Artist of the Month, January 2019: Tracy McGovern

Introduction by Morven Macrae, art and design studio leader at Garvald Edinburgh: “Tracy’s ‘folk’ are direct and go straight for our emotional core.  When viewers experience Tracy’s work I have observed they connect with the folk in them and a protective, empathetic quality is often awakened.

“Evocative of childhood, her folk hint at the uncertain – at endurance, defiance and joy. They take us on a journey and we relate to them, creating stories in our minds.  Her art is a place where optimism and loss co-exist.  Her vibrant use of colour reinforces the sense of hope in her work.”

Tracy with some of her paintings

Tracy began in the art studio in 2010. She has been at Garvald Edinburgh since 1987 and creates work in the weaving studio and the pottery workshops as well as the Painting studio.

How would you describe your current work?

Good old Scottish fabulous. It’s people, it’s stories. I do all sorts of things . I do painting – I love the colours.

Painting by Tracy McGovern
Painting by Tracy McGovern: ‘I’ve Got A Funny Feeling They’re Playing Guitar at half Past Nine at night’

What do you hope other people take from your work?

That it’s wonderful

Why do you like making art?

‘Cos I love it, I feel wonderful in a good way when I’m painting.

Is there a process you follow, or does it vary?

Sometimes I do a bit, then a bit after bit after bit and keep going. I have a rest too. Then I keep going. Eyes first, then the face, then the body and arms and legs, eyebrows last with hair. Then I add colour. Sometimes big, sometimes small drawing.

Painting by Tracy McGovern
Painting by Tracy McGovern: ‘Lovely Green Eyes- Just Pretend He’s Singing!’

What would you say are your biggest sources of inspiration?

People, Scottish folk, people you meet.

Is there a piece you are particularly proud of?

I’ve got loads of favourites. I’m a busy old bee.

What are your artistic ambitions?

But it on the wall and show people. Doing a bit of different things- a bit sewing art, a bit  pottery, a bit painting.

What advice would you give to other artists?

Painting by Tracy McGover
Painting by Tracy McGovern: ‘He’s Been Watching the Rugby’

Make it!

About ‘The Art Studio’:

The Art Studio where Tracy works is one of 21 creative workshops at Garvald Edinburgh.  Garvald Edinburgh’s work is inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s ideas of social therapy. The ethos is that we each have a valuable and unique contribution to make and through being part of our creative community – Garvald members learn skills and contribute to community in a way that is right for them. 

Many Garvald members identify themselves through the skills they have developed, seeing themselves as artists, weavers, potters and so on.

Photograph of Tracy painting
Tracy at work in the studio

The artists are enabled to become confident in expressing their own creativity, building a body of work to exhibition standard and exhibiting their work in a range of settings. 

Garvald Edinburgh is a registered Scottish Charity SC014228 and a company Limited by Guarantee – Registered Company SC060926. More information can be found at

Photograph of a painted ceramic bowl
One of Tracy’s pottery pieces

What do you think about this? Guidelines for commenting

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *