Tracey Maras

Tracey Maras

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. Since 2000 Maras’ work has spanned many themes including wildlife, landscapes, interiors and portraits. She consistently pushes the limits of the pastel medium, exploring new techniques in each work. Maras actively teaches pastel techniques in workshops and classes throughout Illinois.

Author Archive

A collection of blog posts written by this author.

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.

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.”

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.

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