Stefanie Travers was born on Vancouver Island. Her entire life has been shaped and moulded by her love of horses and art.
Farrier, trainer, teacher/learner and ardent philosopher of the horse, she has been exploring the deep soul connection we feel to these remarkable creatures since she could walk. Although her early years were spent in English attire and jumping, her deep love was always for the Western Dream, and soon she was running off to Spruce Meadows, cattle station work in the Australian outback, guide outfitting, and training for neighbours until it all evolved into a full-time occupation in the southern interior of BC.
Always shy and reserved, it was through the horses themselves she discovered the joy of sharing and co-inspiring as a teacher, particularly the exploration of the Big 3: Feel, Timing and Balance. She has a passion and reverence for the Old Californio Style of horsemanship; the slow, soft, balanced way of developing a horse into a powerful and assured partner that allows her to constantly be challenged, humbled and growing and is truly an Art unto itself, along with a huge appreciation for it’s fine handmade gear. One love took a back seat for another for a number of years until recently, when her art came stomping up from the basement, demanding to be expressed.
Back on Vancouver Island years ago, Stefanie spent time as a creator of props for award winning promotions in stores, and won accolades for two large paper mache sculptures in Island Art Shows in the late ‘90’s, but it wasn’t until spring of 2013 that she once again picked up a paint brush tentatively and has since been happily dragged along by it into a fascinating world of colour, light and expression. Most of her work has been commissioned by fellow horse lovers to commemorate their equine friends, an honour she has feels very privileged to do; each horse unique in it’s character, structure and essence. Beneath every painting are written words dedicated to the horse…words of love from owners, admiration for them and joy in celebrating a shared life that she felt would infuse the painting with that love.
Alongside her love of painting and almost completely opposite it in the creative process is the ancient art of Bronze sculpture that her determination to learn how and do was sparked by those long ago Paper Mache creations. To date she has completed two “ Standing Ground” and “The Ottoman Empire” with a couple dozen more ideas restlessly awaiting manifestation in her mind.
But whether it is a well-trimmed hoof sporting a handmade horseshoe, developing a fine bridle horse, teaching a horsemanship clinic, evocative painting or sculpting the next bronze matters not…it is ALL art for her.
Currently, she lives with IV, her palomino Quarter Horse Bridle Horse mare and Duende the up and coming Palomino Lusitano filly, and her Great Dane, Rose in Merritt B.C.