Sculpting and Painting the American West
Sculpting From Life
People often tell me that my work looks so “life-like.” When
I am successful in capturing reality, it is simply because I had
a good model backed up with a good foundation in anatomy. In recent
years digital video has become very helpful in capturing the ultimate
moment of action. Still photos have always been a great aide. Neither,
however, can begin to replace the information nor the excitement
that I get from the actual model.
When living in Englewood, Colorado, we had a large pond. As a gosling, Andy had his leg bitten off by a snapping turtle. He was rescued and given to me to raise. Andy was terribly handicapped without his leg and I straddled him for two years, protecting him from the other geese on our pond at feeding time. He felt safest in my studio modeling.
I moved to Castle Rock, Colorado. A tame coyote used for movie work gave birth to a litter of puppies. Calamity was given to me at six weeks of age to imprint so that she too could be a star. She inspired one of my favorite sculptures to this day, and she provided a valuable lesson as well.
In 1987 I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico with my husband, Roger Brooks. We built our barn before we built our home and my great love for horses really took flight. My studio has a stage that allows me to bring horses in to model year round. Matt Dillon is half Quarter Horse and half Arabian. He is tall, handsome, well muscled and has inspired four sculptures (Reflections – shown here in clay and sold out – Second Thoughts –sold out in the smaller size – Running the Chaparral and Horseplay) as well as one monument (Second Thoughts)
We began the new century with an incredible journey that allowed
Roger and I to share three years and two months with an extraordinary
individual. I borrowed Charlie to model in "Back From The
Brink." We flew him home in our plane when he was seven days
old. Charlie suffered a neck injury during weaning that prevented
him from returning to a normal bison life. He never missed life
on the prairie, however, for he and Roger formed an inseparable
bond. Charlie grew into a gentle giant that liked nothing better
than hiking with Roger and greeting the hundreds of people that
came to meet him. Tragically, we lost Charlie to pneumonia in August
of 2003. His memory lives on in "Back From The Brink," "Survivor," "Tomorrow’s
Leader", and "Prairie Contender".
Click on "Back From The Brink" for a more complete story of Charlie and the history that inspired this sculpture.
44255 Road L
Mancos, Colorado 81328
Veryl's Cell (970) 570-7768