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“Every good painter paints what he is.”  -Jackson Pollock

 

 

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There are a few secrets when looking for shells on the Big Island. For one, Hawaii isn’t like Florida or the Bahamas, where you find seashells strewn all along the beach. Hawaii hides its shells in the water. If you wade, snorkel or swim near the reefs and ledges, and you may find a few of its treasures.

The Butterfly is a mythical creature that has lived as a symbol of love, life, rebirth, and courage for literally thousands of years. This animal has captivated man for centuries with its sheer grace and delicateness. 

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty."  -Maya Angelou

**You may notice that some pieces are signed Tracy Effinger and others are signed signed Tracy Upton.  You can rest assure that all artwork featured in this section is original artwork by Tracy, only some of it was completed before Tracy changed her signature from her maiden name (Effinger) to her family name (Upton).

 

 

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A few years ago, a friend was getting married in Capri and asked for a painting of two sea horses entwined together as the symbol for their wedding.  

Ironically, their vows of unending love, Italy, and all things turquoise inspired this collection.

 

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Located along the Gulf of Mexico, Captiva Island has earned its reputation as one of the “Shell Islands” honestly. It is actually made out of shells, like some magnificent work of shell art created over thousands of years. By far, the most popular activity here is shelling – you can barely walk a step on the beach without finding something wonderful. People come from all over the world, drawn by the song of the seashell.

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According to the Smithsonian Institute, there are roughly 17,500 species of butterflies in the world. Costa Rica is home to over 1,300 of these species, as its dense rainforests, and abundance of plant and animal life creates the perfect habitat.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -Pablo Picasso

Picasso said it all in one line. Painting for me is a must. When I am painting, the world disappears. Everything washes away. 

Below are just a few pieces from my studio. Most can be found here on my site. I will frequently be adding more paintings, so please come back often!

Giclée Print (pronounced "Zhee-clay") is a fine art reproduction made with museum quality materials using a professional large-format ink-jet printer.  These images are generated from a high resolution digital scan of my original work, and then printed to look exactly the same as the original.  Often, I rework and enhance the original image using Photoshop before printing, creating an entirely new and original digital work of art.  All of these premium quality inkjet reproductions are printed on archival fine art paper -- touting gallery-like quality, and incredible color.

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Hilton Head Island is a barrier island, so it doesn't get a wide array of shells, but it is home to some very popular collecting shells.

The most sought after shell is the Hilton Head Sand Dollar, aka 'Mermaid Money'. You can easily find them when the tide is low, laying on the sand's surface right beneath your feet.

Jekyll Island belongs to a class of islands known as 'barrier islands' - these islands protect the mainland from the ocean by forming a natural barrier between the two.  Given its ten miles of beach outlying sand dune ecosystem, Jekyll Island is the perfect spot for hunting seashells.

One of my hero artists, the great Alberto Giacometti once said, “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.”  

With the pieces below, this has been my intent.  About six years ago, I became captivated with painting seashells and have not stopped painting them since.  I am literally kept awake some nights in bed, staring at the ceiling, as their imagery reverberates in my mind. This intensity and brilliance acts as a constant reminder, that each one of us posses our own, innate, uniqueness.

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The Great Triton is synonymous with Hawaii, as it is often played like a trumpet at Hawaiian ceremonies, weddings, and hula festivals. Great Triton shells aren’t typically found on the beach, but if you are lucky, you can find them in slightly deeper water.

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Beneath the radiant sun, sand and surf lies Newport Beach, California - known for its sophisticated charm. A place so gorgeous, one taste of the perfect life will keep you coming back for more.

With one of the most picturesque views of California’s sunsets, Newport is a small paradise.

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The Great Florida Reef is the only living coral barrier reef in the continental United States. It is the third largest coral barrier reef system in the world next to the Great barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef. It forms a great arc around the Florida Keys, about 4 miles wide, aa it extends 170 miles long.

The Florida Reef exhibits signs of stress and deterioration. Sadly, threats to the well being of the corals include fisheries, human development, and pollution. The major threat to corals, however, is global climate change, and in particular, temperature extremes leading to bleaching and increased susceptibility to disease.

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The process in creating the pillow is as follows: I take the image of the painting and then create textile patterns. Next, these patterns are transferred directly onto the fabric using a process called 'sublimation printing'.

The result is a gorgeous pillow cover with high-resolution detail, and vibrant permanent coloration that won’t peel or crack.

These pillows are a rare combination of original art and comfort. Each pillow is made with a poly linen fabric which offers durability, softness, and excellent wrinkle resistance.
**Special Note**  Each and every textile design you see below was initially an original painting, AND is available for purchase as an original or print on this website. 
 

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I have fond memories of spending my summers on Ponte Vedra beach as we searched for shark's teeth and sea shells.  The hot ocean air and stark blue skies will remain in my memory forever and serves as the inspiration for this collection of neutral colored yet powerful decorative pillows.

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Sea Island - the  elegant, iconic Southern Seascape, is the heart of the Georgia coast.  Pink lemonade, mint juleps, horse back riding along beach ridge sands, bingo at the Cloister, Lilly bikinis and khakis with whales embroidered on them, all give Sea Island its Southern charm and renowned reputation for hospitality.  Sea Island is quintessentially preppy and chic, the best the south has to offer in casual comfort and relaxation.

The ocean pulls at us upon sight. Living in California, I have been fortunate enough to spend countless hours staring off into the magical pacific ocean. 

The great Buddhist meditation master, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche once said that our minds are like the ocean, and that our thoughts are like waves continually crashing onto the beach. 

 

 

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Shoal Cape, at the Southern edge of Western Australia is a stunning part of the world to explore and hosts one of the largest populations of Abalone. Sadly, numbers of abalone species are now at critically low levels because of over-exploitation. Stingrays, fish, and octopus prey upon abalones, but human poachers are their biggest threat.  

Within this intricate medley of images, you will find a wide variety of drawings and paintings in all different sizes and styles. While these pieces are stand alone gems on their own, they also work incredibly well in pairs of two or three. Mix and match to find the right fit for you!

**You may notice that many pieces in this section are signed Tracy Effinger and a few are signed Tracy Upton.  You can rest assure that all artwork featured in this section is original artwork by Tracy, only it was completed before Tracy changed her signature from her maiden name (Effinger) to her family name (Upton).

 

Copyright © Tracy Upton 2016