Veryl Goodnight Biography
A Colorado native, Veryl’s career started as a wildlife painter in the early 1970’s. She began sculpting to educate herself about anatomy. Sculpture then dominated her career throughout the late 1900’s while she and her husband, Roger Brooks, lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their 2006 move back to Colorado intensified her desire to return to oil painting.
Veryl has completed over 200 sculptures and 20 life size or larger monuments. All of these works have reflected her Western roots. The most notable is “The Day The Wall Came Down,” a seven-ton bronze sculpture consisting of five larger than life size horses jumping over the fallen Berlin Wall. The United States Air Force delivered this monument to Berlin, Germany in 1998. A sister casting is installed at the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas
Veryl’s work has been profiled in many books and her work has been repeatedly featured in all major American art magazines. “No Turning Back – the Art of Veryl Goodnight” was published in 2011 to correspond with a forty-year retrospective at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2016 Veryl was inducted into The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Forth Worth, Texas in recognition of lifetime of representing the American West in Art.
Veryl and Roger live in the mountains of Southwest Colorado, between Durango and Mesa Verde National Park. The dramatic landscape, abundant wildlife, and the ranching community provide endless inspiration for both sculpture and painting.
– A voice for animals and the softer side of the west –
Read about Veryl’s journey as an artist
Veryl’s monument of five horses, one stallion and four mares, running through the rubble of the collapsed Berlin Wall to nine years to create.
There is still a story to be told in the 21st century of disappearing cultures and traditions that are linked with animal partnerships.
The story of how I set out to borrow a bison calf to create “Back From the Brink.” and how 7 day old Charlie began his remarkable journey with us.
“The Bachelor Band”
The horse has been my favorite subject since childhood. The only way I could own a horse was to draw them. I finally got my first horse when I was 26 and have not been without a horse since. I begin and end each day caring for them. I live with horses, ride them, doctor them, clean up after them, paint them and sculpt them.
When asked where I got my art education, I think of the hundreds – probably thousands – of hours spent in corrals, studying every minute detail of horses from every conceivable angle. I gained a thorough understanding of anatomy for all mammals from horses. If an artist understands anatomy, they own the key to the treasure chest of creativity.
Horses have been my greatest teachers.
– GALLERY REPRESENTATION –