Here are some of my newest paintings. My instagram @oilsbytracy has some cool time lapse videos if you’re interested. I’d love more followers!
I’m on a work trip for three weeks and knew I’d be having painting withdrawals so I brought a cheap set of watercolors and some brushes to keep me busy in the room at night and on weekends. I watched a handful of YouTube videos and practiced a bit. I prefer oils but watercolors are definitely a great travel craft.
At the end of week one, here are my paintings to date. Not great but better than I expected for trying this just a week ago. Here’s to the next two weeks of watercolors, and oils as soon as I’m back home.
This book is finally out! I’m so proud of it. This heartfelt, illustrated tale is a departure from the dark and spooky adult horror and mysteries I used to write. See the book here!
Amazon Book Description: Granola Barr is a tiny puppy when she comes to live with her new family. She grows very close to rascally Scruffy, and the old and frail Grandma Anna. It’s a perfect, cheerful life for Granola until one day Grandma Anna becomes very ill and goes to the doctor. When she doesn’t come home, and Granola learns her beloved Grandma Anna has passed away, she’s overcome with grief. Granola struggles with her sadness so much, that Grandma Anna returns as a spirit to help the puppy through her sorrow until she’s strong enough to let go. During this year-long visit, Granola takes the time she needs to accept Grandma Anna’s death and to say a proper goodbye.
Saying goodbye is never easy but Goodbye Grandma Anna shows how love, our memories, and our souls live on long after we pass on. This story of love, sadness, and finding hope and joy again is told from a puppy’s point of view alongside beautiful, original oil paintings created by the author and artist Tracy L. Carbone.
Losing a beloved grandmother is heartbreaking for little Granola Barr. A curious young pup, she cannot fathom why Grandma Anna went away or how she will ever get along without her. After a mysterious series of events, and an unimaginable surprise that helps her say goodbye, Granola’s spunky spirit is revived and her tiny tail begins to wag again with new life.
Goodbye Grandma Anna: A Granola Barr Book tackles the delicate subject of loss with a positive focus on the healing power of love. Seen through the eyes of an adorable puppy and the artistry of Tracy Carbone, it is a story for anyone who has ever grieved the passing of a cherished pet or relative. In whimsical illustrations, Ms. Carbone’s affection for animals shines throughout, reminding us that family members come in a variety of shapes and species, and teach us important lessons that enrich our lives. In a circle of life meant to expand our hearts and minds, the special bonds we develop never really leave us. Through loving memories and messages that can be passed along from generation to generation, our most valuable connections live on forever. Sure to appeal to children as an enchanting Granola Barr adventure in rhyme, Goodbye Grandma Ana offers a hopeful takeaway for readers of all ages.
—Tuya Pearl, psychotherapist and author of Tell Me Your Story: How Therapy Works to Awaken, Heal, and Set You FreeA fantasy that reinforces the animal/human bond and the inevitability of loss. The author utilizes clever rhymes and prints of her oil paintings to tell the story.
In my literacy methods courses at St. John’s University I stressed to my students the invaluable skills and love of reading “Read Alouds” developed in children. With the rhyming narrative and full page illustrations to reinforce the theme this sweet story serves as an excellent tool for a key methodology so useful in early literacy development. It should be in every school library. Dr. Peter Quinn , Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. St. John’s University, New York City.
If you pick up a copy, please, please, please leave an Amazon review!
In the last couple of weeks I tackled a couple of different dog breeds. Both are oils on stretched canvas. The Bull Terrier is an 8X10 and the English Bulldog an 11X14. $150 for Bull Terrier and $200 for English Bulldog plus shipping. Matted prints are $15 plus shipping.
First up, a Bull Terrier. I used a pallet knife at the end to give it some texture. This was a fun process and I may start incorporating this into more paintings.
Completed painting of the Bull Terrier.
Next up, an English Bulldog. I love this breed and think they’re adorable. I used the pallet knife here too and it makes such a big difference. It’s somewhat using the deconstructing method which is great for making some of the sharp edges not so sharp.
Contact me if you’d like to purchase one of the originals or a print.
First up, a Beagle. I had a Beagle when I was a child. We brought Buddy home when he was seven weeks old, and I was seven years. He quickly became quite a little rascal, and my best friend. This Beagle doesn’t look like Buddy, but it reminded me of him. Buddy passed away in the early 1980s when photography wasn’t as advanced as is it now, for regular 110 home cameras, so I don’t have any sharp, clear pictures to use as reference. It was a nice memory to paint this dog’s portrait and reminded me how expressive Beagle faces can be.
Next up, a black Labrador puppy because who doesn’t love the adorable face of a little lab?
This last piece was the hardest so far. I was attempting to paint a photo I have of Travis and baby Travie. I don’t have as much experience with humans so, as you’ll see in the photos, this was really a struggle. I still have a little work to do on this one, but it’s just about done.
For the Father Son picture, I used a pallet knife for the first time. The lines on their shirts were too precise, the edges of their faces too crisp. Hoping it was a good idea, I followed my old instructor’s advice and deconstructed the painting. I took a piece that was almost done and smeared thick paint all over it. Thankfully, it worked! The baby’s nostrils and mouth need a little more work but that should be an easy fix.
After painting a friend’s chihuahua, my sister-in-law’s guinea pig, and another friend’s pitbull, I decided to branch out and paint random dogs. Everyone doesn’t want pictures of Granola, afterall, even if I think she’s the most adorable little thing ever.
The other pictures below were from random pictures I found online, that Iater gave my own little Tracy spin.
This weekend I’m planning to attend a craft fair and hopefully I’ll find a buyer for some of these pieces, or get some interest in new work and new paintings. Note, the Cattle Dog is my old Mabel and the original isn’t for sale.
The last few months I’ve been on a painting frenzy. All told, including the cover for Goodbye Grandma Anna: A Granola Barr Book, I painted 21 pieces for the book. Below is the cover. CLICK THIS LINK for a time lapse video of the first session of the painting.
The Makers’ Market I attended a few times has closed down, at least for now, so with my “spare” time I’ve been painting friends’ and my family’s dogs, some cats, and also a goat (Ted) who I saw at a Kindred Spirits Care Farm, a non-profit that rescues animals.
After a LOT of practice, I’m ready to start taking commissions for portraits. Prices start at $150 for an 8X10 or 11X14 on stretched canvas. Plus shipping. Local delivery in SoCal can be arranged. Up to two pets included. Inquire if you have a bigger pet family and need to add more.
I’ve recently started an instagram page @oilsbytracy.Please follow me there for updates and new videos. You can order via DM on Instagram, by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the contact page of this site.
I’ll post new pictures as I finish them. Until then,
It’s been a long time since my days of trying to find and agent or publisher, when I’d spend a fortune going from one writers’ conference to another, flying or driving around the country hoping readers would buy my existing books, or a publisher or agent would take me and my idea on board. It was hard, demoralizing at times. Ultimately, I chose Shadowridge Press as my publisher because they do beautiful work and spend a lot of time on design. I was mostly responsible for my own marketing and since I hate that sort of thing, I have a lot of books in boxes at home, and a lot of stuff on Amazon that doesn’t move. It’s my own fault for not making an effort but in my defense, I spent YEARS trying to sell, and schmoozing, and spending money on marketing. In the words of Bartleby, “I would prefer not to” continue to do that.
But painting is something else entirely. I don’t feel a need to sell, sell, sell. I’m not looking for my big break, one painting that’ll set me for life and pay off my house. I paint because I like it, because when I do a pet portrait, I smile when I’m painting, and the people I paint for smile when they see the final product.
Recently my future son-in-law started making beautiful, high-end cutting boards. Instagram @travwoodworks
He discovered a Makers’ Market in town and signed up for a table. I did as well, figuring since I’ve got a couple of dozen paintings, and am creating more all the time, I ought to try to sell some. I have my originals, prints, and have a shingle out to take commissions for pet portraits. The vibe when I’m doing this for pleasure instead of to support myself is very different. Yes, I want to get paid for work I do, but I also like the events and talking to people, getting to know others, and hearing from passersby that my pups and the paintings are cute.
All the pictures I’ve posted in the past were photos of paintings. To give a better idea of the quality, here are some high-resolution scans.
I’ll be working on the new kids’ book and will hopefully have it for sale at the Maker’s Market in the next couple of months. Keep an eye out for new paintings and shows.
The book is just about done, Meaning the rough draft at least. All painting are complete, except one. Once I finish that one I’ll do one more run through for final brush strokes. The narrative parts of the story are also nearly done. I decided to tell the story in poem form since it’s for kids. Here’s a picture of most of the paintings in various stages, plus the “Very formal” outline of the book with notes.
In the next part of the book, where I left off in the last post, Anna tells Granola that it’s time for her to go, for good. She says Granola is ready. Granola is saddened by this so runs away from home, has a good cry on a rainy day, and is finally brought home by her parents. She gets a warm bath and lots of hugs.
Later, Mom sits Granola and Scruffy down and tells them some big news.
In the end, time passes. Granola turns two! She doesn’t see Anna anymore but says she knows Anna still watches over them all. Except she says this in kid-friendly terms, in rhyme.
I’m still working on the cover but here it is, still in progress.
My next post about this book will be when it’s done and ready to read. Until then I’ll be focusing on some of the other paintings and my new foray into Makers’ Markets and selling my work.