About the Artist: Kaylin Wells

Kaylin Wells always sketched and doodled, as long as she can remember. Her primary subject-horses-galloped surreptitiously across class notes, book margins and scraps of paper at school.

Kaylin Wells standing in green field.

“I never realized how much I drew them until I ran into a couple classmates in separate instances, and they both asked me if I still draw horses,” said Wells, a fourth-year Washington State University veterinary student. “I guess that’s not the worst way to be remembered.”

Wells grew up in Federal Way, Washington, but spent much of her time at a family farm in Buckley, Wash., where her passion to study large-animal veterinary medicine began. She loved to sketch the animals during her visits there as well, she said.

Later in Ellensburg, Washing, attending Central Washington University for her biology degree and chemistry minor, Wells trained horses while holding down three jobs and full class loads. She also started producing commissioned paintings of her four-hooved muse.

“I find myself mostly driven to painting/drawing horses because I’ve always been so in awe of their physique, form and grandeur,” Wells said. “They’re such a wild, yet trusting animal, and I’m always calmed when I am with them. They’re incredibly gentle, but amazingly fierce.

“What makes them even better in my mind is that they are also working animals, although maybe not as much these days,” she said. “They are a symbol for a way of life and a symbol of human history, so I like to re-create that history in my work.”

One of Wells’s favorite pieces is “Greetings,” a charcoal-on-paper sketch of two horses Wells used to work with when she taught riding lessons.

“I don’t know why I like it so much, but it’s just a simple piece that captures a typical interaction between horses,” she said. “My paintings are of unimportant instances that can occur any day, but each in themselves can be beautiful. I hope that exhibit visitors will be able to see the art in their own lives.”

Wells will graduate this May with her veterinary medicine degree and hopes to practice equine medicine, not surprisingly.

“But I foresee the occasional small animal in my future as well,” she said. “It would be nice to return to central Washington, but we’ll see where the job offers take me.”