Artist Statement

I enjoy painting. I try to be honest and forthright in my approach. I’ve discovered that some paintings are excellent but not pretty and some are pretty but not excellent. I’ve also realized that taste is variable. The paintings I like are not necessarily my wife’s favorites. My goal, even though I don’t always achieve it, is to give you my vision, my interpretation of a scene, or a gesture, or a feeling. Occasionally I’ll adjust the composition (usually just the angle or point of view) to improve the scene, but I find that God ‘s composition is always better than mine. My interpretation is rarely precise (or strictly accurate) but it is some version of the truth, my version at least.

I am a landscape painter, primarily, with particular fondness for the red rock desert of my youth. I’m also in love with the mountains of Utah and Wyoming, with water and snow and forests and autumn. I paint people and animals too, mostly portraits. I like faces with character, like my Dad’s or my wife’s grandmother. I’m also fond of painting beauty and extraordinary things, but enjoy the challenge of the ordinary and mundane. The real expression comes in trying to capture the temperament of nature, the disposition of a person or the personality of an animal. Moods range from peace and tranquility to thunder and lightning.

I paint from nature and from photographs that I take. I try to do outdoor sketches and notes as well as photos to give the paintings a personal authenticity. Some of my best paintings (especially those painted outside) were painted in a few hours. Some of my best paintings took months to complete. And the same is true of my worst paintings. I always start with a vision of the completed work, but find that paintings evolve. I lay awake at night thinking how I might solve a painting puzzle with a stroke, or a glaze or a color or value adjustment.

I’ve always painted in my mind, but until recently, I haven’t painted on canvas (much) for 40 years. I don’t, however, consider myself a late bloomer. I’ve always been a painter. I just postponed it for a career in newspaper publishing. If I have a regret, it’s that restarting painting late in life will limit my body of work.

I like my paintings and collectors like them too. They sell, and selling a painting is important to me in the sense that it validates my efforts and pays expenses. There is also the high of having my paintings displayed in various homes and offices. But most important to me is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I’ve created a nice piece of art and learned more about the craft in the process.

I’ve had some formal art training in college. Mostly, I have thousands of teachers, from art museums and galleries to magazine articles, books and observations. I greatly appreciate the many gifted artists who knowingly, or unknowingly, boosted my skills or confidence.

I hope you enjoy my work.

©2015 Kirk Parkinson.  All Rights Reserved.
Suggestions / Questions to