American artist finds Oasis in Guyana’s heartland

American artist and fashion designer, Tracy Douglas, center, join models Verna and Claire in wearing creations from her tie-dye collection.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

American artist Tracy Douglas says anytime an overseas-based Guyanese ask, ‘why are you living in Guyana’ her reply is always, because you left.”

“Guyana is not a place where you come to look for something that is already here, Guyana is a country where you come to create. If you don’t see it, create it,” added the outspoken artisan.

Douglas’ tranquil surroundings at Madewini Retreat on the Linden Highway is testament to her contented new life – a place where she sat down to reflect on how she acclimating to Guyana after arriving with her husband Warren Douglas, a re-migrant winemaker.

The Charlotte, North Carolinian took full advantage of this opportunity to hone her natural abilities on a 17-acre complex located on the Demerara Coastline. She is a multi-talented fashion designer and painter who continues to be inspired by this oasis.

The organic environment allows her to breathe, and to stay deeply connected to spirit, love, joy and prosperity she said, qualities that she celebrated her entire life, due to her mother’s inspiration. “My mother allowed me to embrace my creative self through dance, drama and the visual arts.”

The painter uses her face as a canvas to exhibit her work, as she centers her aura for life’s journey. “You expand your skills and add them to your creative experience. “You learn more from doing more,” she declared.

Her wanderlust led to her nine-year odyssey in Dominica, from where she was inspired to explore after experiencing one of the greatest rainforests in the world. Little did she know her adventurous spirit would take her further afield when she met her Guyanese-born husband.

“I knew I would thrive outside of the United States, said the dance instructor and tranquility connoisseur, who is constantly creating from the homeland’s rich natural resources. She unveiled a line of all natural Health and Beauty products of fruit soaps made with essential oils, oatmeal, coconut oil and cucumber and sold under her Blackwater label. The line also includes Neem natural insect repellent, body butters and sugar scrubs.

She also hopes for ‘sweet success’ when she adds her Ummmm Baked Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Cookies to her proprietary name.

Douglas, who wowed a Guyana Fashion Week audience recently with a stunning tie-dye collection, said for almost 30 years she has been a master at the art of tie-dye, utilizing dye-friendly fabrics to create colorful pieces.

On top of her many artistic exploits, Tracy still finds the time to work alongside her husband at Pandama Winery that shares the sweeping grounds where her art gallery is located. She also conducts meditation sessions and painting classes, which allow students to paint from their soul.

Douglas is an outgoing and articulate individual who welcomes visitors with open arms. Her mantra is, “Guyana is the last frontier but if you don’t have a pioneering spirit or an entrepreneur inkling, we would love to encourage and help people through conversations.”

More from Around NYC