My art is inspired by many of life experiences and those I am still to have. I am stimulated by the variety of colors and see now that bold color brings me joy. I love the fluid movement of my work which becomes a "dance" with the canvas. I am always excited to see the end product of my painting. Many paintings become an association with island life.
When I begin a painting, I have no preconceived idea of what image will appear on my canvas as this develops through the process of flow. I work with my canvas setting flat on a table so I can view it from all angles.  I pour the paint with an added medium and move the canvas to a point where I then use a pallet knife or brush to complete that part of the painting. The painting evolves with new colors or layers added to the canvas. Each painting is open to the viewer's introspection. The end result always creates an emotion of surprise and delight.
People that see my art are moved by the fluid nature of my piece and bright colors. Many say it brightens their lives and home and often takes them back to the islands where they can feel the warmth, breezes, and smells of the islands.



Many of us look back on the places where we grew up with fondness and nostalgia, but acrylic and mixed media painter Debbie Tracey takes this a step further, drawing on her childhood memories as a source of inspiration for her bright, colorful abstracts. Tracey was born in San Francisco but moved to Hawaii when she was eight years old. She spent most of her youth on the south shore of Kauai, enjoying the vibrant beauty of the island and playing on the beach with her friends. She was a member
of a local yacht club and had the opportunity to participate in athletics from playing tennis to sailing to swimming and bodysurfing. Naturally, being exposed to all of the unique and lively terrains of Kauai inspired Tracey, who always had a creative inclination, to express the beauty around her through art. As she was growing up, she took a variety of classes in different visual art forms, including pottery, stained glass, and watercolor. 

In college, Tracey continued taking art classes and eventually earned a degree in fine arts from Pacific University in Oregon. Later, she returned to school and completed a MA in education. She was always looking to expand her artistic skill through college classes and workshops, but it wasn’t until her retirement that she finally had the time to really delve into doing what she loved: painting.

Even though her studio is on the Puget Sound in Olympia, Washington, Tracey finds inspiration in her island upbringing. The vibrancy of island life works its way into each of her abstracts. “My joy comes from bold color!” Tracey explains. “I also love the fluid movement of my work, which becomes a ‘dance’ with my creative soul.” This fluidity comes from her loose painting process, which involves pouring paint onto the canvas, moving and sculpting it with a pallet knife, and adding layers. Her combined use of color and texture creates a unique flow that evokes the natural beauty of Kauai. While she doesn’t always start with a particular subject in mind, many of Tracey’s paintings morph into abstract depictions of nature. “Each painting is an experiment with color and movement, which
creates a unique and dynamic piece,” she says. “I usually start with choosing colors and go from there, mixing and moving them around the canvas. I work with my canvas laying flat on a table so I can view it from many angles. The painting evolves with new colors or layers added to the canvas.” 

Some of Tracey’s major artistic influences include Bette Ridgway and Caliche and Pao. She notes that “their color pallets greatly influenced my choices of color. Bright, wild, and exciting!” Viewers and collectors often comment that Tracey’s lively abstracts bring a smile to their face and joy to their home. Many have felt refreshed by the presence of island life and warmth in her paintings.

Tracey is a member of The Artists’ Gallery in Olympia and shows her work at Museum Contempo in Shelton, WA, Phoenix Rising Art Gallery in Vancouver, WA, Art At The Cave in Vancouver, WA, , Mosaic Arts Alliance , Society of Washington Artists,  and Perks of Art in Hillsboro, OR.

Tracey’s love of water sports from her childhood has stayed with her into retirement. When she isn’t painting, Tracey is often out kayaking on the Puget Sound and other bodies of water. She also enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling. She has spent time in Europe, absorbing the incredible scenery and art of countries like Italy and Greece., 

Tracey feels that her mission as an artist is “to bring joy and happy memories to those that view my work.” She does this successfully by sharing her own memories of Kauai through her bold and fearless use of color.




Debbie Tracey Resume

EDUCATION Debbie Tracey earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon in 1975. She had the opportunity to learn from professors in abstract art and ceramics. She continued her art education in her adult life by taking college classes and workshops throughout the years.

STYLE Debbie works with acrylic paint and different mediums on gallery wrapped cotton canvas. She uses a pour technique and moves the paint around the canvas with pallet knives and brushes. She starts her painting by choosing colors and has no particular subject in mind. This all comes together on the canvas by moving and adding layers which create a unique painting.

FAMILY Debbie and her husband Dennis reside in Olympia, WA. They have one daughter and two sons.


Phoenix Rising Art Gallery 2020

Art At The Cave 2020

Xanadu Gallery Catalog 2020

The Artists’ Gallery (2018-present)

Angst Gallery 2019

Museum Contempo (2019-present)

Art At The Cave (present)

Perks of Art (2018-present)


Mosaic Arts Alliance Art As Therapy January 2021

Society of Washington Artists-November/December 2020

Art At The Cave November/December 2020

Phoenix Rising Art Gallery November/December 2020

Mosaic Arts Alliance-November/December 2020

Art At The Cave August 2020

Art At The Cave July 2020

2020 Southwest Juried Exhibition July 2020

Fusion V June 2020

Mosaic Arts Alliance Surprise and Delight Us March 2020

Society of Western Artists Spring Show March 2020

Art for the Holidays December 2019

Celebration of Light September 2019

Harvest Moon September 2019

The Artists’ Gallery Event June 2019

Fusion IV June 2019

Installations II April 2019

Artists’ Gallery Reception April 2019 Creative Holidays December 2018

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