Punk Cooper is a fourth generation New Mexican who grew up on the family owned sheep ranch in the Hondo Valley, a part of Lincoln County that is not only rich in history but in art as well. For him this was an environment that helped develop an eye and desire for art. He graduated from New Mexico State University with a bachelor‘s degree in Animal Science in 1970.  After graduation he served as an army helicopter pilot. Returning from military duty, Punk resumed the responsibilities of working the family sheep ranch at Hondo and the cattle ranch in the Penasco Valley near Cloudcroft New Mexico where he currently resides.


Punk has been doing art for over thirty years.  His work has been featured on the covers of the National Wool Growers and the New Mexico Stockman magazines with drawings and sculptures of sheep and cattle as well as a feature article and covers in the Livestock Weekly and the Ranch Magazine, both, Texas livestock publications.  The past few years Punk has painted plein air architectural and landscape oil paintings of Colorado and New Mexico. More recently his interest in working with contemporaries through membership in Plein Air Painters of New Mexico has lead to participation in several juried shows to include “The sense Of Time & Place” Milicent Rogers Museum and “Art for The Parks” PAPNM.  He has also participated in the Legacy Art event in Albuquerque for the last several years; the Enchantment Art Benefit for Otero County; and is presently slated to be the feature artist in the upcoming Enchantment Auction.

Artists Point of View:

Punk says of plein air painting, “While I’ve been drawing every chance I get, from an early age, and have completed about ten bronze sculpture editions ten years ago; I have recently become infatuated with the idea of “Plein Air” oil paintings completed on site outdoors. There is something about the discipline of direct painting, the merging of a place and a moment of time that breaths life and excitement into a landscape painting. Often this direct response to my surroundings, even the sounds and smells seem to become as much a part of the process as light and color. This inspiration of scene gives me opportunity to paint vibrancy and composition that I don’t think I could otherwise achieve.”