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With storm clouds looming in the distance, a wave crashes onto the shoreline, foaming and churning with untamed energy.
Tracie Hildebrandt is an artist based the Seattle Washington area using the ocean as her primary subject matter. She earned a BA in Graphic Design and minored in Painting from Tabor College. Her work is inspired by the impressionist use of color and light. The seascapes challenge her to explore colors, textures, and compositions which she carries into her oil paintings.
I clearly remember the first time I saw the ocean as a child. I struggled to grasp the vastness straining to see land on the other side. In my paintings, I explore capturing the memory and mood of the ocean. Painting realistic scenes allows me to step into a memory using brush strokes inspired by impressionists to capture the mood and environment. These approaches invite the viewer to recall their own memories of the ocean.
I use my own photo references to inspire the scene of each of my paintings. I find it important to draw from my own experiences, so I can truly capture the moment. I start with a sketch to refine the composition adjusting the reference image to create harmony. Painting in oil simulates the same peaceful feeling I get when standing by the ocean. The tactility that oils bring when painting gives me the ability to layer and create depth. The fluidity and slow-drying nature of the oil paints allow me to push and pull the paint into the memory of the waves.
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