I make art to capture and acknowledge my surroundings. As I create, I feel as though I am telling my lifelong story. My inspiration comes from all around, and the subjects in my work are a reflection of my life and perspective. From an ordinary white piece of gum on an LA sidewalk, to the most beautiful orange sunset that drops past the most perfect purple clouds on Martha's Vineyard, I am constantly fascinated by things that grow from a seed, things that are held together by screws, things with color, and anything that breathes.
Every painting is a challenge and stirs a unique sequence of emotions as I work, emotions which are often communicated through the finished piece. This means that each time I start a new painting it's always a different approach. I try not to have an organized strategy or way of doing things, which keeps the process fresh and the experience more immediate. I am intrigued by a quick brush stroke and beautiful mark - to me there is nothing more beautiful than a broken line of charcoal next to a rich, heavy stroke of paint. I broke my crayons as a child and I still do.
In my contemporary work, there is almost always a hidden message. For example, in the series of animals that I have been working on, each piece represents a certain person or issue in our society. The painting of the swan, "Dress to Impress," explores basic issues of superficiality in our culture. To me, the piece communicates a sense of disappointment that external appearances are considered so important, but at the same time has a lighthearted feel; a gentle mocking of how people take themselves too seriously. In contrast, my impressionistic paintings are very straightforward. With these works, my ambition is to simply capture and appreciate the subject in a manner that communicates the respect and admiration that I felt and the beauty that I saw.
Born 1976 - Salem, Massachusetts
B.F.A. in studio art from the University of Maine, Orono
Traeger lives and works on the island of Martha's Vineyard.
To schedule a studio visit or request a commission, please go to the 'inquiries' page.