This article is part of a series highlighting local talent in Natrona County.

I meet Vickie Windle at Scarlows. We sit by the store-front window to watch passersby. She waives to a musician as they shuffle down the sidewalk.

Windle loves the theme of connectivity, conjuring the image of a grid with her hands (each of us represented by imaginary little dots) and expresses how those dots move around and intersect.

How many times have our dots crossed paths unawares?

We marvel at her matcha.


There's no muse for Windle, it's to muse. She takes inspiration from what's around.

I learn that she is a daddy's girl. He was an ironworker, and they moved around a lot when she was a kid.

Later, she will show me a book of poetry she made, titled Post Script. There's a band-aid on the spine as homage to their both needing them so often. A poem inside reads:

"I'm wearing my daddy's jeans-
my daddy's genes.
And what a stubborn man he was."

They moved to Casper around 1972.

Casper in the Seventies was a bit wild, she chuckles: "Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll." Picture a man with a shirt unbuttoned and a gold chain.

She says she's grown to really love it here, especially for its excellent schools, the library, and flourishing music scene.

As far as the art community, people really help each other; "It's not super competitive."

Her work is clear and straight-forward. She isn't much into backgrounds. "It's about what's right in front of me," she says.

Windle uses all mediums including old plant material and drift wood.

"It's dangerous for me to have something in my hands because I see the possibility of what it can be."

The poetess transforms tea boxes and envelopes into all kinds of things.

"I have become the place where old maps go to die," she says, evident in an installation she previously made for the Nicolaysen art museum and Art 321.

Art 321 Installation, Photo from Vickie Windle
Art 321 Installation, Photo from Vickie Windle

"Waste-not-want-not" is my motto says Windle. "I guess I'm just an old hippie. I grow my own food, I eat weeds that are edible, I wear second-hand clothing."

Windle has a great respect for nature, which becomes more evident when I visit her home. We end up in the garden where she grows grapes. I end up leaving with a sack of herbs: lemon mint, sage, and tarragon.

A grapevine hangs out in the backyard; Photo by Kolby Fedore, TSM
A grapevine hangs out in the backyard; Photos by Kolby Fedore, TSM

Inside her home I find an eclectic collection of vintage, thrifted things: a hat box filled with fedoras, glass jars with buttons, and a line of retro coffee pots. Art consumes her. The bathroom sink is speckled with old paint and there's a wall covered in hand-written quotes.

She loves to mend things and recalls a jean jacket she made out of scrap denim and a pair of bottoms from old band T-shirts.

Before leaving we sit in the art studio. It used to be a living room, but she gets more joy out of it this way.

There's sketch pads and bongos and a closet full of colorful coats. She's re-homed a jewelry box, which she plans to use for art supplies. The same goes for an antique Samsonite train-case.

She tells me she is a hyper-focuser. She might spend up to a year working on something. I  earlier asked what she's currently focused on. "Healing," she answers, recovering from a hand injury.

"Right now I'm in the composting stage."

Photo by Kolby Fedore
attachment-wall art

Casper Artist Showcasing Images of War in Ukraine at Scarlow's Gallery,

Finding Beauty Amongst Beasts: Casper Artist Creates Quilts to Express Grief Over Husband's Passing

Yong Hui Torske's husband died in January of 2020. And despite her overwhelming grief, she never stopped taking in the beauty around her. To honor her husband, and to express her own grief, she made 14 quilts, based on photographs she took of the beauty around her while she sat at her husband's bedside.

More From K2 Radio