Born in 1966 in Chicago, oil painter and photographer Tracey Frugoli has always known she would be an artist. Growing up in a creative household, she enjoyed unusually intensive art training in her suburban high school. She went on to earn a BFA in fine art, and a MA in Art Therapy. She has been painting in her current style since 1998 and done portrait photography since 2011.
Inspired by light and beauty, Frugoli apologetically eschews novelty and shock in favor of authenticity. She views the painting process as a humbling endeavor that seeks to reflect and, thereby, enhance the most noble of our ideals. Her painting and photography cross pollinate to keep her work fresh and vital.
Frugoli has won numerous art awards including First Place "Wayne Plein Air" 2012 in PA along with Second Place Quick Draw and Award of Excellence "Sedona Plein Air" 2012 in AZ. In addition, she was awarded Artist's Choice "Paint Annapolis" 2012; Second Place and People’s Choice “MAPAPA Dueling Brushes” 2009, Museum Purchase Award and Honorable Mention “Plein Air Easton” 2007; First Place “Havre de Grace Plein Air ” 2006; First Place Quick Draw and Best Architectural Painting “Plein Air Easton” 2005 all in MD. She has exhibited throughout the country, and has been accepted into Greenhouse Gallery’s “Salon International” 2005-6, and 2009-12 in San Antonio, TX and won Jury’s Top 50 award in 2011.
Frugoli’s artwork hangs in the permanent collection at the Academy Art Museum in Easton and in numerous private collections. It has appeared in American Artist and Plein Air. She has written freelance for Workshop Magazine, Plein Air, and Fine Art Connoisseur (FAC). She is the current Illinois/Midwest Regional Editor for FAC, and her most recent article, about the Hoosier Salon, appeared in the November/December issue. She is an Artist Member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters on the East Coast, a member of the Palette and Chisel Club in Chicago, and a founding member of the Central Illinois Artists Organization (CIAO) in Peoria, IL.
Art, Breath, Paint, Air . . .
For me, making art is like breathing. It describes my very essence. Just as a certain collection of notes and sounds in music can haunt the soul, color notes and paint strokes in oil stir a visceral reaction in me. My work is about light, color, movement, and relationships all within the traditional picture plane. Novelty and shock wear off, but truth endures. This is why a painter can devote an entire lifetime to the pursuit of it. Painting the beauty of the natural world in rich oil passages provides, for me, a sense of connection to that which is greater than me. When I am painting, I am both humbled and accepted. When you view or purchase my work, you too are offered that connection, that reaction. The paintings offer a piece in the puzzle of what we search for to complete us. Some people look to prayer, to God, to The Buddha, to nature, or to each other. Whatever it may be, these paintings, these experiences, are my prayer.
"Plein Air Easton! Prepares for 2008 Event" 2008
"Local Artists in Conjunction: Five Portraits," Art & Society, May/June 2009
See the article in The Peoria Journal Star about the Murray Center for the Arts where Tracey has a studio