Fine Art Connoisseur. I hope you enjoy the article:)
Featured Artwork: Tracie Spence presented by Creighton Block Gallery
By Andrew Webster -May 8, 20170Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter
“Kalami-Spirit Guide” by Tracie Spence
Dibachrome Metallic Print
60-1/3 x 90 in.
“The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” – Carl Yung.
I am a curious being, I love artistic expression, I love to play, and I can’t help but be creative as my intuition builds even more creativity. I have a passion for all arts as well as deep curiosity for human nature and how the two affect each other. I was raised in Pittsburgh PA and performed with The Pittsburgh Youth Ballet through high school. It was through dance that I learned how the physical realm of human expression became intertwined into emotional experiences.
I studied psychology at Purdue University. It was at the time of practicing as a psychotherapist in my late 20’s that I got my first camera and started experimenting with photography in the dark room. After my first shoot, I realized that my true passion was still rooted in the arts and the study of how art form can evoke so much on another. I knew that in order to live authentically and honestly to myself, I must create. Trying out all forms of photography, I had won 3 Fuji Film awards within my first year of shooting. With success happening rather quickly I played with many genres within photography before deciding to settle on advertising photography for major international campaigns. All the while, I knew I would ultimately end up shooting fine art.
With twists and turns in life, a traumatic brain injury skiing halted my advertising career in a single moment and then my focus was on relearning balance, vision, memory, empathy amongst many other basic life skills most take for granted. I had lost my ability to see or think creativity as well as my ability to see or compose through the lens. Recovery was slow. In the next 3 years, I had suffered 5 more concussions and more setbacks. It took years to regain my ability to be creative and from there a whole new world opened up to me. I believe it is from these challenges, life lessons, and experiences that my purpose is now to create art that can touch others in a spiritual and emotional way. It’s all about rebirth and seeing life’s simple treasures that are all around us. It may be a ray of light shining through the beautifully shaped trees or the soul emitting through the eyes of a wild mustang. These are things I want others to see and feel through my work.
C.S. Lewis stated, “You don’t have a soul, you are a soul. You have a body.” Since being back behind the camera I only shoot what evokes my soul. I am called by my subject’s authenticity and truths in their own state of energy and rawness. My art uniquely reflects emotion, energy, and introspection and life in its most organic state. I am inspired by nature, light, shadows, lines and the emotions and perceptions we have of them.
I believe in giving back, my family and I happily spend our time, earnings, and talents to numerous organizations and charities locally and internationally. To find out more or become involved please contact me. I donate 10% of all wild mustang sales back to Return To Freedom. I live and play in Southern California with my two teenage daughters, husband, and two Doodles.
Creighton Block is located in the Big Sky Town Center in the heart of the famous resort town of Big Sky, Montana. Outside Yellowstone’s West entrance, Creighton Block has been home to award-winning, nationally known artists for 7 years.
Sean Conlon, one of my collectors, owns 9 Wild Mustang pieces and just happens to be the star of CNBC’s new reality show for real-estate ‘The Deed: Chicago’. You can see sneak peeks of my pieces all over his office during the shows.
KIMI ‘SECRET’ FROM UNA WILD MUSTANG COLLECTION
KIMI MEANS ‘SECRET’ IN NAVAJO. THE NAME SECRET SPOKE TO ME FOR THIS IMAGE BECAUSE OF THE INTIMATE MOMENT SHARED BETWEEN THESE TWO WILD HORSES. AS I SEE IT, ONE MUSTANG IS WHISPERING THE UNSEEN AND UNHEARD TRUTHS ONLY KNOWN AND SHARED BY THE HERD. THEIR MAGIC. THEIR SECRET. ONLY KNOWN TO THEM.
KIMI IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME PERSONAL FAVORITE IMAGES BECAUSE OF THE MAGICAL QUALITIES AND MOMENT, WHICH IS SO PRECISELY CAPTURED HERE. DESPITE THAT I WAS FREEZING, EXHAUSTED AND READY TO RETIRE FROM A LONG DAY’S SHOOT, I WAS KEENLY AWARE OF THE ‘MAGIC’ THAT WAS ABOUT TO HAPPEN ON TOP OF THE SMALL MOUNTAIN. SOME PHOTOGRAPHERS KNOW WHEN SOMETHING ‘SPECIAL’ IS GOING TO HAPPEN. AND I HAD THAT FEELING. SO I WAITED… THE SUN WAS SETTING AND THE WINDS WERE STRONG, COLD AND CONSTANTLY BLOWING DIRT IN MY EYES, MOUTH, AND NOSE. THEN THE MAGIC HAPPENED, THE MOST PRECIOUS, INTIMATE, YET SUBTLE CONNECTION BETWEEN THESE TWO HORSES HAPPENED. IT WAS SO SUBTLE THAT MOST WOULD MISS IT. JUST LIKE ONE WOULD MISS AN EXCHANGE OF A SECRET OR WHISPER.
IRONICALLY, THIS IMAGE LOOKS AS IF IT WAS PRODUCED IN A STUDIO - WITH ALL THE VARIABLES THAT GO INTO MAKING AN AMAZING SHOT THERE IS USUALLY A DEGREE OF CONTROL TO THE ‘SET’. THE LIGHT, BACKGROUND, WIND, AND ‘POSE’ OF THESE TWO STUNNING WILD HORSES WERE ALL ALIGNED FOR A PERFECT IMAGE - YET I WAS MERELY A STAND-BYER. THE TYPES OF VARIABLES THAT I WAIT FOR AND AM LUCKY TO EXPERIENCE ONCE IN A BLUE MOON WHEN PHOTOGRAPHING OUT IN THE FIELD. THE TRUE BEAUTY OF WHAT MAKES THIS IMAGE SO SPECIAL TO ME IS THAT THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING CONTROLLING THE SUBTLETIES AND INTRINSICAL NATURE OF THIS SHOT - JUST GOD’S BEAUTIFUL CREATIONS AND NATURALLY OCCURRING ‘LIFE.’
~ AND JUST MAYBE, THAT’S THE TRUTH IN THIS SECRET
I was terribly lucky to spend a few days shooting the wild horses on the Outerbanks. These horses have such amazing history and stories of survival as they co-exist with the occasional alligator and sharks and a sparse diet loaded with salt water. Not to even mention the tropical storms and hurricanes that frequent their home. There is more to come here… and soon, but for now here are some sneak peeks…
Every piece of art I create are all like “little children” of mine. So it’s very rewarding when I get to see them shine on their own - all from the Ghost Tree Series.
The UNA SERIES. My most thought provoking, soul searching, intuitive collection yet. This collection has taken me triple the amount of time than all my other works. I poured my heart, soul, and body into the very beginning to end of this series. Becuase it was so special to me, so emotionally touching I knew each piece needed special names and I felt compelled to come up with the American name and then find the translation from over 40 different Native American Indian tribes. This felt honest. It felt authentic, not for me, but for the wild horses.
THE HOPI TRIBE’S WORD FOR REMEMBER IS ‘UNA’. THIS IS THE MOST POWERFUL AND THOUGHT PROVOKING WORD FOR THIS SERIES, WHICH IS WHY I CHOOSE TO CALL THE ENTIRE SERIES UNA. IT’S FOR PAYING HOMMAGE TO THE NATIVE AMERICAN INDIANS AND THE WILD MUSTANGS. IT’S REMEMBERING THE BETRAYAL, BEING TORN AWAY FROM FAMILY, LAND, COMMUNITY, FAMILY’S, DIGNITY, AND CULTURE – BOTH AMERICAN INDIANS AND WILD MUSTANG HAVE ENDURED THIS SAD REALITY. BUT It’s ALSO PAYING HOMAGE, HONORING AND REMEMBERING THE STRENGTHS, WISDOM, WAY OF LIFE, CULTURE, PRIDE, SPIRITUAL ENERGY AND PERSEVERANCE DESPITE EXTREME UNFAIR UNFATHOMABLE OFFENSES THEY HAVE ENDURED OVER TIME. AS A CAUCASIAN AND CHRISTIAN FEMALE BORN IN AMERICA, WITH NO OBSTACLES OR ATROCITIES TO FACE GROWING UP OF MY OWN OR MY FAMILY AND LIVING A LIFE OF EASE AND ABILITY TO FOLLOW MY DREAMS, I AM DEEPLY MOVED AND SADDENED BY HISTORY AND THE FEAR OF HOW IT REPEATS ITSELF. BELOW ARE TWO AMERICAN INDIAN PRAYERS THAT SPEAK VOLUMES TO ME AS I RELATE TO THE CURRENT REALITY OF THE WILD MUSTANGS AND MANKIND. AND MY PRAYER AND HOPE IS THAT MAY WE REMEMBER ~ AND BE ABLE TO CHANGE.
Prayer for the Whiteman
And now, Creator, I ask you to bless the White Man
He needs your Wisdom, your guidance.
You see, for so long,
he has tried to destroy my people
and only feels comfortable
when given power.
Bless them, show them the peace we understand
teach them humility.
For I fear they will someday destroy themselves
and their children.
As they have done to Mother Earth
I plead, I cry
After all, They are my Brothers
Respect Mother Earth
Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been polluted
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find, that money can not be eaten
* BY SPIRITUAL ELDER WILLIAM COMMANDA AND FRANK DECONTIE
Don’t know about you… but these wintery scenes of birch trees and lodge poles from the Ghost Trees series take me to a good place;) Here are just a few.
Winter Wonderland, from my Ghost Trees Series, won Honorable Mention at The Last Best Place - Juried Photography Exhibition at Old Main Gallery. I am thrilled that the piece is now a part of Old Main’s Gallery collection. Here are some photos of the exhibit.
I am so excited to launch my new series ‘Ghost Trees’. These images were taken on the northwest area outside of Yellowstone National Park. I had to snowmobile to get to this spot where just before the treeline stops, the trees become a spectacle of mystery and shapes that take on various forms of humans, angels, and animals from the wind blowing snow into the trees where it freezes the trees in the mesmerizing shapes. I have never seen anything like it before, and I’d tell anyone “add it to your bucket list” for sure! It was a chilly -15° and I had repeatedly frozen my thumb to the metal camera. But, it was an experience I can’t wait to do again.
The Ghost Trees series is about getting in touch with the unrivaled natural beauty and tranquility of wintertime. This surreal beauty is equally met with curiosity and wonder. These works display Monther Nature’s play at ‘reality’ that evoke visions of ‘fantasy’ that invite us into a trance-like state of awe. With this series, it is my hope to re-connect the viewer to a deep sense of wonderment with all that Mother Nature has to offer and teach us.
As I mentioned above, the trees take on the most amazing shapes. Well, take a look and try to see the Cherubs with feathers and wings blowing behind them, pointing to something beyond them as they ride something only grand enough to come from heaven. Yes, of course, I’m an artist and spend way too much time in my head, however, once you ‘see’ this there is no turning back! I promise!
I absolutely love my Yellowstone Water Series. They are deep, colorful, soft, mysterious, calming, and inspiring to me. My vision for this series was to create imagery that is more conceptual than literal interpretations of the geysers at Yellowstone National Park. I envisioned creating pieces that could be ambiguous and be perceived as either paintings or photographs. The environment in its organic state at Yellowstone National Park is a curious wonderment to take in for people. So, I wanted to capture this mystery and wonderment and create dreamlike imagery of the waters. I wanted people to get lost in them. I love all the different vibrant colors and textures that are created from the hot springs. Being a science geek, I celebrate that the different water temperatures and organisms create this ever-changing work of art. Here are some of my favorite pieces on display.
What a grand surprise when I found out that Persistence finds her way again into the spotlight. I love this piece. I still remember all the details when I photographed this moment, she was running right at me and if it were not for my delusion of the telephoto (200mm) I would have ducked out of the way much sooner, but I was so persistent on getting the shot I didn’t realize that this mare was running straight at me, and luckily she turned at the very last minute. And that is why I named this piece Persistence. Becuase we both had it at that very moment!
Hightail, who i use for my file sharing web platform, did an interview about my traumatic brain injury (back in Dec 2010,) while skiing (yes; wearing a helmet) and how my life and career was immediately impacted. Click on this Interview to learn how life and work changed for me overnight and the interesting twists and turns and ‘silver linings’ that the accident presented me. Since my first TBI in Dec 2010, I’ve had 7 more concussions. I had lost my empathy, vision processing, creativity, memory, personality, and many other cognitive functions and emotional capacities multiple times with each injury. I’ve done every single modality of healing the brain that I’ve come across, both western and eastern treatments, from using food as medicinal purpose, medical treatments, and supplements all to regain or maintain cognitive health. Through all of this, I’ve become very passionate in supporting head injury research and treatments for others. Reach out to me anytime for further discussions ~
The most profound source of inspiration for me is nature. Just seeing the color in flowers, the way the grasses and leaves bend in the gentle breezes, the way the light and shadow reflects and dances from object to object. The aroma of fresh clean air mixed with earth all around me. The sounds of rivers and streams trickling… this is what recharges my creative batteries. These are just a few of my snapshots with my iPhone while hiking in search of wildflowers (and weeds… yes I love the beauty of Milk Thistle) up in Big Sky near Northwest Yellowstone.
With my Wild Mustangs artwork, I strongly believe ‘bigger is better’ because of the emotional impact these pieces have when viewing. They command such presence in whatever environment they are in - just like the Wild Mustangs do when you are in their presence. My clients share with me that these pieces have an incredible spiritual and emotional impact on them when they are in the space with their pieces. I hear the art pieces alters their mood, outlook, and they are calmed, inspired, and ‘moved’ by them… and every day. Check out this lovely lady, (Kathy, my gal-pal at my lab) standing next to 72x48 Puer Aeternus on acrylic and Handsome (I must say he certainly is!) at 60x45 and then me standing beside a 60x40 I Do. As you can see, the larger format is powerful!
I’m thrilled that Puer Aeternus and Persistence were published in Mountain Living Magazine. To check out the article and see this amazing home in Big Sky Montana click here. Architecture photos were taken by Audrey Hall - an amazing photographer!
I’m excited to announce that Heather Scott Home Design, an award winning deign firm and an amazing showroom in Austin, is offering editions of my Death Valley series. Heather’s talent as a designer is jaw-dropping to me, so I’m quite honored to be at their showroom.