STEFANIE TRAVERS BIOGRAPHY
One of the first things one notices about Stefanie Travers’s work is that she is bananas about horses and animals and knows them intimately, but it’s been said she doesn’t paint the animal as much as draws you into their soul, and reflects a light back on ours. Born on Vancouver Island, BC, middle child to a pair of highly entrepreneurial parents, she ‘immigrated’ to the southern interior of BC 15 years ago to near Kamloops, where sagebrush, pines, rocks inhabit the high lonesome corners where her passion for horses, cattle and inspiration would flourish.
They say one can never guess how all the things that happen to a person will weave together to create a beautiful life and fruition of their talents but growing up on a mixed farm with 4-H, livestock and horse shows, she never recalls NOT being creative. Drawing and writing, building award winning decorations, posters, signs and sculptures, from childhood to her early twenties all the while failing conventional art classes, with a family that insisted “that horses and art make nice hobbies, dear, get a real job.” But inner longings, soul searching’s and definite independent stubborn steak inexorably pulled her out of retail management and on down the road less traveled. Australian Outback, then guide outfitting in the back country of British Columbia, to professional farrier (horseshoer) adding horse trainer and clinician later for a rich and fulfilling couple decades until, one day, all sneaky like…her art came stomping up from the basement, demanding to be expressed.
48" x 36" Oil and Respect on canvas
"Worth His Weight"
26" x 20" Oil and Honour on panel
She gazed at it bemusedly, with trepidation and a weird sense of longing mixed with hope and took a painting class. Then created a bronze sculpture. And then began creating commissions for her horse clients, loving the new challenges, experimentation and wonder of pigments and paint and light. But it wasn’t until her Muse threw her under a violently reactive horse and was trampled severely on an isolated ranch that she sat up and began to take notice that this urge to create was demanding a much larger degree of attention.
"Into the Mystic"
9" x 12" Oil and Love on linen panel
Travers paints predominately in oils with a deep love and awe for her subjects and the wonderful metaphors and lessons they reflect back to us as wisdom. Drawing on her lifetime of knowledge, whether it’s a hand forged shoe applied to a living hoof, initiating a baby horse into a ridden one, watching people develop a greater sensitivity and feel, refining her own appreciation for the art of equitation…it all influences her work.
"The Lightness of Being"
30" x 24" Oil and Reverence on canvas
While these commissions gave her an incredible opportunity for “on the job” education, she has been deeply moved by the work of Greg Beecham and Canadian icon, David Langevin, and has been graciously nudged along by both artists. Travers is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and Women Artists of the West with three solo shows, multiple group shows and awards in several as well as pieces of her art calling not only Canada home, but also several US States, and Portugal. She has been featured in western magazine articles and podcasts. Travers occasionally enjoys teaching other folks skittish and disbelieving in their artistic abilities the joy of painting and has also created and runs a highly popular women and horse retreat each July that uplifts, connects and empowers with a rather heavy emphasis on silliness and play.
With a profound sense of wonder and gratitude for the gifts a life lived with animals and those that love them, her deepest hope is that her joy in capturing a look, a poignant moment of connection, of longing, or intensity or shift of light across gathered muscles may just inspire another to their own truth and perhaps, just perhaps, feel compelled to follow that truth all the while enjoy the beauty that captured her own heart to create.
In her own words, Travers says "It feels so magical that everything...every wonder filled bit of this life...is all Art and it seems to weave together into this rich gratitude filled kinda zaney tapestry of my life and work."