North Norfolk artist is a painter in God’s kingdom
Christian artist Tracey Ross is inspired by her faith and the beautiful North Norfolk countryside, and despite personal set-backs has found success, including setting up a popular online art course. Tony Rothe reports.
Tracey says her grandmother sowed seeds of faith into her life as a small child. One of her earliest memories of seeing God working through artists was when her grandmother took her to visit one of her Christian artist friends, who showed her an oil painting of Jesus. It left an impression at a very young age.
After leaving school, Tracey studied textile design at Great Yarmouth Art College. Soon after she met her husband, Robert, they married and had three children. Tracey still continued with her art, taking several art and painting classes at Wensum lodge in Norwich, although she never thought she would become a full-time artist and business woman.
It was when Robert met evangelist John Wright and had a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit that the couple knew things had changed. Tracey says: “One evening we were at a Full Gospel Business Men’s dinner, and after the meal I felt the Lord knocking at the door of my heart, saying: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.’ Revelation 3:20 (NKJV)
“John Wright came over and we prayed, and I accepted Jesus into my life, I will never forget how light and joyful I felt. I felt truly loved and forgiven.”
Tracey was always interested in learning, no matter how hard she found it! In her 40s she completed a Visual Studies degree at Norwich University of the Arts and shortly after trained as a teacher in Adult Education. During this time, the family suffered various personal hardships, including a house fire, which were emotionally and financially challenging and hard.
Tracey said: “But God was good. I will never forget the day when he sent a complete stranger to speak to me. She stopped me in the street, where I lived in Old Catton, and spoke into my life, saying that things will be okay and to keep trusting in God and moving forward.”
Robert and Tracey restored and sold their house in 2012, and moved to a little flint cottage near Walsingham, where Tracey began prayer walking and sketching the North Norfolk coast to help her cope with the trauma.
She explains: “It’s the place I spend a lot of my time with my sketchbook observing and drawing. It is a place where I feel a connection, a sense of presence. The sketches seem to embrace the power of what I aim to capture, which is the light, atmosphere, and the beauty of a place. When painting, I have to operate in faith, to trust in Jesus and to be empowered, by His hand, and by the Holy Spirit.
“Since moving to North Norfolk my work as a painter in God’s kingdom has flourished. My artwork explores the horizon inspired by the huge skies and ever-changing light and atmosphere of North Norfolk. Capturing the joy and beauty of Creation is central to my work.
“I believe we are all designed to be creative and have the ability within us to create. Being part of a new Christian community at Salthouse Church is a vision come true. Now is the time to witness and say who God is in my life. I had a strong revelation that my gift was to be a painter and that I was called to reveal the beauty of God's Creation as an artist in his kingdom.”
Tracey is a member of the Norwich 20 Group and regularly participates in the annual North Norfolk Open Studios, which was at the beginning of June, and Norfolk Open Studios, which will run in the autumn. She was shortlisted for the National Open Art Competition, was a finalist for the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA), the Holt Art Prize and the Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) at the Mall Galleries. Tracey is the founder of ‘Paint the Light’- her signature online art course. Her work is held in private collections both in the UK and abroad.
Norfolk Open Studios will run from September 24 to October 9, 2022, and Tracey has a solo exhibition at Salthouse Church from June 15 to 30 2023. Studio visits are available by appointment and Tracey welcomes enquiries about her summer art workshops in North Norfolk.
For more information, e-mail Tracey at: email@example.com
Visit: www.tracey-rossart.co.uk or
This article has also appeared in Good News for Norwich and Norfolk.