"To the West" | Oil on Canvas | 30 x 72 inches

Ones to Watch: Jamie Kirkland

Oil painter Jamie Kirkland’s traditional techniques come through with a contemporary voice. Her large canvases transport the viewer into the piece, offering an experiential journey into the landscape. “I’m interested in scale,” Kirkland says. “I love doing large canvases in the hope the viewer almost has a better understanding of being in nature. I like to simplify the landscape. My ultimate goal is to create something with color harmony.”

For the most part Kirkland’s work concentrates on mountains and skies, bringing in glassy surfaces and ethereal breadths, instilling a sense of limitless calm while capturing the essence of light, color and movement. “To me the sky and the mountains are iconic images and I don’t think you need a lot of other information,” she says. “Even though my paintings have a smooth surface, each one has many layers of paint. I never know when the painting will be resolved and so I keep working on it until it has a sense of harmony.” 

Growing up in the South, coming from a forested environment, her first trip out West expanded her own personal horizons as she watched thunderstorms travel from miles and miles away. “I’ve always been inspired by expansive space,” she says. “I love how much sky you see. And how much drama is in the sky every single day: cloud formations, the colors at dawn and at sunsets.”

Her process incorporates action and reaction, adding layer upon layer until she feels she’s reached a point of concordance and balance. “I have a regular meditation practice every morning,” she says. “I try to treat my studio as a sacred space. I have a can in front of the door. When I come in I put all my worries or concerns in the can and put the lid on it. Then I go into the studio and light Japanese incense. I want the studio to be a place where I can be present and focus on the work and try to be available for what needs to be done next in my painting. I love when people say my work gives them a sense of peace.” 

Jamie Kirkland is represented by Winterowd Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Jules Place Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts; The Russell Collection in Austin, Texas; and Pryor Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia.

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