Sonja CaywoodDayton, Wyoming
I’ve always created. Spending long days in the saddle as a child, I would “make pictures” by framing the landscape and livestock with my hands, long before I learned it was a composition tool. Born in Sheridan, Wyoming, I was raised in Montana in a family who ranched in the “old ways.” We spent summers in Montana settings reminiscent of CM Russell paintings, with a mess-wagon, tents, teepees, and a rope corral. My time on the wagon: immersed in nature, far from modern distractions, inspired me to study and appreciate the world around me. I’ve always loved animals, and livestock figures prominently in both my memories and my paintings.
My lack of formal art training – a year and a half of junior college in the 80’s – is supplemented with occasional workshops, constant study of my surroundings, and learning from artist friends. My husband, Terry, and I have been married 31 years and have two talented, grown children and a daughter-in-law, who make us very proud. We live at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains near the Montana line in Dayton, Wyoming.
I believe painting is an activity everyone should try, and I teach fun, two-hour workshops to share the fun of painting with community members in Wyoming and Montana, and as far away as Arizona and Zambia, Africa. I’m honored when people buy my work and take it to faraway places; my paintings hang in private and corporate collections in most of the United States, as well as Australia, Canada, China, Columbia, England, Germany, France, Ireland, Japan, Pakistan, Scotland and Zambia – six continents! It’s an even bigger honor when people who live near the places I paint want to hang my work on their walls because it means the painting is saying something beyond what they see every day. If you took the time to read my patter, I am impressed with your patience.