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Artist Profile: Tracy Edge Hume

Following Her Instincts and Letting Beauty Emerge

By Ellen Samsell Salas

Tracy Edge Hume’s love of creating took flight when a high school teacher introduced her to the world of art. It was this teacher’s guidance that changed her life and inspired her to go to art school, where she developed her passion for sculpting, printmaking, and mixed media. Often sketching throughout the day and working from midnight to early morning, Hume is also dedicated to teaching and guiding developing artists. 

Hume’s first love is carving soapstone. Because it is soft, she never knows what each stone will reveal. Veins created by animals, dirt, or leaves might present challenges. 

“Sometimes I have a vision, but the stone tells me where it wants to go,” she said. “That’s why I love it so much — it’s going to do what it wants to do. If I see veins, I need to work with the veins.”

Hume begins sculpting using a wood chisel. Challenged by nerve damage, she sometimes uses an air compressor to generate the force needed to make large adjustments or rotary tools to create fine details. Whether working only with hand tools or using some power tools, Hume creates sculptures with graceful curves and intricate lines. No longer blocks of stone, her sculptures flow effortlessly, and their gleaming surfaces make the pieces tactile as well as visual experiences.

Although printmaking demands thinking in reverse, Hume said it is also freeing because it allows her to experiment with types of paper, layers of color and other materials, and sometimes multiple pulls. Hume’s prints become complex mixed media canvases with fluent lines, multi-hued palettes, and rich textures that interplay and complement each other. 

When printing from a sheet of glass, Hume first applies a solid layer of paint to it. While it is still wet, she uses cardboard, straws, coffee stirrers — anything she comes across — to create visual interest including lines of varying sizes and diverse textures, movement, and energy. Sometimes, she applies pieces of torn paper or adds airy effects by moving the paint with an air compressor. She then lays a sheet of paper on the paint and applies pressure with her hand or a brayer before pulling the paper to reveal the image. Occasionally, she repeats the process, adding colors, strokes, and textures. 

When the canvas dries, she enhances the image, using color or wax pencils, ink, pastels, charcoal, or even coffee grounds. 

“I always like to bring elements and principles of design together in a pleasing manner. But, for me, it is all about the process,” Hume said. “The process represents the struggles and rewards in life. I never know what might work, so I keep adding and deleting until it all comes together in a manner that will intrigue the viewer.”

To view more of Hume’s work, visit or follow her on Instagram @thsoapstone