The Art of Robert Tracy

The Art of Robert Tracy

I started drawing at age 5. I had a No. 2 pencil and a pad of ordinary writing paper. I’d draw the Japanese Elms in our front yard, my dad’s car out front and the corn field across the street. Grass, sidewalk and street etc. The piano keys inside...

My parents saw fit to keep their shy son out of Kindergarten, so I never did learn to socialize. Started 1st grade at St. Lawrence Catholic School at age 5 (just missed the cut-off date, but they let me in so I was always the youngest in class).

6th grade I was caught creating entire cities with 3-point perspective (including tiny windows and doors in the buildings) during math class. My punishment: I had to stand at the blackboard and teach the class 2-point perspective. The nun was impressed. The only subjects I got A’s in grade-school were in Art and Penmanship.

At Central Catholic High School. There was no Art class there, believe it or not. So I transferred to the public school to end my senior year. At our CC 40th class reunion in 2006, among other things I learned was that in 2nd grade we were assigned during Christmas to draw a candle. Maria Lucas (Moore) told me that everyone brought in a “‘stick-object’ and you brought in a Rembrandt with a flame, dripping wax and a golden holder.” I remember it.

Enlisted in the Marine Corps May, 1967.

First tour in Vietnam (1967 – 68, 1st Reconnaissance Bn., 1st Marine Div.)
Back to Vietnam in Nov., 1969 I got my orders to 1st M.P. Bn., 1st Marine Div.

Out of the Corps in 1971 I started at Purdue. I learned nothing in the Art dept. In 1979, Linda had a good-paying job and agreed to let me study my Art seriously. I’d taken off school for two years from 1975 – 77, working as a draftsman for the county surveyor. In 1976 I’d bought a dis-articulated human skeleton from the local medical supply company and books on Artistic Anatomy, filling sketch books and papers with drawings of the bones and skull, learning the Latin terms (not entirely unfamiliar after 4 semesters Latin in high-school) etc. Had a plaster cast “flayed figure” for study of the origin and insertion of the muscles. And great models in my wife and daughters, and myself. I harp on the study of anatomy to all the artists I meet online. See my two pages The Study of Art at: They won’t get the structure for a portrait or figure by drawing from life. I think I anger some. Same with perspective and at least the simple mathematical Golden Mean



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