From the time Tracy was a child, it was clearly being developed that there were two things that she was going to be passionate about in life – one was art and the other, animals. She grew up walking down the frog pond to see what she could catch and playing with the farm cats, and eventually that turned into pet-sitting, horseback riding lessons, and two summers working at a zoo.
In the 5th grade, Tracy’s school principal took an interest in her art and introduced her to the Wisconsin branch of the Federal Junior Duck Stamp Competition – and so began a deep appreciation for wildlife conservation. He nudged her to enter the competition so she did, that year and the following three, placing in each year, eventually with a 1st. Four years later, she was a Golden Key Scholastic Art & Writing award for a colored pencil drawing of a horse and she was hooked.
Most of the artists she has known, or worked with, or made art with over the years have all taken to the road of painting, but Tracy finds joy in the simplicity of drawing. While she has dabbled in and enjoys everything from watercolor to photography, and oils to wood burning, drawing is her greatest artistic love. The detail she’s able to render, and life she can bring to a piece of paper is always a source of joy in her life, and luckily that has continued to transpire into enjoyment for others who are drawn to her work, no matter the medium.
A large proponent of both land and wildlife conservation, you’ll find animals from across the globe and the habitats they call home present throughout her paintings, drawings, and photographs. As one who holds reverence for wild places and the experiences they hold, it’s one of her greatest hopes that her artwork can push others in the same direction of wanting to see them protected for years of inspiration to come.
“Where there is wildlife, and a beautiful landscape, that is where you’ll find me. I’ve spent the last 9 years in the West, learning, exploring, soaking it all in. It’s different than home, Wisconsin. It’s more grand, more alive, and in that I find constant inspiration. Whether I’m hiking a mountain, watching a baby moose splash in a pond, or feeling the sun leave my face as it fades with another spectacular sunset, beauty is everywhere. The job of my art is to convey those feelings of beauty with people who weren’t there, because I will never take for granted that I was lucky enough to see for myself, nor the fact that the places and animals I once enjoyed so very much may not be there in the future.” – Tracy Schwartz