Jackson Hole artist paints Western wildlife

30 Aug 2021

Carrie Wild creates evocative and energetic interpretations of wild spaces

Summer/Fall 2021

Written By: Melissa Thomasma | Images: Lara Agnew and courtesy Gallery Wild

Technically, Carrie Wild paints Western wildlife. But the verve and whimsy that she infuses into each of her paintings is compelling and unexpected — you won’t mistake one of her thoughtful animal profiles for a photograph.

She hopes, though, that what your eye doesn’t immediately identify as familiar, your heart and memory will. Through an evocative use of color and abstract energy, Carrie invites you to return to a moment of perfection — one found while gazing at some of Jackson Hole’s wildest residents. “I consider my work to be an amalgamation of contemporary Western and modern expressionism, though it has also been referred to as interpretive. My hope for my work is to not only paint the wildlife that I love, but also translate the emotion and feeling of my experiences while out in nature observing them,” Carrie reflects. “Think of the times that you have been driving through the parks or in another beautiful place and your brain captures a snapshot of something absolutely amazing or iconic as you drive by. You turn around to capture a photo of the moment, but the visual is gone; something moved, the light changed, the moose moved behind the tree. The memory that is still there of what you just saw is perfection, and only for you.” That’s what Carrie seeks to capture with her paintings. The colors and abstract expressionistic brush strokes have notes of recognizable landscape features that she feels contribute to the feeling and tone of the moment. This ability to convey a rare, wild moment is a skill she honed while capturing images of animals on her family’s farm in Southern Michigan. And when she moved to the wildlife-rich lands of Jackson in 2010, it felt like she was exactly where she was meant to be. “I felt like I was home, and I was becoming a part of the community. The reality of achieving my dream as a full-time artist was becoming visible,” Carrie recalls. She met and fell in love with wildlife photographer and safari guide Jason Williams, who shares her passion for capturing the magic of Jackson Hole’s landscape and wild animals. “I helped with reservations for Jason’s company, Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris, as I painted in between phone calls during the day and helped wash cars so they were ready for the next day. Eventually both businesses got too busy, and I went full time into painting!” That led Carrie and Jason to open Gallery Wild in July of 2018. “Our gallery showcases a carefully curated collection of contemporary art, consisting of works from featured painters, sculptors, and photographers all inspired by nature, a love for wildlife, wild places,” explains Carrie. “Each artist has a style that is all their own, ranging from vibrant and colorful to monochromatic and black and white; from chunky texture to super smooth; and representational to abstraction in many forms of mediums. We searched for artists with experience ranging from emerging to established that would bring their own unique style to Jackson Hole.” The interior of Gallery Wild is bright and inviting, encouraging visitors to step in, be inspired, and let the troubles of the world fade away. “We know that we have done it right when someone walks in, takes a deep breath and a smile appears before they continue to walk around the gallery. The work is displayed so that even with a wide variety of styles, each piece complements the other works within the gallery and flows fluidly from one artist to the next. We hope that our visitors will find a piece that triggers a memory of a special moment that they had while visiting this special place we call home.”
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