The Isle of Man’s stunning and colourful vistas are perfectly captured in oils by Manx artist Tracey Dean.
Tracey uses rich and vibrant colour to emphasise the beauty of the island’s coastline and landscape. She has had numerous commissions, with the largest being the Plains of Heaven from Chibbanagh Plantation which was on display at her exhibition "Coast to Coast" at the Sayle Gallery in 2012. As its title implies, the exhibition featured coastal views and landscapes from across the Isle of Man, making use of light and the seasons to remind us of the natural beauty all around us that we often take for granted.
A student of Norman Sayle at the Isle of Man College, Tracey went on to complete a degree in Graphic Design and won the Ella Olsen Scholarship, spending a year at Idaho University in the USA studying graphic design and life drawing. After working for many years in London, Tracey returned to the island to design for a wide range of clients, including the Department of Tourism and the Post Office. Tracey’s published works include the Spirit of… series for the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey. She has released a stamp issue for the Post Office that featured paintings of six harbour lighthouses in Tracey’s unmistakable style.
She says: ‘The Isle of Man is such a rich and varied landscape just crying out to be captured on canvas. I like the medium of oil to work in with its rich colours and I often work wet on wet. I’m always looking for new places and novel views to paint. I try to make my brush strokes more light and spontaneous to add to the freshness of the painting and I’m learning all the time about colour and composition and the effects that can be achieved with them.’
She said: ‘I took up painting in 1989 as a hobby when I was given my first set of oil paints. I was doing a couple of paintings a year when I could find the time. Now, I’m painting full time and am happy to accept commissions. I go out sketching and take reference photographs for the work to be done in the studio. I have attempted watercolour and would like to further explore its possibilities.’
It should be noticed that if you are particularly eagle eyed, you should be able to find the tiny rabbit that Tracey incorporates into all her paintings – a playful touch that is part of the charm of Tracey’s art.