Julie Kirkland was born with a gift and had the privilege of growing up in an artistic family in California. She always dreamed of being an artist, but her life went in another direction and it wasnt until she relocated to Colorado as an adult that she was able to devote the time required to build her career. Some might believe that starting at age 40 is almost too late to begin a new career as an artist, but not for Julie. During her first ten years of painting, Julie captured the attention of collectors and jurors and quickly became an award-winning watercolor painter. As often occurs with accomplished artists, she moved from one medium to another, and is now dedicated to working with oils. She says, I love the rich, buttery textures I can create with thick, luscious brushstrokes. The Colorado Pikes Peak region offers clear, dry air and intense light that is perfect for my work, and I am happiest when painting en plein air with my oils. Plein air feeds my soul.
Julie paints a wide variety of subjects, but what really moves her to capture a scene is light and shadow. Its the light that attracts me. I start with a compositional sketch and then paint a value study, which is key to portraying a strong sense of light. Julie admits she most enjoys painting whimsical subjects too, such as a rear view of three fat hens clustered together titled Hindquarter Headquarters. With a genuine smile, she quickly admits some of her work not only entertains others but the humor in them delights her as well. Her collectors agree that these are the paintings that set Julie Kirkland apart from many artists and what they create.
Its not only humor that inspires Julie. Travel to distant lands like South Africa, Burundi and other exotic places trigger her need to paint. For example, spending time in Africa moved Julie to begin painting figures and portraits. Previously, she had been intimidated by painting the human figure. But, after spending time and exploring various cultures in South Africa, she had to paint the people who moved her. Her desire to capture not only their physical beauty but also their very essence overshadowed any previous fear of tackling the human figure.
Whether a serious art collector or someone with a new curiosity about art, you will find Julie Kirklands paintings will leave an impression that keeps you coming back for more. As one art critic commented regarding Julies work, Julie is a sincerely eclectic artist & there are some traits that show up often in [her] work. Something marvelous in the light; a quirky humor; a varied and interesting palette; strong composition; and sensitivity to [her] subject matter& Hunter-Wolff Gallery believes its clients will want to keep a close watch on this professional artist.