After many years of working oilfields, riding horses and caring for cattle, Belinda Daughtery decided to spread her wings with her art and get it out there.
“When you spend most of your time outdoors, riding or hiking, in all seasons, you gain an intimacy with the land you can’t get just being there a couple weeks a month,” said the Wyoming cowgirl and high country painter.
Her paintings have been displayed at the Washakie Museum in Worland County, as well as being featured with the Advocacy for the Visual Arts Community Art center in Gillette.
Daugthery’s Laramie debut occurred this year, and her artwork can be found at Coal Creek Coffee Downtown.
Laramie is special to the upbeat artist because of her friend — and son’s mother-in-law — Bonnie Swiatek. Together they share a love for horses, which is a common source of inspiration for Daughtery’s portrait paintings.
Her visits to Laramie to see Swiatek and her son eventually led her to the coffee shop where she saw other featured artwork on the walls.
“I thought what the heck, jeez — I’d like to get my art in there,” Daughtery said.
Currently, several of the artist’s paintings are on display and provide vivid splashes of color on the brick walls at, demanding attention while waiting for coffee to brew. The artwork ranges from whimsical landscapes with grazing bison to surreal horse, moose and bear portraits.
Daughtery’s acrylic pour technique and use of bright colors creates a dreamlike perception that captures the wild-but-welcoming wilderness without distorting it. She described the technique as a modern form of impressionism.
In her personal biography, Daughtery said the transparent, spontaneous, flowing characteristics [of the paint] lend itself perfectly to capturing the ever-changing landscapes around us.
“I am not concerned with photographic realism, but prefer to let the paint speak and the brushes whisper, if you will.”
Currently, the ‘Cowgirl on the Mountain’ works for Forest Services in the Big Horns, having kept camp at Battle Park the past three years. But before her time in the Big Horns area, Daughtery worked for Atlantic Richfield Company, ran her own horse riding and guiding service called Renegade Rides and even sprayed weeds by horseback in the mountains south of Cody.
Her love of the outdoors allows her to embrace the everyday tasks of caring for cattle, ranching and lambing and serves as inspiration and source material for her art.
“Mother Nature has always inspired me with the dramatic beauty and power displayed in the high country,” she said, adding it’s only natural to connect those experiences with her art and create something that makes you feel good.