SCOTT KIRKMAN is a versatile artist who strives to create fine art so overflowing with beauty, it stirs the soul of the viewer. 'If someone looking at my art can't help but whisper 'Wow', then I've done my job well.'
Scott works to create superlative art, whatever medium he's working in -- graphite, charcoal, colored pencils, watercolor, pastels, or oils.
And whatever the subject in his impressively eclectic range: from bold, powerful seascapes to precise technical drawings; from intimate portraits to magnificant landscapes; from sumptuous nudes to delicate, elegant calligraphy; from timeless spiritual images to modern, mind-opening abstracts.
Scott first began drawing as a young boy. Beyond typical subjects like his dogs and family, he developed his drawing skills by copying soldiers, tanks, and explosions from only the most realistically drawn comic books. And, while other kids were playing, he was intently drawing airplanes and rockets for hours at a time. Presciently, it turns out, because the flowing lines and subtle curves of an airplane are not unlike the human form, which would become Scott's specialty in later years. Even as a boy, he felt driven to improve his skill, teaching himself whatever he needed to learn.
By 13, he became a cartoonist for the school newspaper, trying to draw as entertainingly as an early hero, Don Martin of MAD magazine. At only 16, he designed a variety of enticing recruiting pamphlets for his Civil Air Patrol wing, and amazed his commanders with his commercially sophisticated advertising copy. He received his first formal art training as a university student in the late 1970s. And he earned two masters degrees in the 1980s. After that, he explored many mediums and subjects.
DISCOVERING THE SIMPLE, ELEGANT BEAUTY OF THE HUMAN FIGURE DRAWING
While taking time now and then for compelling portraits, architectural paintings of businesses, and even a remarkably striking advertising poster for his favorite theater group, Scott, in 1996, began devoting himself to drawing the human figure, specializing in exquisite nudes. The human form, he realized, is a work of art in itself and, when rendered skillfully, the most beautiful thing in the world. Scott was lucky to have exceptional life-models to draw, who naturally understood the perspective, composition, and chiaroscuro -- the interplay effects of light and shadow -- of every pose. His classical compositions are subtly idealized. Indeed, regarding his female-figure work, Scott has received much praise for perceptively and sensitively capturing the timeless natural beauty of 'real' women, highlighting -- indeed celebrating -- the most luscious curves of hips and thighs, with a unique blend of respect and admiration. 'Beauty, for an artist, is really just whatever's real, seen through loving eyes.'
His choice of mediums and techniques reflects this. An emphasis on graceful line and silvery shading, as well as delicate work with the pencil or charcoal, lend an exquisite quality to his drawings. 'For me, light graphite or charcoal on bright white paper has a clean and pure look that is gently stunning -- there's nothing else like it.' But Scott also loves the unlimited artistic potential made possible by the virtually kaleidoscopic colors of the human figure. 'We're all taught as children that skin is some variation of pink and brown, but it's really much more complicated than that and therefore full of wonderful opportunities for artists.' His figure watercolors gently render the warm flesh of the subject with a tender but passionate blend of fiery color. And his pastels and colored-pencil drawings capture the softness of human skin, as well as the transcendent, transluscent blend of all its many colors -- for Scott 'a sacred-paradise garden of peaches, violets, pinks, lavenders, sky-blues, oranges, grays, purples, reds, silvers, siennas, and umbers, all blending miraculously.'
Understandably, the artists Scott admires most are all figure artists. They include Michelangelo Buonarroti, Peter Paul Rubens, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Antonio Canova, Adolphe-William Bouguereau, John William Waterhouse, Lawrence Alma-Tadema, N.C. Wyeth, and George B. Bridgman.
TOWARD A NEW ART WORLD: EXHIBITIONS, HONORS, AND COLLEGIAL FELLOWSHIP
Scott has shown his art in many exhibitions over the years, while simulataneously tapping the virtually unlimited potential of the Internet to reach audiences the world over.
He designed and built his own amazing website, www.beautifuldrawings.com, which has received excellent reviews for its openness and comprehensiveness, for its ease of navigation, and for its simplicity: it refreshingly showcases the art itself and lets the art be the star of each page of the website.
In 2007, voicing a widespread feeling throughout the Internet art world, Art Space awarded beautifuldrawings.com its World Web Award for Excellence, 'for website design, creativity, and ease of navigation.'
Out of thousands of submissions from artists around the globe, Scott's female-figure drawing Serene earned an Honorable Mention in the worldwide 2004 Domai art competition.
Even while enjoying such competitive success, however, Scott likes to view the art world more as a collegial fellowship of creators whose collective work makes the world more beautiful. He was honored by an invitation to be a Guest Artist and Juror in Santa Fe Art World, an extraordinary, ongoing Internet gathering, based in New Mexico, of exceptional artists from around the globe.
Scott has always admired the idealistic artists' groups of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, such as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Art Students League. So, in 2005, he founded the worldwide Figure-Drawing League, to generously promote the art of figure drawing and to foster an exchange of information and support among the growing community of figure artists all over the world.
WHAT'S COMING UP?
What's coming up for Scott Kirkman? Certainly, more seascapes and landscapes, taking advantage of his location on the coast of Maine, where the unique sunlight has such an extraordinary effect on the sky and water that, for a hundred and fifty years, dedicated artists have flocked there from around the globe.
Also, more learning. More devoted studying of the Great Masters. Continually developing as an arist, by constantly revisiting the fundamental essentials of drawing and painting and simultaneously exploring new mediums, new techniques, new subjects, and adding more beauty to the world. . . .
Scott Kirkman joined Fine Art America on March 16th, 2011.