The famous religious painter Carl Bloch was said to have dipped his paintbrush in his heart. As an artist, I relate to that statement because painting for me is a way to turn myself inside out and share what is there on canvas. Sometimes I see things that are so painfully beautiful that I can find no adequate words to describe them. My art has become a spiritual language where I can express myself without speaking. And hopefully those who view my paintings will feel what I am trying to say with no words passing between us. I have found that it is through visual imagery that I can best reveal my passions.
As an artist I am more interested in painting my emotional reaction to a subject than in creating a photorealistic rendering of it; consequently my paintings lean more to impressionism than realism. I tend to work in an abbreviated style where the suggestion is more important than the completed statement, and where the parts or details are sacrificed for the good of the whole. I’ve learned that the less I give away in my paintings, the more people seem to read in them. To me, there is more poetry in an image when not every detail is spelled out and the viewer is allowed to solve some of the mystery.
I love to capture the abstract patterns of light and shadow in the subject as, paradoxically, I find this creates a more realistic image when viewed from a short distance. I generally paint things that I am close to, both in distance and in feeling. I am not about depicting vast expanses of nature, but rather of close, intimate corners of personal spaces. Any subject is game for my brush as long as it is beautifully lit. In truth, light is always the subject I find most exciting, as anything it touches is enhanced in depth, dimension, vibrance, and beauty. This is the spiritual implication art has for me.
I consider it the greatest of privileges to be an artist–to notice the grandeur in small things around me, to celebrate them on paper or canvas, and to share my passion for life though my artwork.
As a child, I drew on practically every notepad in the house. I am grateful to my parents for encouraging my artistic tendencies with my first oil paints at the age of seven. My first painting was done outdoors. On that note I am passionate about Plein air because it combines two of the best things in the world: painting and being outside.
I love nature, the sea, sailing, kayaking, camping, hiking, fishing and scuba diving. I love discovering new places, driving and exploring and adventure. The most common thread is that whenever I go anywhere, from the exotic to the mundane, I always want to paint what I see and experience.
I come alive when painting a scene I’m inspired by. I love to share my thoughts and emotions through my work. I love the bliss of being connected to spirit as well as the fascination of the painting as it unfolds. The experience of capturing peacefulness, serenity or drama is amplified by sharing that art with others. Art has the potential to heal and uplift, often in ways I did not anticipate.
I truly enjoy Plein air Events for the camaraderie, competition and creativity as they inspire me to continually expand as an artist. The diverse weather, light and conditions reveal to me another chance to explore & embrace the moment and revel in discovery, as I seek to share the feeling of the location and the day and connect with the land. It is a deep part of who I am, this journey of art, and to share creatively from my soul. When an artist paints a landscape, be it remote or common, they can create an appreciation that can help to preserve that place for posterity. I believe an artist has an obligation to contribute to culture and through making art, enrich it.
I enjoy many mediums: watercolor, acrylics, drawing, ice carving, ink, snow sculpture, digital, underwater and film photography, with oils and stone carving being my favorites. I have been recognized with over 147 awards including several best in shows/grand prizes, and many plein air and quick draw awards. I am also a teacher, a writer (previously nominated for poet Laureate of Nassau County, NY), a film and television actor and play blues harmonica.
I enjoy the challenge of painting under pressure as much as I do when I am painting for the pure spiritual joy of it. 2018 is my first year participating in “Where in the World is Plein Air” and I am excited to choose a very unique and historic view (which actually changes locations often) and share it with all of you. I know some lucky person or persons with have the pleasure of enjoying the art for generations to come and I am honored to be a part of such a unique and exciting event. Thank you for reading, sincerely, Kirk Larsen