Face Forward – James Kirk

I’m really looking forward to seeing a friend and mentor, James Kirk, on this Thursday, September 29 from 2-4 pm. His stunning show “Face Forward” will open at the North View Gallery, Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus (CT Building) at 12000 SW 49th Ave., Portland OR. I hope you can see the show, which runs September 29 – October 28, 2011. For more information, hours and a map visit: www.pcc.edu/about/galleries/sylvania.

Winter Woman copyright James Kirk 2011

Kirk, as he’s known to his friends and former students, is supremely talented at capturing the human form. I’m honored and humbled to have been asked to pose for him for a painting that will hang in this exhibition. As an emeritus professor of Oregon State University and Western Oregon University, Kirk has influenced many, many artists and teachers of art over the years, including me! This exhibit was organized by another former student of Kirk’s, gallery director Mark Smith. I spoke to Kirk today to ask permission to reproduce the above painting and he told me that there were 100 paintings in this show! The work ethic of this man is inspiring.  Kirk’s teaching had a huge impact on my work when I first started painting, and he continues to inspire and encourage me.  I’m fortunate to call him ‘Dad’ and friend. I can’t wait to see how my portrait looks :) UPDATE: More photos :)


  1. I really like this one and will go out there to the campus to see more.

  2. WOW! this painting is wonderful! I really do wish I could see the show… and the portrait of you Ruth.. how exciting the opening will be.. let me know how it goes.

  3. Ooooo, can’t wait to see you in paint!
    Sending love and hugs to you Ruthie?

  4. Mike Humphreys

    I agree. Captain Kirk is an inspirational teacher and his art show was wonderful to see.

  5. Katherine

    Dear Ruth,
    I have one of James Kirk’s beautiful watercolors of flowers. I know he’s known for the human form so does that mean there’s no interest in my painting because it’s flowers – does that diminish it’s value to people who love his paintings and talent?


    • Hi Katherine,
      Such an interesting question. I have seen Kirk’s florals, and I believe they are just as beautiful as his figurative work. He told me that every one that he’s ever painted has sold. I would say that is a pretty good indicator that the appreciation and value of his florals is high. Thanks for reading and commenting on the blog :)

      • Katherine

        That’s good to hear. :) I love it – I was just wondering why there’s never any comment on his floral paintings because they are so pretty.

        Thank you so much for your reply. :)

        Kind regards,

  6. Paul De Vinny

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I was at the library and checked out his instruction video. I thought it was excellent — I liked his approach and style. But there was only the one video; which was made something like the late ’80’s. Any impute to other videos I could get ahold of would be Greatly appreciated.

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