Lee Tracy

Retabloes: How I Got From Here To Here

  RETABLOS: HOW I GOT FROM HERE TO HERE ©2006-2010 Edition of 1

  Permanent stages of womanhood:
  1. Baby 6.5 x 6.5
  2. Darling 7 x 7
  3. Brat 9.5 x 8
  4. Hostage 8.5 x 6.5
  5. Scholar 9.5 x 9.5
  6. Gifted 9.5 x 9.5
  7. Saint 11 x 8.5
  8. Workhorse 11 x 9.5
  9. Woman 10.5 x 9.5

  Retablos are portable spiritual forms (on wood or metal) of folklore that recall situations, miraculous deeds, or holy imagery
  in which a particular saint is remembered. They are used in displays, such as shrines or altars, to honor and express devotion
  or gratitude. I have used the Retablos as instigators, like chapter heads in a book or contemporary avatars, offering distinct voices
  and experience.

  My Retablos are vibrantly colored oil paint and gold leaf on aluminum. They grow in size from 6"x 6" to 9.5" x 11" and have holes
  in the corners so they could be nailed to a structure (like a wall or a box.) Each Retablo depicts a stage in my coming of age story.
  A stage does not end to make room for the next; each stage remains present and contributes in making up a whole person.
  The writing that twists around the edges is written in a voice that is appropriate to its stage, things written earlier and left unchanged.
  Each retablos has a protective fabric pouch and are stored in a 13"x 12"x 4.5" metal file.

  1. Infant: Defining a cosmology
  I was born into the world just as I had planned it. Not the route intended, but here nonetheless.
  There was a pink dog with me that seemed to remember our origins.
  He would whisper "good night," "good morning," and "I love you."
  He told me he was going to leave me one day and not to be afraid.
  This I believed.

  2. Darling: A childhood story
  I started to grow. I was pretty and pleasant and played happily.
  I learned to float across the floor in my socks.
  I was pure and said pure things. I asked a bald man if he was humpty dumpty.
  And I took ballet dressed like a bee.
  I ate an entire watercress sandwich so that I could tour the Mayflower.
  My audience travels with me.

  3. Brat: Expression of universal grievances
  Eventually, confusion set in. I learned that I was a girl.
  It pissed me off to find that there were differences.
  I became devious. In the bathtub, I would hold battles and sink all the ships.
  I tossed pebbles from the roof and stuck game pieces up my nose.
  Some people said that they saw horns. My grandmother told me that I was on the right track
  My grandpa told me not to get pinned down by silly rules.

  4. Hostage: Time travel adventures
  One day I turned like Snow White.
  I used frills and bows, rings and charms, perfumes and powders.
  I always felt like a mess.
  I collected pussiewillows for bouquets that brought spiders inside for the winter.
  I walked in a blind haze. I ate lots of carrots.
  No one noticed that I was lost. I thought that I was Eleanor Rigby.

  5. Scholar: Theories and positions
  Stupidity rings in like a hailstorm. I discovered that I did not know much.
  I read books even though I did not understand it all.
  I absorbed the words into the marrow of my bones.
  The elementals were active and possibility was strong.
  I focused on those that exceeded my expectations.
  I found all my own answers to all the trick questions.
  I loved who I was becoming.

  6. Mystic: An account of otherworldliness
  Sadness travels in with the fog. Carrying vultures that buzzed crazily about my head.
  I moved slowly and worked with them for years.
  The payoff to the pestering was that they shared their secrets;
  trials blaze trails, and tears burrow roads.
  My chin was up so not to choke. I hung on to my ideals.
  Even when others behave badly.

  7. Saint: A declaration of love
  I saw love in the world and I saw that it was I. Everyone around me was love.
  Holding tightly to this makes it forever.
  That is how it all works and why the stars whir. Everyone is forgiving.
  I love cab drivers and all the gentle ones at the Salvation Army.

  8. Workhorse: Statements for visual artworks
  No arms, no sight. I have lots to do and my sense of touch.
  I bite off all that I can possibly handle plus more.
  Everything gets done because time is only an idea.
  I wear an apron trimmed with pearls from the sea to know there is no beginning.

  9. Woman: A finale of becoming
  Silence roars in quickly. Each thought is a breeze that lifts a lid open.
  Public privacy joins inside without.
  Where I am to be and what I am to do is here. There is no need to race or wish.
  Power passes without attention. Available, yet invisible.

  Read other book text here.


1990 Peppers, Seeds, and Rotting Vegetables
1996 What I painted when I could not paint
2005 For the Birds
2007 Butterflies are free
2011 The Year The Permafrost Softened

1988-1989 Chairs
1989-1990 Umbrellas
1997 The Chase
1998 Dismantled Sketchbooks
1999 Ragdale Series
2000-2004 Collage Art
2002 Charcoal
2000-2004 Figure Drawing
2000-2005 Project Art
2000 Spinning Plates
2002 Fan Collages
2001 Screaming In Places Where I Can't Be heard
2004 Wonderscapes
2005-2006 The Story of the Universe
2008 Buddha Was Here
2009 Life On Hold (NFS)
2010-2016 The Demandments (NFS)

1995-1998 Sectioned panels
1997-1998 White Paintings and Furry Work
1998 Red Dot Series
2001-2009 Wax, Wire, Gold, Globe, and Glass
2001 How Things Pile Up
2002 Retablos, oil on metal

2002-present Project Items
Historic-present Fane Items
1550-1560 Ancestral Figure Drawings

2002-2016 Paradise
2006 Negative to Positive
2007-present Four walls*
2008 Found
2010-present Teacups for Reading Tea Leaves
2011-present Waterworks*
2000-present My Crates

2004 White Sands
2006 Blue Clouds

LIBRARY OF BOOKS 2000-present
Painting Inventory
Book of Days
The Ragdale Book
Brain Book
Ransom Magazine
Box of Tears
Pocket Full of Cries
Flower Book
Retablos: How I Got From Here to Here
The Fane Pamphlet
Scroll of Influence
The Story of Red Trees
Red Trees History
Red Trees Chronicle
Red Trees Prayerbook
Red Trees Kakemono
Book of Leaves
Elemental Communion
Found: Journals from the future
Symbol Book
Books of Sense
Organ Origin
The Wedding Program
The Wedding Book
I Must Go
Ladder Book*
Book of Stairs*
The Studio Visit Playbill*
Flower Book 2*

Studio 1: Dayton and Blackhawk
Studio 2: Hubbard and House
Project scouting and on location
Works in progress
Exhibits, happenings, homes
Studio clippings and announcements

World Rivers: Curtain
World Rivers: Participants
World Rivers: Rivers
World Rivers: Cloth
Visit the River Log


* documentation is forthcoming
This archive is a creative history spanning two decades.
The documentation is comprised of many technological
formats ranging from slides, 4x5s, photographs, and
straddles the introduction of digital formatting of the time.
The goal was to preserve images, whether high or low resolution.

Lee Tracy