"Grandmaster" by Kirk McBride

“Grandmaster”

24 x 30 in.

oil on linen

Available through Troika Gallery, Easton, Maryland

“I am drawn to paint trees of all sorts and for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes, as in Grandmaster, it is the grandeur of a massive old tree and the challenge of how to express my appreciation of the old oak on canvas.  We came across this tree on a recent trip to Scotland.  I walked around it several times, studying the shapes from all angles, ultimately deciding that rather than painting a picture of the whole tree, it’s mass would be better revealed by concentrating on the giant trunk and a small portion of the foliage.  A painting of the whole tree just would not convey how impressively large the tree is,” says artist Kirk McBride.

Carrying on the traditions of American painting.

Kirk developed an interest in American painting as a young man when he first saw the work of Edward Hopper and Winslow Homer. The images they painted depicted life in our country during their times and led him to make paintings of people, places and moments that he experiences today. Exposure to the work of masterful painters, Emile Gruppe, Edgar Payne, N.C. Wyeth and Frederick Mulhaupt inspired Kirk to develop a style of reduced realism in his oil paintings that emphasizes the masses, light and mood more than the details. He has studied with modern day American masters, Ken Auster, Kim English and Randall Sexton.

After college at the University of Maryland, Kirk won “Best in Show” at the first local art show he entered, encouraging him to make painting a lifelong pursuit. He has been at it since the 1970’s, part-time while teaching and raising a family, and full time since the early 90’s. A switch from watercolors to oils 18 years ago led to plein air painting. This led to travels where he has met and shared experiences and knowledge with painters from all over. He has been elected a “Signature Member” of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association and has participated in many painting events. Kirk has been invited to and painted in the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational four times, Plein Air Easton four times, and Paint Annapolis six times, winning awards, including Artist’s Choice in Annapolis. Kirk’s love of water and boats has led him to being selected as a “Signature Member” of the American Society of Marine Artists.

Kirk is known for the interaction of light and shadow in the images he portrays. The fleeting light of early morning or late evening creates a mood that unifies paintings of a variety of subjects. Travels beyond the East Coast to the deserts and mountains have inspired his much collected paintings of aspen trees, rock formations and rusty trucks. He often uses plein air studies along with sketches and reference photos to create larger paintings when back home in his studio.

Upon seeing Kirk’s painting, “Waves IV” on Facebook,  Samuel Smith expressed the following, “A wonderful painting I am in love with your UN-meticulous way of: seeing, putting pigment to the canvas, yet embracing all the elements that are typically dealt with in a fussy – almost microscopic way. In this painting I find the pigment is applied with considerable regard for this component to the point where it keep it’s integrity as a physical thing. I believe this respect for materials is a big factor in being convincing regards the scene being articulated, and a most convincing way of imparting the experience, and process of painting. A work that is worthy of gracing any environment it may hang”.

Kirk has shown his work in dozens of solo and two-artist shows (with his wife, Lynne Lockhart). His home and studio are located close to the water on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Join Kirk’s email list to see his newest works and blog posts.

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Remembering A Disappearing Way Of Life

Spring Update

Low Country

Two In A Crowd

View more of Kirk’s work at www.kirkmcbride.com. Contact Kirk at [email protected] or 443.366.2142

See more of Troika Gallery at https://www.troikagallery.com/copy-of-our-artists-a-l

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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