Friday, August 21, 2015

Berries and Cream

Berries and Cream                6x6" oil

Berries and cream come to mind when I see red, luscious strawberries like these. You can almost smell their intoxicating fragrance!  What would summer be without them? Starting bid is $45.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Daisy Sunbath

Daisy Sunbath                      3x4 inch oil

Daises and sunflowers are my favorite flowers. They are simple in design and color, but their happy faces bring happiness and cheer. This little daisy charmed me with her upturned face soaking up the sun.

Opening bid is $20 or you can buy it now for $45.  Let me know if I can help you with framing!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Bumble Cafe

"Bumble Cafe"                        3x4 inch oil   (Image slightly larger than the actual painting)

One of the great sounds of a summer garden on a warm day is the buzz of bumble bees collecting nectar from the many-colored "cafes" that they find.   How to simplify the wings and still have them read properly was a challenge, especially on such a tiny canvas.

Opening bid on this painting is only $20!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Amber Eyes

"Amber Eyes" 6x8 inch oil on canvas panel

$40 starting bid

The last two years has been a mixed bag of big events in my family, ranging from my sister's cancer, my son's wedding, my father's severe stroke, my husband's retirement and other major celebrations. My focus has been on painting in my available time and I gave myself permission not to spend as much time on the business end of art.  This post begins my return to connecting with all of you online, so I'm resurrecting my once a week blog post.  I'm excited to share my latest work and the progress that I'm making in the studio!

"Amber Eyes" was painted from a photo that I took about 5 or 6 years ago. The image has stayed in the back of my mind all this time as one that I wanted to paint.  I ran across this pretty tabby while roaming through a tack barn here in Colorado and I fell in love with her sweet nature (That shows in her eyes doesn't it?). Being in charge of rodent control in the barn meant that she only had sporadic company, so she was happy to great all visitors!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Caught by Surprise

Caught by Surprise    6x6" oil

$40 starting bid

Bunnies run rampant in my yard.  I plant only rabbit (and deer) resistant native plants, but sometime the bunnies just can't resist nibbling away.  This is the look on one bunny's face when he heard me coming.....

I will be open for the OCC Art Walk this Friday night, June 5.  I won't be open for Art Walk on a consistent basis this season, but will let you know when my studio will be open for those events.  I've been concentrating on three new series.  One is a month by month plein air painting of Pikes Peak, another is a return to some of my surrealistic/magic realism subjects, and the third is a fun project I'm calling "About Face."  The series features 6 x 6 inch portraits of the back of people's heads.  The idea is that our family and friends are just as recognizable from the back as they are by their facial features themselves, especially if they are wearing a favorite hat. Come take a look at the first finished pieces. There's an example below to give you an idea.

ArtWalk is from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at the Second Floor Studios in the Michael Garmin Building, 2418 W. Colorado Ave, Colorado Springs, CO.  Our entrances faces Bancroft Park and you'll find me in Studio L.

About Face, No. 1

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Pikes Peak Studio Tour


Julie Kirkland Fine Art

Mark your calendars now for the

2014 Pikes Peak Studio Tour

Saturday September 20th, 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday September 21st, 10 am to 5 pm

7224 Big Valley Ct, Colorado Springs

I'm welcoming you to visit my home studio during
  the Pikes Peak Studio Tour.

Many of you have stopped by my Old Colorado City studio in the Garman building, but the tour is a chance to see me in my home studio.  In past tours, I've set up a quasi-studio for demo purposes because my actual "studio" has been more of an art storage facility with a narrow path to an easel in the corner.  I spent this winter unearthing and organizing what is now a very pleasant creative space that I'd love for you to see!

As part of the tour experience, I'll again be giving away an original painting.  Be sure to register for a chance to win it when you stop by!

I'm excited to have plenty of new paintings to show for the weekend!   A brand new selection of prints and cards will be here for you to enjoy along with some old favorites.  Start your holiday shopping and look for my blank Christmas cards featuring the image of my watercolor,"The Gift." I have items starting from $5, so you're sure to find something that you like.  

The Gift

Flowers, figures, animals and landscapes, my subject matter offers something for everyone. Come see what has been inspiring me these days and how my work is evolving!


If you are unable to make it during the tour weekend, you can find me during the October 3rd OCC Artwalk

5:00 to 8:00 pm
Friday, October 3rd
2418 West Colorado Ave, Studio L
Upstairs in the Michael Garman building

Hope that you're happier than a pig in mud!


Follow Julie Kirkland Fine Art on Facebook

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Soul Food

Garden of the Gods, Sept.4     6x8"       Available Sept. 20-21 during the Pikes Peak Studio Tour

Plein Air painting feeds my soul.  I've been working so diligently this summer on all kinds of things and have been whining in my head about how summer had passed me by. Yesterday, I put on my big girl panties and called my friend, Karen Storm (  She's set herself the goal of painting in the Garden of the Gods for 30 days in a row.  The sale proceeds of her paintings will go to a friend who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.  Great idea, right? Anyway, she had invited me to join her, and I arranged to meet her this morning.  Just a couple hours of painting outdoors and my summer was redeemed.  Despite the work left to prepare for the Pikes Peak Studio Tour, I'm going to save my heart and soul by painting outdoors with Karen as often as I can.  Today, I actually created a piece that I can frame for the tour.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Pikes Peak Studio Tour: Behind the Scene

I'm excited to once again participate in the Pikes Peak Studio Tour coming up on Set 20th and 21st.  Twenty artists have been juried into this year's tour and I think that you'll enjoy meeting each one of them. While many of you visit me frequently in Studio L in Old Colorado City, only a very few have seen my home studio.  The last two times that I hosted the tour in my home, I've set up a quasi-easel work station, but the door to the actual studio has been closed.  Maybe 7 people have even seen the room since we moved into this house.

I use the word "studio" loosely here, because, while I had a corner to work in, it was really an art supply storage room that I could barely walk into.....(many of my fellow artists are now nodding their heads in sympathy.). But, I spent the month of January excavating the room and creating a comfortable studio in which people can now walk without injury!

However, even the cleanest studio comes unglued when preparing for a big event, as this picture illustrates.  Creating lots of new work creates a lot of creative clutter.  Paint, canvases, paintings, creating, photographing paintings, matting, framing, eating, frame making, sleeping.....  But I promise that the floor will be clear again for the tour, so please stop in and see things like my frame storage and flying pig collection (my business name is The. Flying Pig Studio). Oh yes, I'll also have my artwork.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Paint Your Dreams

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

Pablo Picasso

"Paint Your Dreams" (12 x 12 inch oil on gallery wrapped canvas) is my submission to The Second Floor Studios Art Invitational.  Artists were given three different photos of the same subject to choose from:

I chose the first photo, and liked the idea that the boy was literally painting his shadow; flipping the orientation of the photo seemed to heighten the sense of that.  I also chose to change the color of his shorts in order to make him pop out a bit more.  You can see here that I have the shadow shape blocked in.

At this point, I began to think of how children use their imagination to act out their unfettered dreams of life's possibilities, and how their personal talents and dreams are carried within their hearts wherever they go, a part of them as natural and necessary as their shadow.  Picasso's quote came to mind and I envisioned this child painting his dreams and imaginings.

I tried the concept out using Photoshop to work out the general idea. I put in a take off of Van Gogh's Starry, Starry Night".

And then I just went for it and created the painting (top of page).  Do you think that the finished piece communicates what I had in mind? Visit The Second Floor Studios on First Friday to see it and other artists' interpretations of the same subject.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Until the Cows Come Home

Until the Cows Come Home      6x6 inches   $95 unframed

After a very exciting trip to Burundi, Africa, I'm finally back in the studio with some concentrated time to work.  I'm currently painting images of my trip, and look forward to sharing them with you.  This little study was completed before I left.  It's a familiar scene from my home town.  I love the looseness of it, and how I managed to capture the late afternoon light.

Friends, if you are in the Pikes Peak region, First Friday is next week, May 2nd from 5 to 8pm.  I'll be in my studio and would love for you to take a peek at my latest paintings!  Let me know if you need directions to get there.

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Bombshell                                   6x6 inch oil

The woman in red just tickles me!  She's "living out loud" and doesn't care a wit for what the other women think!  This piece sold to an east coast gentlemen who collects paintings of 1940-ish street scenes with people in them.  I'd love to see his collection!

I'm currently painting this scene as an 11x14 inch painting.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pensacola Beach Sunset

Pensacola Beach Sunset                       8x10 oil

I painted this piece in memory of my mother-in-law who was buried in December.  She lived most of her life in Gulf Breeze, Florida, just a stone's throw from Pensacola Beach.  The evening before her funeral, my family and I witnessed this beautiful sunset on the beach and it seemed a perfect memorial to her.  It now hangs in our home to remind us of her.

If I seemed absent online in 2013, it's because my husband and I have entered a season of helping with family illnesses.  Besides my mother-in-law's Alzheimers, my father experienced a devastating stroke last April and my sister is battling breast cancer, so I've spent a lot of time in California with them and will continue to do so for a period of time.  

2013 also brought the early retirement of my husband and the pursuit of his "encore career."  David will be working with a non-profit that empowers poor women in mostly developing countries.  He loves international travel and will be doing a lot of it.  I'll be tagging along on a trip now and then, and am looking forward to the paintings it will inspire.  I loved painting portraits of the people of South Africa when I returned from that trip, and am looking forward to painting more beautiful faces.

Meanwhile, painting has seemed to happen in short bursts, and posting seems not to have happened at all.  In March, I hope to show you the pieces that I have accomplished since last fall.  The 2014 ArtWalk season begins next month, and you'll be able to find me in my studio on First Fridays.  I'm also once again participating in the Pikes Peak Studio Tour next September, so you'll have a chance to visit me in my home studio then.

Sorry for the length of this post--I've blatantly broken my "one paragraph post" rule, but I wanted to touch base with you all and assure you that I'm still painting and hope to be back on a regular basis when circumstances allow.

Thank you all for your encouragement and support!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Kind of Man

My Kind of Man                                                         6x8 inch oil

I've had this Pillsbury Doughboy in my still life props collection for years now, but lost track of him for awhile.  When I stumbled upon him, I put him on a shelf and didn't even notice him for the longest time.  One day,  he winked and smiled at me, and I knew it was time for his portrait.

He's currently hanging in Abend Gallery's Holiday Miniature Show in Denver.  If you can't make it up there in person, call the gallery to purchase him.  Just mention my name, and the title of the painting.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Hambone                                      6x6 inch oil          $150

Another painting of my pig friend, still splashing around in his puddle.  He is currently at Poor Richard's Restaurant in Downtown Colorado Springs.  Hanging along with him are many other small animal paintings, and my famous donuts.  You can purchase him through the Pay Pal link above, or by visiting the restaurant. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Happier Than a Pig in Mud

Happier Than a Pig in Mud                    6x6 inch oil Sold

I'm in love with this guy. It was a hot day and he was luxuriating in his puddle. He actually had that smile on his face!

This painting is hanging in Costa Mesa, CA for the month of December, along with two other of my pieces.  Here's the physical address, date and time.  For prices and to purchase, contact Randy Higbee Gallery.  Mention my name, and the name of the painting that you are interested in.

Also in the show are:
Strawberries                   6x6 inch oil

Glory                        6x6 inch oil

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Painting Sunflowers

Since my sunflower paintings are very popular, I thought you might be interested in how many of them come about. 

I like to work from life, but every time that I've bought a bunch of sunflowers this summer, I've made sure to photograph them as well. Sunflowers seem to disappear from my local markets in late fall, and I want to be sure to have photos to work from through the winter if I want. Here's a photo of the setup I worked from for this particular piece. Actually, I've used this photo for several different paintings recently and each is very different, as you will soon see.

Reference Photo

Following the Sun, 4 x 6 inch oil  SOLD

Red Warms My Heart 5 x 5 inch oil

The Yellow Rose of Kansas   6x6 inch oil

Now you know!  Don't be surprised to see more versions from this same photo!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

No Particular Place to Go

No Particular Place to Go                 6x6in. Oil   $150

You can tell by looking at these two, that they are always together.  You also get the idea that the dog is often in charge....

This painting is hanging at Colorado Expressions in downtown Colorado Springs.  Stop by the gallery on Friday evening, Dec. 6th or on Saturday, Dec. 7th as part of the Downtown Holiday Stroll.  

Red Warms My Heart

Red Warms My Heart                         5x5"  $200

I must say, red paintings are tough to photograph, and my camera is malfunctioning, so this photo doesn't do the painting justice.  Good thing Santa is bringing me a new camera! (I've been very, very good this year).   You can see the original painting, along with two other sunflowers, at Abend Gallery in Denver as part of their Holidays Miniature Show.  I'll have 5 pieces for you to check out.  The reception is Sat. December 7th from 5 to 9pm and the show runs through Dec. 31.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Touch of Gold

A Touch of Gold         8x8inch oil on panel, framed      $310

I'm beginning to think that either my monitor is going kapoot, or that my camera is losing it (it has shown other signs), because for the last few months, I'm had trouble getting the color right in my painting photographs...the color tends to be too saturated and I haven't be able to correct in Photoshop.

  I'd love for you to visit me during Art Walk on November 1st to see this painting in person.  It was something new for me in that the majority of the subject was in shadow, so essentially, that was where the most interesting color was.  I struggled with it for awhile, not going dark enough in the shadow area, and although I started painting with a brush, I switched to the palette knife about 3/4ths through.  In the end, it's now one of my favorite paintings. 

Any thoughts on my photo problems?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Rumors of me being lost in an absinthe fog are greatly exaggerated! I have had a lot of family activity, but have managed to keep painting as well.  I've had several dog portrait commissions, and thought that you might enjoy seeing one of those in process.

My subject for this portrait is Chip, a beloved pet who grew up with his college age owner, and quietly passed away last year.  I received some text messages with reference photos, and the quality of the one I wanted to work from wasn't optimal.  The pose was wonderful, but I couldn't tell if he was tan or grey.

I did have two other photos, but Chip's color was washed out by the camera flash.  They seemed to indicate that there was a lot of tan in his coat, but I asked some questions to make sure that was the case.

The finished painting would be 6 x 6 inches. You can see that I first toned my canvas with orange and then did the drawing, putting in most of my values as I drew.

Then, I began to paint.....

At this point, I sent a photo to my client to check on his color.  The photo was passed onto one of Chip's family members who observed that Chip was actually very grey.  I just corrected the color I'd created so far to reflect his grey coat.  After a check on his eye color, I completed the piece.

6x6 inch oil commission                    $85 unframed

Actually, I think I tweaked some edges and his ear shapes after this, and now I can see that I need to carve the sides of his face out a little (when the owner brings it in for varnishing, I'll have a chance to do that), but otherwise, you get the idea! I hope that you enjoyed this little demo!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Family Time

If you haven't seen blog posts by me for awhile, it's because I'm visiting my family in Northern California (Arcata.) I'll be back in my studio next Monday standing at the easel!

One of the pleasures of being here is the time I get to spend with my nieces, Emma and Abby.  The most fun that we've had so far has been playing with a photo program on my iPad.  I thought I'd treat you to a few of our self-portraits.

I can't move photos around on my iPad blog like I can with my laptop, so the format might remind you of your early computer days when everything was left justified!

Me of course.

Emma (doesn't she look like a Picasso painting?)

And Abby

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

With Compliments

With Compliments                                           6x6 inch oil Sold

As promised, I've experimented with a background color other than red and have decided to explore the compliments of purple and yellow a little more. I'm enjoying mixing yellows that give the impression of petals in shadow.

The starting bid for this painting in my online auction is $45. If you are interested in my "Buy It Now" option, the price is $85 unframed or $125 framed. Just contact me directly, and if no one has yet bid on the painting, I can stop the auction and guarantee that "With Compliments" is yours. Email me at

Monday, July 15, 2013

Turning Toward the Sun

Turning Toward the Sun                            6 x 6 inch oil

I can't promise that this will be the last sunflower on red, but I am moving on to a different background color tomorrow.  In this painting, I'm particularly fond of how abstract I got the background flowers.  I also love the light on the petal that drips into the flower's center.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Plenty of Sunshine

Plenty of Sunshine                         6 x 6 inch, oil

A few years ago, I discovered an artist online who painted thirty different compositions of three plums, and for some reason, that made a great impression on me.  I'm thinking of her as I work with my sunflower series, wondering if I won't lose interest before red phase is drawing to a close, and soon I'll turn to some other background colors!  With each piece, I learn something new that I can do with the palette knife...

Berry Hunting

Berry Hunting                             8 x 10 inch oil, $390

A mother bear and her three cubs occasionally stroll through my yard looking for something tasty. On this particular day, they hung around long enough for me to get a lot of photos. They were actually very obliging as they modeled just 6 feet away from my sliding glass door. In particular, this young guy struck several classic bear poses for me.  

This painting is available for purchase at Colorado Expressions Gallery, 122 Kiowa Ave, Colorado Springs, (719) 258-9168.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunny Faces

Sunny Faces                5x5 inch oil         Sold

 So far, this little piece is one of my favorites in the sunflower series.  I got really loose with it and love the  purple/yellow color scheme.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Sunflower on Red

Sunflower on Red                                    5x5 inch oil

I'm committed to my series on Sunflowers and am learning more and more about using the palette knife.  I'm also learning to quit sooner than a do.  I often leave the studio vowing to give up painting altogether given the "mess" I've made on the canvas, but am almost always surprised to walk in the next morning with a fresh eye and find that what looked disastrous the night before is actually quite exciting.  It's the "just let me add one more stroke" that leads me to reworking the whole thing, and in doing that I often end up with something more generic looking.  Luckily, that didn't happen with this piece!  Current auction bid is $40.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Red Makes Me Happy

Red Makes Me Happy                   6x6 inch oil

This sunflower was painted entirely with a palette knife and I've decided that is my favorite method of painting these flowers.  The strokes give the petals such energy and expression.

Currently not available for sale.  Please let me know if you'd be interested in purchasing this piece when it becomes available.