Peek Into The Studio
Custom Equine Creations
My name is Caitee Cooper, and I love to paint! Typically, I complete my pieces in oil paints with acrylic and colored pencil details. My formal training as an artist consists of a single class I took as a senior in high school that focused mainly on drawing, and a week of lessons in oils on canvas with my Grandma the summer after my sophomore year. Any success I may enjoy as an artist I owe to Grandma, my amazing husband Dallin, and the wonderful model horse community who have collectively taken me under their wings and taught me how to art.
When I’m not in the studio, I’m usually chasing my two little boys, Evan and Levi (2 and 0, respectively), all around the neighborhood. I love to ride real horses, hike, hunt, fish, kayak, read, write, play the violin, piano, and organ, eat, and exercise so that I can eat more. In short, I’m never bored. Welcome to the studio!
How Did I Get Started?
When I was about seven years old, my best friend gave me a Breyer horse catalog. I had always loved horses (and animals in general, really) and it didn’t take much to set off a lifelong love of equine sculpture and artistry. I’m fortunate to come from a very artistic family, and my parents encouraged my siblings and I to enjoy all forms of art – including painting, music, uplifting theater, and more. I also had a wonderful grandmother who taught me how to paint with oils on canvas. But even though I’ve dabbled in the arts for most of my life, it wasn’t until after I got married that I decided to get a little more serious about it. And yes, the loving encouragement of my awesome husband had something to do with that decision 🙂
The great thing about art is that you can do it for fun and have it still touch lives. That’s all I really want to do. Whether it’s a surprise for an old cowboy who just lost the horse he had raised from a colt, or a unicorn for a little horse-loving girl, I love to bring them to life.
What’s With The Studio Name?
Well to start, elk are awesome. And also, I like laughing. Put them together and it really rolls off the tongue, don’t you think?
I’m lucky enough to have grown up in big, beautiful Wyoming, which has a strong outdoor culture. Every fall, my family would hunt elk for meat and I grew to have immense respect and appreciation for those amazing creatures. There’s nothing more humbling than climbing a couple thousand vertical feet (on foot or horseback), looking up, making eye contact with an elk that’s standing less than twenty feet away from you, and then watching them disappear into a patch of timber so dark that even Bigfoot’s probably scared of it.
Every fall, bull elk challenge each other for breeding rights by fighting each other, wallowing in mud holes, thrashing small trees with their antlers, and bugling – and that’s what inspired my studio’s name.