Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Summer Storm Gathering

"Summer Storm Gathering"  (pastel, 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

This was the last in my short spurt of sunsets and skies before the desperate rush of my 2-woman show last week. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, I've decided to offer this one, and maybe some others I've got laying around, to the relief effort. 100% of the proceeds of this auction (minus the shipping) will be donated to the American Red Cross to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. I've reduced my usual auction starting price of $100 to encourage bids! Please be generous!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nancy - 15 minute Quick Sketch Portrait

"Nancy"  (approx. 17x13 inches)  sold

Boy, I've had a busy weekend! My 2-woman show opened at Cactus Jack's with a reception on Friday evening, demos by Jeannette and I on Saturday, a caricature gig on Saturday evening, and another demo on Sunday for the Austin Pastel Society.

Well, I don't quite have pics of either demo yet, so today I'm going to promote my Quick-Sketch Portrait Workshop next weekend at the New Braunfels Art League Gallery. Last month I was fortunate to have demonstrated at the September meeting of the Art League. Here I want to show you one of the 4 quick portrait sketches that I did that evening. This is Nancy, a past president of the New Braunfels Art League. I believe this sketch took me about 16 minutes, but I was talking and answering questions as I drew. My average time for a portrait like this is about 12 minutes. When I'm really in a rush, I have been clocked at 7 and 1/2 minutes. Admittedly, that's with not much shading. But I still got a decent likeness.

I do these sketches at the San Antonio Rodeo in February each year, and also at a craft show at Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio for about 3 weeks at Christmastime.

I'm offering a workshop to teach this method and philosophy of drawing the portrait very quickly, next weekend, Nov 2-4, 2012, at the New Braunfels Art League. Click Here for an informational flyer! There are still just a few spaces left in the workshop, for anyone interested and close by!

Below are the progression shots of Nancy's portrait.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Longhorn and Friend

"Longhorn and Friend"  (pastel, 24x36 inches)  $3400

Here's another painting at my 2-woman show with Jeannette Cuevas, at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, through January 13, 2013. The reception was tonight, and tomorrow (Saturday) we both will be doing demos. Mine is from 10am-noon; I'll be working on a 24x24 Hereford calf. Jeannette will be demoing a pear still life from 1-3pm.

The reception tonight was great fun! Here are Jeannette and I in front of some of my work!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lunch Al Fresco

"Lunch Al Fresco"  (pastel, 18x14 inches)  $950

My last post before the opening of our 2-woman show. I'm glad I got up the nerve to try the dappled light. This became one of my favorites! It's on the gold and terra cotta colored primers. My demo Saturday at Cactus Jack's (10am-noon) will be another on a multi-toned primer underpainting.

Tomorrow (time permitting) I'll post some photos from the reception.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Twin Fawns

"Twin Fawns"  (pastel, 10x17 inches)  $650

These two were the perfect back-lit subject. I saw them at  petting zoo in the late afternoon. I used artistic license to remove the chaos from the background.

Twin Fawns will be at my 2-woman show (with Jeannette Cuevas) this weekend at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas. The reception is Friday, October 26, 6-9pm. Saturday we will be doing demos; Mine is from 10am-noon. Jeannette's is from 1-3pm.

Come for both and stay the weekend! The Texas Clay Festival is just down the street Saturday and Sunday!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012


"Yin"  (pastel, 10x10 inches)  sold

Something about Yin makes this one a favorite of mine. It might be that patch of icy blue shadow in the sea of warmth. Or maybe it's just his expression.

Yin will be at Cactus Jack's Gallery in Gruene, Texas, this weekend for the opening of my 2-woman show with Jeannette Cuevas. The reception is Friday from 6-9pm. Saturday I'll be doing a demo from 10am-noon, and Jeannette will demo from 1-3pm.


Monday, October 22, 2012


"Marjoram"  (pastel, 12x12 inches)  $550

Marjoram will be at my 2-woman show (with Jeannette Cuevas) opening this weekend at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas. The reception is Friday, October 26, 6-9pm. Saturday we will be doing demos!

Come and enjoy the weekend in historic Gruene, home of the famous Gruene Music Hall, and host of the Texas Clay Festival, also this weekend!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Ivory Light

"Ivory Light"  (pastel, 12x12 inches)  sold

Another for my 2-Woman Show with Jeannette Cuevas at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas. Reception is this Friday, October 26, 6-9pm.

Saturday we will be doing demos. I have in mind to find a similar image to this one and do the same primer combination. I used layered gold and terra cotta primers that created something of a monochromatic underpainting. See some progress shots below:

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sharing Dreams

"Sharing Dreams"  (pastel, 15x8 inches)  $475

This painting can be seen at my 2-Woman Show (with Jeannette Cuevas) at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas, opening this Friday, October 26. The reception is 6-9pm, and we'll have a door prize of a free pastel painting! (Not this one...) Saturday we will be doing demos.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Head Rest

"Head Rest" (pastel, 14x18 inches)  sold

Here's another new work for my 2-Woman Show (with Jeannette Cuevas) this coming weekend at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, Texas.

Join us on Friday evening 6-9pm, and sign up for the door prize - an original pastel painting! (not this one...)

On Saturday, Jeannette and I will be doing demos. Mine is 10am - noon. Jeannette demos from 1-3pm.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baby Blue

"Baby Blue"  (pastel, 12x12 inches)   $550

Here's a peek at one of the paintings available at my upcoming 2-Woman show at Cactus Jack's Gallery with Jeannette Cuevas. The opening reception is Friday, October 26, 6-9pm, when we'll be having a drawing to give away a free original painting! (Not this one...) The next day, Saturday, we'll both be doing demos.

It will be an exciting weekend in Gruene, Texas, which coincidentally is also having their annual Texas Clay Festival on Saturday and Sunday just down the street!

Cactus Jack's is at 1706 Hunter Road on the north edge of the Gruene Historical District, next to Adobe Verde Restaurant and the location of the Gruene Market Days.

Come enjoy the weekend in Gruene!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunset #55

"Sunset #55"  (pastel 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

The layers of dark and light were challenging. This is on dark gray Art Spectrum Colorfix paper. I used a small flat brush to 'whisp' the cloud edges.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2-Woman Show in Gruene, TX - Oct 26 Opening

"Texas Pride and Progeny"  (pastel, 32x32 inches)  by Rita Kirkman

I'd like to officially announce and invite you to my upcoming show

The Color of Sunlight
Two Pastel Artists Share the Vision

a 2-Woman show of new work 

featuring myself, Rita Kirkman

and fellow pastelist Jeannette Cuevas

"Looking Back" (pastel, 14x11) by Jeannette Cuevas
Opening Reception
Friday, October 26, 6-9pm 
Join us for a chance to win an original painting!

Artists Demos 
Saturday, October 27
Kirkman: 10am-12pm / Cuevas: 1pm-3pm

Exhibition Dates 
October 26, 1212 - January 13, 2013 

at Cactus Jack's Gallery
1706 Hunter Rd 
Gruene, TX 78130

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunset #54

"Sunset #54"  (pastel, 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

Sometimes the light from a sunset is silvery instead of pink. I'm not sure but I suspect it has to do with the altitude of the clouds. (Or maybe it's the levels of dust in the atmosphere?)  This was painted on black Art Spectrum Suede. I also used a flat brush to 'swish' the silvery golds across the bottom of the clouds.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Summer Sky #2

"Summer Sky #2"  (pastel, 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

I sometimes have a few 'other' sky scenes in my sunset series that don't quite merit a "Sunset" title. This one was more of a late-afternoon, almost-but-not-quite-stormy day. Just like summertime.

Painted on a dark gray Art Spectrum Colorfix paper.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wood Ducks

"Wood Ducks"  (pastel, 12x12 inches)

This painting will be included, along with "Little Mac", in the Texas Pastel Society's National Juried Show. The opening is Friday, October 19. Click on the flyer below for details!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sunset #53

"Sunset #53"  (pastel, 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

I was happy with the looseness of these strokes. I didn't need to fuss over this one too much.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sunset #52

"Sunset #52" (pastel, 5x5 inches)  click here to bid

Back by popular demand, I've got just a few more of my sunset series to post this week. These are on some sanded papers I found in my studio. This one is on black Colorfix Suede. I blended the under-layers of pastel for a smoother finish.


Thursday, October 4, 2012


"Earl"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  click here to bid

Earl is another done on both the terra cotta and black primers. He's got black under his black coat parts, and terra cotta everywhere else.

I just love his expression.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Charlie's Chickens

"Charlie's Chickens"  (pastel, 8x8 inches)  click here to bid

I caught these three beauties on camera at a farm a few weeks ago. They positioned themselves just like this, perfectly reminiscent of that old TV show with the three lovely and multi-talented ladies... you know the one I mean... (or have I just dated myself?)

My current romance with the gold and terra cotta primers is in full swing with this painting. Below is a shot of the beginning of the painting on the primers, and the photo reference.


Monday, October 1, 2012


"Brutus"  (pastel, 7x5 inches)  click here to bid

This one I did with my usual terra cotta pastel primer under the background, and black pastel primer under the young bull. I like using the black primer for any area that needs to be a very dark, rich black. Then the other 'black' highlight colors, the browns, blues and greens go on very nicely over the primer, and the darker black is the accompanying low note (thanks to Terry Ludwig's Eggplant!)