Tracey Maras

Unison Colour Associate Artist

Unison Colour welcomes Tracey Maras as an Associate Artist

Tracey Maras is best known for her realistic pastel paintings of the natural world around us and life interacting with it. Working with pure pigment, her pieces are vibrant yet intimate views of Central Illinois and beyond.

Her work is found in collections throughout America, including Historical Societies, Corporations, and the International Carillon Festival, and has been featured in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, Illinois State Museum, and the Springfield African American History Museum.

She is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America, Illinois Prairie Pastel Society and founding member of the Heartland Art Club.  Her award-winning paintings have been featured in the Pastel Journal and the International Association of Pastel Societies.

“Since discovering pastels in 2000, my work has spanned many themes including wildlife, landscapes and portraits. My insatiable desire to learn drives my work, continually leading to new inspiration.  I strive to push the limits of the pastel medium, exploring and experimenting with new techniques in each work. In addition to pastels, my other passion is teaching workshops and weekly classes, sharing what I have learned.

My introduction to Unison Colour Pastels began with a cherished gift.  A hole was left in my heart with the passing of a dear friend and fellow pastellist.  And I was brought to tears when her husband presented to me her set of 120 Unisons.  With every Unison pastel that I pick up, I remember her smile and laughter and my heart is warmed.”

Blog posts relating to Tracey Maras

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A Kitchen Tool and Pastels?

Over the years, I have learned that there are infinite ways in which pastels can be manipulated as a drawing and painting medium.  Examples range

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The Plan is Subject to Change

I am a planner (and not ashamed to admit it).  While I may spend time sketching for fun, when beginning a new painting, I always have a plan.

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Announcing More New Associate Artists

We can now announce our second group of new Associate Artists to Unison Colour. Our Associate Artists perform a fantastic role for Unison Colour and we are proud to welcome the following people…

A pastel painting of a bison on a dusty plain

Exploratory Sketches

Do you work from photos or from life? This is not an either/or question. There are pros and cons to either approach and I prefer the best of both worlds.

A raccoon takes a sip from a stream

What If? Part II

“What if?” can lead to a stronger painting. We hear it all the time… “Just because it is in the photo doesn’t mean we have to paint it that way.”

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What if?

Isn’t it exciting when you stumble onto something that is totally new?  That is what happened when a colleague and I were developing a series of workshops on creative underpaintings for pastel.  While experimenting and asking “what if?” the technique of “Floating Pastel” was created.


Please note that during this period, we can’t allow visits to our premises.

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