Tracy Frein

15th Annual ARC Salon (2020-2021)

Tracy Frein

United States


Tracy has over 38 years of design agency setting in Chicago, specializing in package design for major consumer product groups until he retired from Kraft /Heinz in 2018. Besides working on his Innovative Narrative Portraits, Tracy spends time teaching Colored Pencil classes at the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, conducting workshops to art groups across the country and volunteer work with mental disabled artist at Project Onward of Chicago.



As a portrait artist my inspiration is drawn solely from my subjects and their hidden emotional truths. To be able to capture those emotions, I model my work in black and white colored pencil on drafting film. Working with a limited pallet allows me to concentrate on the composition, form, texture, tonal values and lighting.

Each subject is a compelling visual portrayal of the human spirit, determination and courage. Working of Grafix® drafting film allows me to capture these hidden emotions while creating the depth and transparency that gives the illusion of distance in the subject’s features. I strive to show the viewer that while at first glance, my subjects seem serene and normal, but show a sense of inner frailty. Capturing this inner frailty is what has moved me forward documenting my subjects and their dealing with mental illness. They also contain a sense of inner frailty that we all possess.


The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.

 Miguel De Cervantes 


* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 15th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.