Artists / Oil

Sonja Caywood

Dayton, WY

“Growing up a cowgirl inspires much of my imagery. I render animals in portrait situations, personifying them in a manner sometimes confrontational, sometimes as a casual conversation or a glimpse into a candid moment.

“I constantly back across my studio as I paint, assuring that thick strokes of amplified oil colors read realistically from across a room. I want viewers to see a representational image which surprises them as they approach closer and see its simple components: an assemblage of unexpected colors and abstract shapes working together as a whole. My work is best experienced in person, as a photo presents only a midpoint between this dichotomy of realism and expressionism.

“I believe that “interesting is better than exact,” and I strive to engage the viewer with expressive brushstrokes rather than tight realism, fostering individual experiences rather than reporting what I see. It’s magical when viewers interpret a feeling or attitude I didn’t intend in the piece; it’s as if my involvement is only a starting place, as art should grow to speak in the vernacular of each person who views it. I’m blessed to make a living on my art, but if I never made another dime on it, I’d still paint.

“I live at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains in Dayton, Wyoming. Terry and I have been married 30 years. We have a daughter, a son, a daughter-in-law, and a small posse of pets. Thank you very much, Desert Caballeros Western Museum, for having me back for my fifth year at Cowgirl Up!”

SOLD Sonja Caywood, "Greet the Day", oil on canvas, 12"H x 6"W, $900

Sonja Caywood, "Fall Doves", oil on canvas, 14"H x 10"W, $995

Sonja Caywood, "No Gas. No Eat.", oil on canvas, 6"H x 12"W, $900

SOLD Sonja Caywood, "Lil' Jim", oil on panel, 8"H x 10"W, $995

SOLD Sonja Caywood, "Morning via Vulture Peak", oil on canvas, 6"H x 12"W, $900

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