I was so drawn to Traci from the beginning when we began emailing a few years ago. I finally met her in real life recently and saw that I wasn’t the only one. People circle around her, captivated and entertained. You get pulled in with her humor and energy. She is a delight in every way. And talented. And warm. And wonderful. On her blog I saw her photography which is currently showing at Sundance Resort. I decided I want to share it, and her, with you here.
Make sure to watch the slide show of her photography. You will love it.
Introducing… Traci Suzanne Marvel
ME- (The oh so eager to think of a question interviewer.)
“I love your art. Tell me more about your process, and your inspirations.”
Let’s see…my process and inspirations…
If you are asking me about my process and inspirations for my photography well that is very simply that I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night and in between I take my camera everywhere with me and document the day as I see it. Some days inspire me more than others. Sometimes I am in the mood to document colors, other days textures. Some days I focus on a single subject such as horses, other times its people. All and all my goal is to capture the ephemeral moments of the day that catch my heart.
ME- (On the edge of my seat interviewer.)
“What was your personal best photo, and why?”
Oh boy! That is a hard one as I have literally taken thousands and thousands of photographs, but the one that comes to mind is one that I took with one of my first “big deal” cameras. It was a Pentax K1000. I developed the film and printed the photograph myself. The image is called Amazing Graze.
I like this one because I actually heard the white horse say to the sorrel horse, “Come closer and let me whisper into the ear of your heart.”
ME- (Now a bit cocky since I’m on a roll with the questions interviewer.)
“Who, besides me, are your favorite artists, past and present?”
It is very true that you are indeed one of my most favorite living artists!
The fact is, I am an artist connoisseur. I love studying artists of the past and I love discovering artists of the present. I have so many artists that I admire that it would take pages and pages to write down all of them. But to give you a taste, here is a list of my Top Five Past and Top Five Living artists.
(I love Chagall so much I created and dedicated a painting just for him: Rêver de Chagall)
Top Five Living
(Besides Debi Hubbs)
ME- (The all of a sudden oh so full of questions interviewer.)
“Did you always want to be a photographer? What age did you start, and have you had any formal training?” “Is it true you actually lived in a tee-pee?” “Can you make me a tee-pee? I’d really love one.”
Yes, I think I did always want to be a photographer. I have been mesmerized with taking pictures ever since I can remember. My greatest influence was my father who always had a camera in his hand. He instilled in me from a young age how important it was to take a lot of photographs. He would say, “One of the most important things you can do in this life is leave photographs behind.”
Another big influence in my photographic journey was my Aunt, Sondra Peterson.
She was a very famous Ford Model in the 1960’s. Sondra regularly appeared on the covers of Vougue, Elle, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour and Marie Claire. She was photographed by the world’s leading photographer’s including Irving Penn
, Richard Avedon
, Frank Scavullo, Guy Bourdin and Horst.
My dad framed almost every cover she was on and hung them in our house. I would stare at them for hours and read everything I could about the photographers that took her pictures. I remember thinking how fun it would be to have a career as a fashion photographer. And then the brilliant Annie Leibovitz came along. I studied and continue to study her brilliant style.
As for formal training? I did take a photography course in college. I learned how to develop my own film. Other than that one class, I am self taught. I am very lucky to have met a gentleman named Rob Outlaw
who mentors me. I believe Rob Outlaw to be one of the world’s greatest digital photographer’s. He is also the one that creates my giclee’ prints. He is a master at that as well.
Yes I did live in a tee-pee for two years! It was the best time of my life! That was until the grizzly bear sauntered into the cook tent and ate all my freshly picked huckleberries. After that, I decided to move to town. No I didn’t make the tee-pee so I don’t think I can make you one, but if you visit me in Montana, I will show you lots and lots of tee-pee’s!
ME- (Now extremely curious and is also considering building a tee-pee in her yard while doing this interview interviewer.)
“Apart from photography, what do you like to do?”
Apart from photography, I also like to paint, design with fabrics and write songs.
My friend Sylvia Gauthier and I created a pattern company called Woolin Rouge
Woolin Rouge is a cabaret of Folk Art designs.
Projects so easy anyone Can~Can do them!
What is really exciting is that there is a french magazine called Christmas Majic, that is featuring a design we created called Holly Birdie in its September issue. The project is for a table runner, place mats, napkins and napkin rings. We did a similar project called Hippie Birdie. We plan to do a table ensemble for every season. next up is a chickadee with acorns and leaves for fall.
By the way, I don’t have any formal training as a painter. I just love to paint and sketch. It is one of my most favorite things to do in life. When I am painting or sketching or doing anything creative I feel so tuned into who I truly am. Alan Alda defines the creative process brilliantly, “the creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.’
And I do so live writing songs. They just come to me out of nowhere. The first song I ever wrote was when I was 12 years old. It’s a country western song called
He left Me in My Pick-Up and Left Tread Marks on My Heart.
I love the chorus:
Well he left me in my pickup
He left tread marks on my heart
I know he didn’t go alone cuz the truck needed a push to start
I’m so sad and I ‘m so lonesome
I’m so down and I’m so blue
Tell me what am I a poor young country girl to do.
My other favorite song I wrote is called
“Now that the Party is Over, Whose Gonna Clean Up the Mess?“
Here is how it starts out…
Now that the Party is Over, Whose Gonna Clean Up the Mess?
Now that honey our love has died
whose gonna sweep up the hurt inside
and how do I, do I know?
This heart ache that I feel is ever gonna, gonna ever go away?
Think I’ll ever make it to Nashville?
Oh and my other most favorite thing to do in life visit the Sundance Resort
I feel so inspired there!
I think everyone in their lifetime should go there at least once!
By the way, I am the featured artist up there for the months of September -November:
ME- (The profound interviewer.)
“Do you have any advice you would like to give the world? Anything….”
Yes, I do. I do have some great advice to give the world…
One of my favorite quotes in the world is by Howard Thurman,
“Don”t ask what the world needs.
Rather ask – what makes you come alive?
Then go and do it!
Because what the world needs is people
who have come alive”
I listen to that song daily.
And also keep in mind what Sir Cecil Burton said ” Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.”
And last but not least, if you wake up one day and you feel like you’ve lost your way on your life’s journey, don’t lose heart. Keep praying with moving feet and I guarantee if you do, you will find your way back to where you are suppose to be. The song Don’t Lose Heart
by Dan Fogelberg will help remind you of that.