Serving Hohenwald, Lewis County Tennessee Since 1898

Articles written by Elissa Tracy


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  • Life As Art

    Elissa Tracy|Jul 11, 2024

    The Art of Small Space Design As urban areas grow more costly and dense, our living spaces often shrink. Even in larger homes, there’s usually a room that, awkwardly shaped or poorly utilized, becomes a mere storage space. Whether it’s furniture that’s too large or a shortage of space-saving ideas, these rooms frequently fail to serve any practical purpose. Think like a tiny home designer to maximize the functionality of these small spaces. The tiny home movement - popular for those downsizing, living off-grid, or constructing guest house...

  • Life as Art

    Elissa Tracy|Jul 4, 2024

    Drawing! Drawing! Drawing! From the first crayon scribbles of childhood to the finesse of adult sketches, drawing is a universal course waiting for every one of us. By grasping a pencil and exploring its angles, we begin to shape lines that evolve into the artistry of painting and beyond. Drawing is inherently mathematical; many everyday objects are composed of repetitive, evenly spaced elements. Math is problem solving, just as drawing is a tool for thought. Think of fences, ladders, door panels, and windows—each a canvas of symmetrical p...

  • Life as Art:For The Love Of JoeFest: A Real American Toy Convention

    Elissa Tracy|Jun 27, 2024

    This past weekend in Augusta, Georgia, the 2024 JoeFest Toy and Comic Book Convention showcased over 300 vendors of toys, comic books, anime, novelties, pro artists, collectibles, and celebrities! Now, that’s a lot to see! Hohenwald’s very own toy collectible store, YoJoe Depot, was there to represent and be part of the 300-vendor party. Achieving Pop-culture status means your name becomes synonymous with something in our society, like Star Wars or Levi’s. GI Joe has accomplished this and then some. When Hasbro first launched the GI Joe toy lin...

  • Life as Art

    Elissa Tracy|Jun 20, 2024

    Art In Full Circle This month marks one year since I began contributing my column, Life As Art, to the Lewis County Herald. If you are a consistent reader or even if you’ve taken the time to read this column occasionally, I thank you. My hope was and always is to bring art in all its forms to you, the reader, as I truly believe art makes the world more beautiful and interesting. Many writers have different styles of writing, and my articles are drawn from everyday experiences and 30-plus years of art journals, scribbled notations on napkins, t...

  • The Green Marvel of Philippe Starck

    Elissa Tracy|Jun 13, 2024

    Architect Philippe Starck designed and completed the Unhex Nani Nani in 1989. This green copper-sheeted modern structure stands out on an otherwise ordinary street in the middle of Tokyo. The five-story office building, with commercial space at street level, was intended for Unhex, a construction company eager to project a distinctive image. The name “Nani nani” translates to “what is it?” in Japanese, a fitting title given the puzzled reactions to the verdigris metal-clad building. What truly makes this building unique, apart from its unconve...

  • Life As Art:Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

    Elissa Tracy|Jun 6, 2024

    Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Mirrors have always played an intrinsic part in our history and mythical legends of beauty and vanity. They are essential, functional, and above all, irresistible, allowing us to see ourselves with imagination, mystery, and illusion. Mirrors play a significant role in our everyday lives of self-examination and are crucial in the design world (both residential and commercial) as decorative and functional elements in bathrooms, hallways, bedrooms, and as elective accents. By utilizing the reflection of light, mirrors ca...

  • Life as Art

    Elissa Tracy|May 16, 2024

    Riding the Canvas: The Artistry of Motorcycle Gas Tank Art Motorcycle culture has long been intertwined with a spirit of rebellion, freedom, and individuality. One canvas that embodies this mindset is the gas tank — a blank slate awaiting the stroke of an artist’s brush. From the origins of this unique art form to its continuing popularity and the deeply personal connections it fosters, gas tank art has become an integral part of the motorcycle community. The origins of gas tank art can be traced back to the customization culture of the mid...

  • Life as Art

    Elissa Tracy|May 9, 2024

    The Art Of Window Display In the fast paced sphere of retail fashion, the primary goal is to sell stylish clothing and ensure customer satisfaction. This dance begins with the window display, an artful introduction to the store’s offerings designed to draw the customer inside. Much like pausing to peruse a restaurant’s menu before deciding to dine, the window display invites contemplation and entices entry. For many, these stores aren’t just shopping destinations but visual escapades, thanks to the artists behind these creative insta...

  • Life as Art

    Elissa Tracy|May 2, 2024

    May The Fourth Be With You: Celebrating Star Wars Day Every year on May 4th, a familiar phrase echoes through the halls of pop culture: “May the Fourth be with you, always!” This playful pun has given rise to Star Wars Day, a celebration of George Lucas’s iconic Star Wars franchise, which has mesmerized audiences worldwide. The origins of Star Wars Day can be traced back to the phrase itself, which cleverly riffs off the legendary line from the movies, “May the Force be with you.” This pun was first used in a full-scale organized event on May 4...

  • Life as Art:Reimagining Light: Artistic Approaches to Lighting Renovation

    Elissa Tracy|Apr 25, 2024

    Reimagining Light: Artistic Approaches to Lighting Renovation The shadows that light creates make life interesting. If everything is brightly lit, everything demands attention. However, by using various levels of lighting, such as art lighting, column lighting, and focused decorative lighting, a theatrical component begins to emerge, making features more intriguing. Lighting designers recognize the importance of refurbishing existing lights, updating fixtures, and preserving the integrity of original decorative pieces. This often involves...

  • The Art of Birdhouse Design

    Elissa Tracy|Apr 18, 2024

    The air outside is scented with fresh-cut grass. Toads emerge from their hiding places, and docile bumblebees, reminiscent of Zeppelin airships, hover busily over a variety of flowers. In Tennessee, the landscape bursts into high-resolution color as everything blooms and various species of birds sing from dusk till dawn. As humans and artists, we have the opportunity to support our feathered friends by providing birdhouses. These structures not only bring gardens to life but also protect birds from predators, blending form and function...

  • Life As Art

    Elissa Tracy|Apr 10, 2024

    For the Love of Fine Art Photography: Elephants Several criteria define what makes a photograph compelling. Photographer David Yarrow believes it hinges on how long people can gaze at an image. Three photographers who excel in wildlife photography—particularly in capturing elephants—are David Yarrow, Nick Brandt, and Chris Fallows. Their photographic styles differ, notably in their choice of angles. David Yarrow primarily uses low angles, focusing on individual elephants or small groups. Nick Brandt, on the other hand, opts for higher or direct...

  • Life As Art

    Elissa Tracy|Apr 4, 2024

    Springtime Through Monet’s Eyes As the year progresses past the shorter days folding into longer ones, the Tennessee countryside begins its gradual shift towards spring, blooming with early flashes of color. Artist Claude Monet, a name that resonates deeply with the vibrancy of spring, emerges as a fitting emblem for this seasonal transformation. Monet (1840-1926) stands at the forefront of French Impressionism, distinguished for capturing nature’s beautiful moments with a brush dipped in the luminous palette of spring. Throughout his long car...

  • Life as Art; The Art of Bunnies: A Whimsical Tale

    Elissa Tracy|Mar 28, 2024

    March, named after Mars, the Roman God of War, carries the vibrant energy of transformation. The expression “Mad as a March Hare,” originating in the 1500s, reflects the excitable behavior of hares, akin yet distinct from rabbits, during this springtime period. Lewis Carroll immortalized the March Hare in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (1865), presenting a character brimming with whimsy. Yet, for many, March heralds a season of celebration, a welcome shift to brighter days and vibrant colors in nature. This month ushers in handful o...

  • Life As Art - Underwater Art: A Mystical Fusion of Nature's Depth and Human Creativity

    Elissa Tracy|Mar 21, 2024

    Less than a mile from the sugar-white sands of Grayton Beach State Park, at a depth of 58 feet, lies a one-acre permit patch of seabed known as the Underwater Museum Of Art (UMA). UMA is North America’s first permanent underwater sculpture park, nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of South Walton, Florida. Beneath the surface, art and the aquatic environment fuse together as one, creating breathtaking experiences that dare our perceptions of the beauty of art and its potential. One purpose of UMA is to create art that becomes marine h...

  • Life As Art: The Golden Era of Sci-Fi Cinema: Exploring the Brilliance of the 1970's-1980's to the Early 2000's

    Elissa Tracy|Mar 14, 2024

    The Golden Era of Sci-Fi Cinema: Exploring the Brilliance of the 1970s,1980s to the Early 2000s The influential German science-fiction silent film of 1927 (directed by Fritz Lang) could arguably be one of the most iconic films due to its elaborate Art Deco production design and pioneering effects, dubbed a “futuristic masterpiece.” The films message, “The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart”. However, the period spanning the 1970s/1980s to the early 2000s marked a golden era for science fiction cinema, producing timeles...

  • Life As Art: The Art of Painting Without Sanding or Primer

    Elissa Tracy|Mar 7, 2024

    The Art of Painting: Without Sanding or Primer British artist and color expert Annie Sloan revolutionized furniture painting in the 1990s with her invention of Chalk Paint. With a lifetime of research and experimentation with color, the chalk paint she created in the ‘90s remains incredibly popular. Since 1988, Annie Sloan has impressively published 26 books, serving as an invaluable resource for those researching the idea of furniture upcycling and restoration. Both seasoned artists and newcomers to the world of Chalk Paint appreciate its flex...

  • Life As Art

    Elissa Tracy|Feb 29, 2024

    The Art of Visual Comfort: Combating Artistic Burnout through Nature The vast greenery and historic buildings initially captured my attention in middle Tennessee. Many people have their ideas of paradise; some mention the beaches of Florida or the perfect weather of California. However, with the population at an all-time high, open space is my paradise. Hearing the wind through the trees and observing nature - it speaks in signs. To understand its language, we must first notice what’s around us. This becomes challenging in city life where n...

  • Life as Art

    Elissa Tracy|Feb 22, 2024

    The Art of Black and White: Art and Fashion Three artists who stand out when utilizing dramatically applied wide brush strokes of black and white paint on canvas are Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Pablo Picasso with his painting Guernica (1937). When an artist uses the contrast of black and white, it evokes a sensation of vast spaces, good and evil, yin and yang, while focusing the viewer’s attention on the artwork’s composition. This week, as I opened the latest Vogue magazine’s March issue, what stood out immediately was that the first...

  • The Art of Timeless Style: Vintage Clothing

    Elissa Tracy|Feb 15, 2024

    In an era dominated by “Fast Fashion,” there’s a growing appreciation for the charm and authenticity that comes with vintage clothing. The Nashville Vintage Clothing & Jewelry Show, scheduled for February 16-17 at the Fairgrounds Nashville (Expo Hall 2), is set to be a haven for enthusiasts seeking a unique blend of history, self-expression, and timeless style. Clothing is more than adornment, its about fashion as art. Vintage clothing allows individuals to express their personality and style in a way that’s entirely their own. The pieces...

  • The Art Of Collage Art and Gel Press Printing

    Elissa Tracy|Feb 8, 2024

    Collage, as an art form and technique, involves assembling individual pieces or materials into a new body of artwork with a predominantly two-dimensional character. An authentic collage artist uses photographs from books and magazines as found material, deconstructing and reconstructing them using paint as a visual method to create systematic artwork on paper. In the early twentieth century, collage as an artistic technique emerged primarily by Cubism’s greatest masters, Pablo Picasso & Georges Braque. Picasso’s “Still Life with Chair Canin...

  • The Art of Romance: Valentines Day!

    Elissa Tracy|Feb 1, 2024

    Yes! Yes! Yes! It’s almost that time - Valentine’s Day. The card isle is filled with people picking up and putting down cards,(some smiling or furrowed brows) searching for the perfect words to convey love. Before the mad rush for the perfect card and gifts, before the vibrant reds and pinks adorned the aisles, there was St. Valentine. Saint Valentine, officially known as Saint Valentine of Rome, is a third-century Roman saint widely celebrated on February 14 and commonly associated with “courtly love.” Although not much of St. Valenti...

  • The Art of Ice and Snow Sculptures: Frozen Elegance

    Elissa Tracy|Jan 25, 2024

    Snow harbors a certain beauty all by itself and one way artistically to reimagine snow, is through the art of ice and snow sculpting. Ice sculptures stand as ephemeral masterpieces, captivating audiences with their beauty carved in frozen elegance. These unique creations, meticulously crafted from blocks of ice, showcasing the delicate dance between the artist’s vision and the unforgiving nature of their chosen medium. The art of sculpting ice dates back centuries, originating in regions with colder climates where winter’s icy grasp pro...

  • The Art Of Podcasting

    Elissa Tracy|Jan 11, 2024

    As the new year unfolds with calendars, goals, and agendas, the pursuit of joy extends to various forms of entertainment. The latest Golden Globe Awards underscores an ongoing list of new entertainment to watch. However, beyond movies, TV series, watch lists, and the top-selling books, the world of podcasts emerges as a captivating avenue worth exploring. Previously known from the 1980’s as “autoblogs”, podcasting as we know it now with internet and portable digital audio devices took hold in late 2004. Podcasting in its current state, has s...

  • The Art Of Quilted Jackets and Coats

    Elissa Tracy|Jan 4, 2024

    The resurgence of quilted jackets and coats is a trend transformed from humble family heirlooms adorning beds and sofas to mainstream fashion statements. This trend gained a lot of traction in 2023 and it still strong for 2024 morphing from once quirky to now tailored and refined in its construction. The roots of quilted jackets run deep, originating from the familial warmth of homemade treasures. Tracing their historical evolution, these cozy textiles have transcended their domestic origins to become coveted fashion items, gracing the racks...

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