Picture of Tracey Maras

Tracey Maras

www.traceymaras.com | Instagram 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.

A soft pastel painting of a tree during golden hour.

Discovering Reflected Color

When asked to identify the color of a shadow, it is common to respond that it would be a darker color of whatever is in shadow.  A shadow of a tree on green grass would be a darker green.  A shadow of the same tree on dirt would be a darker brown.

Achieving Enlightenment

For a painting to work effectively, it should include a range of values as well as a variety of warm and cool colors. In addition, color harmony will be more successfully achieved when utilizing a limited palette.

An Artist’s Handwriting

Your handwriting is as unique and distinct as you are. Regardless of how we were taught to write, we each develop our own style. Immediately recognizable to those who know us.

A blog from artist, Tracey Maras.

I Don’t Remember It Looking Like That

The sky is filled with the dance of so many colors.  You quickly snap some photos to capture the moment, thinking to yourself about how you are going to create a painting to memorialize this moment.

A blog from Tracey Maras.

When Local Color Isn’t Enough

Sometimes I just don’t want to use what nature gives.  Sometimes I just don’t want to use local color.  Don’t get me wrong.  The world is filled with infinite beauty and inspiration.  But sometimes I just don’t want to paint a blue sky and green leaves.

Confetti Pastels

Do you like surprises?  Do you embrace moments of serendipity and happy accidents?  “Confetti Pastels” can add to your excitement.

How long did it take?

The question that every artist hears at some point is “How long did it take you to paint this?”.  It can be a very complex question to answer.  Is the inquiry to determine the financial value of the piece?  Does the answer somehow determine the quality of the painting?

Inspiration & Transformation II

Since many of my paintings incorporate wildlife, I must frequently rely on quickly taken photos to capture the moment.

Inspiration & Transformation

Inspiration can come from anywhere and at any time.  But rarely does our source of inspiration provide us with perfection.

You Enjoy Painting And Then You Get Lost

It happens. You are comfortable with painting. Yes, you know you have room for improvement and growth. But you enjoy painting. And then you get lost.

Building a Better Boulder (AKA Preventing Painting Potatoes)

While some may have curio cabinets filled with nick-nacks, I have rocks.  Smooth rocks, rough rocks, satiny, shiny, sparkly, large rocks, small rocks, really, really small rocks, if it is a rock, I am intrigued by it.

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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