Meet Tracy Hanna Foye

By Leslie Moore

Meet Tracy Hanna Foye

Artist Tracy Hanna Foye grew up in the small town of Kingstree, South Carolina. Like most talented artists, Tracy was practically born creating, and her talent was nurtured by her parents and art teachers throughout school. Today, she is one of the owners of Dezignworkz Art and Learning Studio in Pawleys Island, as well as one of the most sought after artists/designers in our area. A show is currently in the works to unveil her latest body of work.

How did you come to live in Pawleys Island?

I have always loved this area and have vacationed here all of my life. After I graduated from Coker College, I went home to Kingstree and opened Tracy’s, a gift store and art gallery. In 1985, I moved to Pawleys Island and brought my store with me. After revamping it, I changed the name to Island Elegance, doing art and interior design. I loved every minute of my work – I began painting furniture, doing murals and faux finishes for private residences. This eventually morphed into Tracy Hanna Foye Designs. One of my God given gifts is the ability to understand what people want. I listen to what they tell me, and then I can just see it in my mind’s eye! I see a space and ideas just start popping into my head.

My partner, Mindy McVay Heilmann, and I have been friends for many years, and when we opened Dezignworkz, we were both looking for studio space outside of our homes. I love teaching again and opening up the creative side of my students. Bringing the joy of art to others is very rewarding. People have a yearning to be creative, but don’t have an outlet – they just need someone to guide them along. Many people think they can’t draw or are afraid to try, but I can teach you to draw with a paint brush and help you work through your fear of the canvas. I know what it’s like to be stuck! I remember having “canvas fright” in college and my professor gave me an exercise to get through it. I had to paint five 11" x 14" canvases a night! It was hard, but it worked. Now when I start a painting I don’t want to stop.

As an artist, where do you get your inspiration?

My parents and my husband inspire me. My parents and I have always been very close and last year I lost them both within a few months. Mom had been in poor health since a stroke in 2007, and when she went, I think my dad just decided to go to be with her. They were married for 53 years. On top of that, a week after Dad died, my husband was in Florida and became very ill. He ended up having to have quadruple bypass surgery, but has come through it well and is now doing great. It was a tough year, to say the least. I threw myself into art to help with the grief. My dad always had to have a project going, and I’m exactly the same.

I’m currently working on paintings for my upcoming show. I love abstract expressionism and am on fire painting! This series is abstract landscapes which are glimpses, or segments, of a photograph and represent the viewer striving for a destination and enjoying the scenery along the way. I see this work as a parallel of life for those of us who believe (know) that there is more after this life. I feel like my parents are guiding me through each painting.

Tell our readers a little more about yourself.

I’m married to the love of my life! I was 41 when we married, my first marriage. Brian and I met singing karaoke, which we both still love to do, and were married in October of 2000. He’s originally from New Hampshire and is retired from the Air Force. Now he works at Litchfield Golf & Beach Resort. We sing karaoke every Thursday at Quigley’s in Litchfield, and Brian plays golf, but I just ride in the cart and drink margaritas!

Right now, I’m excited about my upcoming show at Dezignworkz. I’m still dealing with my grief, but I know my parents are watching over me.

For more information about classes or private commissions, contact Tracy at 843-240-8040, or find Dezignworkz on Facebook. Dezignworkz is located at 235 Commerce Drive, Suite 304, in Pawleys Island.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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