walker, MN.

When she is not in her studio in the Northrup King Building, located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, she can be found kayaking, biking, and traveling -- always looking for that magical spot that would make a great painting!

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