Jeffrey Kirby’s paintings are bold, stylized recreations of his view of nature. Whether they be landscape, nude or still life, his rendition is about movement and seductive, undulating form. The paintings seem to have a sense of being more than what the subject is about.
“I have been drawing, sculpting and designing since I was a child. It wasn’t until my junior year at St. Mary’s College of Maryland that I discovered oil painting. It has remained my premiere medium, although I sometimes work in acrylic. Oil paint has a buttery, luminous quality that I don’t find in other mediums. The depth of color is unmatched by any other medium I have tried.
When I’m working on an oil painting, I’m not just creating a vision, but am stimulated by the actual application of paint. The act of physically applying paint is very important to me”, Kirby says.
As his style began to solidify in the early 80″s, Kirby studied briefly at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. with the late Gene Davis, of the Washington Color School of fame of the ’50s. “It was exciting for a while to be among other serious painters, but it wasn’t long before I found that I was pursuing a different direction than the others, so I chose to break away and follow my own course, which appears to be reminiscent of the regional movement of the ’30s and ’40s. This is merely coincidental, however, as my works are not intended to be political or social commentaries”, he says.
He works on many paintings at once, and has been trying some new directions to keep fresh. “I don’t want to have a formula and crank out paintings that have a look. I think it’s important as an artist to keep pushing the boundaries and trying new things. For me, this is helpful to stay inspired. I also think a viewer is welcome to bring to the painting their own interpretation. I don’t like to explain a painting. You feel a connection or you don’t. There is no right or wrong interpretation. There should be an emotional or spiritual reaction to art, whether it be literature, fine art, theatre, music. Immersing oneself in art is the best way to an understanding.” Kirby is inspired by nature, but then creates his own world. Nature serves as the source which he then embellishes and hones to his perspective. Enjoy the paintings through your own experiences. He is passionate about the act of painting and welcomes viewers into his world.