November 22, 2015

Sly Charmer - Fox wildlife painting - Deb Kirkeeide

Sly Charmer
20 x 16 x 1.5 Oil
on cradled hardboard
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

I finished this a while ago and just realized I hadn't posted it here yet. Inspiration is a great thing.
It comes and knocks on the door, keeps knocking until you answer or it moves on. (I borrowed that analogy from Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, Big Magic. Though I believe she said it better.)

In this case I got this persistent urge to paint a fox. After a few weeks I acted on it and this is the result. I really like how he turned out with the beautiful autumn colors and texture in the painting. And in the process I discovered a new approach to my painting on a smooth wood surface.  

And did you know...
In Chinese folklore, the fox may assume a human shape at the age of fifty, and at its hundredth birthday it becomes a either a wizard or a lovely maiden.


November 19, 2015

Hanging In There - Chickadee painting - Deb Kirkeeide

Hanging In There   6x6x1.5  oil on cradled hardboard  ©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

A determined little chickadee.

As our warm weather turns to freezing, blowing winds from the north I am reminded that it is almost December and there are not too many little birds around. But these little hardy souls stay here all year round. Time to pick up more seed for the feeder!

November 16, 2015

Cheerful Robin - orignal painting Deb Kirkeeide

Cheerful Robin   6x6x.75 oil   ©Deb Kirkeeide
Why a robin?
Why not?
It is mid November. In Minnesota. People were out boating on the lakes yesterday. I discovered I still have flowers blooming. (obviously, I haven't done any fall clean up on my flower pots) 

Somehow, Robin seems rather appropriate.

This little guy is on cradled hardboard with painted side ready to hang as is or easily framed

November 4, 2015

Whooo?? Are You? - Horned Owl painting by Deb Kirkeeide

Whooo??Are you?  6x6 Oil on panel 185.00  ©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

Here's a little 6x6 Horned Owl looking a little stern. Perhaps a little annoyed that he found someone intruding in his territory.

November 2, 2015

Red - Original Chicken painting by Deb Kirkeeide

Red 8 x 8 Oil on cradled hardboard 185.00
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

This little red hen lived a previous life. And I evidently thought she could have done better. 

This was one of those paintings that I didn't quite feel satisfied with so I took a sander to it to salvage the board it was on. Half way through that process I realized I really liked the salvaged texture and decided to work with it. I painted over her ghosted image and am pretty pleased with it now.

This may have to be incorporated in future approaches!

Purchase here

October 29, 2015

Waiting - raven painting by Deb Kirkeeide

6x6x1.5 oil on hardboard
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

A little seasonal decor for those who tend to think of Ravens as "scary" (that was a comment to a raven painting I turned in for an art exhibition once) While some may associate the Raven with dark and scary, I disagree. I've read that ravens are associated with Winter Solstice. In Native stories of the Pacific Northwest the Raven brings the light to the world. Nothing scary about that!

October 22, 2015

Petite Bouquet de Fleurs - Floral by Deb Kirkeeide

Petite Bouquet de Fleurs
6x6 Oil on panel
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

Fall has arrived and in Minnesota it comes with crisp nights and taunts of frost in the air.
I gathered the few remains of my summer blooms and they are residing in one of my little wine glasses. (that's how small this bouquet is!) 

October 18, 2015

Private Eyes Are Watching You - Owl Painting - by Deb Kirkeeide

Private Eyes Are Watching You
10 x 8 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

Sometimes paintings seem to arrive with a name the minute they are finished.
And other times I stare at it for hours and come up empty. As I was photographing this one, the song Private Eyes (Hall and Oates I believe) popped in out of the blue and got stuck in the playlist in my head. So I went with it!

And somehow it makes sense. Owls have those big eyes that can probably see through walls or something. So they watch. Hidden in the trees. Cloaked in darkness. And if they can hear mice running under 3 feet of snow, then they are listening to us too!

$450 - Purchase here

October 15, 2015

Waiting at the Edge of Dusk - Barred Owl Painting - Deb Kirkeeide

Waiting At The Edge of Dusk
12 x 9 Oil 
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

I currently have 5 pieces in an owl exhibition at True North Gallery in Massachusetts. If you are in the area, please stop in for the reception this Saturday. It looks to be a wonderful show!

This painting is not one of them.

Had I intuited that this show opportunity was coming up, I might have finished this (and another) in 
time to be included!

I love owls.  I find them mystical and magical. Probably because they are rarely seen. Their presence only coming into our consciousness by their lonely call in the dark of the night.

September 15, 2015

Barn Owl In Flight - original painting by Deb Kirkeeide

Barn Owl In Flight
6x6x1.5 Oil on Cradled Hardboard

©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

I love this little painting! This is one of those paintings that when I get done and take a closer look, I wonder how I did that!  I especially love the color palette with the soft grays and warm tones. 

This one may reincarnate in a larger version. Though I'm sure it won't look the same!

September 13, 2015

He's So Vain - Peacock Paintng by Deb Kirkeeide

He's So Vain
8x8 Oil on Gesso Panel
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide. 

While in Salt Lake City recently, I spent some time at the Tracy Aviary getting my bird fix.
As we walked the grounds, we crossed paths with this roaming peacock. He really did seem to give the impression that he knew he was really quite stunning. 

If you are ever in the SLC area be sure to check the aviary out. It's really quite nice and informative.

September 3, 2015

Hill Crest - Landscape Southern MN Plein Air

Hill Crest
6x8 oil on linen panel
$165 purchase here

©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

This is another painting from my outing in July. As you can see Minnesota is very green in the summer! I sometimes long for the colors of the west with it's multitude of colors but I confess after spending time in Utah recently with it's dry and very hot conditions, I was happy to see the greens and the multitude of lakes and trees  as we descended into Minneapolis. 

I do love this state.

August 30, 2015

Pastoral Poetry - Southern Minnesota Landscape En Plein Air

Pastoral Poetry
6x8 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

A little plein air piece I did back in July just southwest of Minneapolis.

I always find I have good intentions to get out and do more plein air painting. I however, have discovered I am a fair weather  painter. Literally! too hot? Too cold? Too buggy? Nope. I need it just right! Unless I can find a partner in crime to nudge me out the door!

I love getting out. There's nothing better than being outdoors and absorbing all the sights and sounds of the location. Maybe that's why, with every painting, I vividly remember the details of the day. Who I was with, conversations, the farmer bailing the hay from the field on the left, scouting for a location, the weather and the champagne we drank! It's incredible.

On this day I was with a good friend on the fourth of July. I visited her new home and we set out to explore this new area. We saw lots of beautiful scenes to paint but could not find a place to pull off.
We decided we should advocate the state to provide turn outs along the roads so plein air painters have access to be able to paint all our beautiful vistas!

August 27, 2015

Owl Capone - Owl painting by Deb Kirkeeide

Owl Capone
10x10x1.5 Oil on cradled hardwood SOLD

He kind of looks like a little mobster doesn't he? 

This is another version of that other little owl on green. I went with a warmer palette and it fits in nicely with my current anticipation of Autumn. Our cooler temps and crisp nights this past week have fooled me into thinking it is time for sweaters and soup! And though it may be early, I have noticed a few spots of color on some of the Maples around the neighborhood!
Happy Friday everyone, have a great weekend!

August 23, 2015

Field of Gold - Wildlife Elk painting

Field of Gold
15 x 21 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

Expanding my horizons beyond the birds. I have so many interests, it's hard to decide where to put my focus!

I love Elk.  And I would love to paint more. They are so majestic and beautiful. I wish they thrived here in Minnesota. (Or that I could spend some time out west observing them!)

This was an exercise in experimentation with textures and tools and even as I look at this I have another thought to add to it. So, I'm not sure if it is truly finished. I will sit with this for now but don't be surprised if it shows up slightly different.

July 21, 2015

"Who Whooo?" little owl painting

Who Whooo?
6x6x.5 oil on cradled board

Who Whooo? 
Who cooks for you??
 While this is not this owl's call, that phrase keeps coming to mind. 

This fun little guy is an oil sketch of a burrowing owl in sitting position. He looks a bit serious or annoyed. I am playing with color combinations and there will be a larger version of this guy with a different background coming up.

July 15, 2015

Night Owls, Haiku and Imperfection as Truth.

Night Owls 18 x 18 Oil  $950 unframed    ©2015 deb kirkeeide
The vast bowl of sky
Embraces indigo dreams
Guardians stand watch

Where has all my focus gone?
....long time passing. 
Sounds a bit like a Peter, Paul and Mary song doesn't it?

This is another painting that I seem to have been working on bit by bit over a long period of time.
Flitting back and forth between multiple projects.  More exploration in textures and approaches, composition and acceptance.

Imperfection as Truth
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having a hard time finishing things. Part of that was due to this self imposed notion of perfection.

I certainly won't argue that there is never room for improvement. As we continually evolve in our experience and practice, our skills improve. But it seems to be essential to be accepting of where we are in that particular moment of our expression. Let's face it, some days are better than others and many factors come into play that effect the outcome.

And then there is this ideal of our perceived definition of what is perfection.

There are often times when a sketch inspires me to fully realize it as a painting. I love the sketch but occasionally something gets lost in translation. Many times I find I like WIP’s (my own and others) more appealing than the finished piece. After thinking about this I determined that the “imperfect” sketch was the moment of truth. It was honest, spontaneous and pure in its energy. It is the soul of the painting.

To me, that is perfection.

I think as humans, we have this innate need to strive for perfection in hopes that others will see and accept us. (okay, maybe it's just me) We want to fit in. But is perfection really necessary? Isn’t this 
so-called imperfection what makes us so unique?

Of course this is only my own opinion, but I am finding it to be a useful tool in removing some unnecessary stress lately.  By allowing myself to let go of the outcome, I find more freedom to explore and experiment and change my mind.

July 6, 2015

Thought and Desire - the painting and the myth

Thought and Desire
9 x 12 x 1.5 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

A Little Allegory

As you may have noticed, ravens are a favorite subject. To me they represent transformation and creation. They will forever be symbolic of when I fully realized my desire to be an artist. The thought was always there, but you need the desire to fully realize it.

An astute friend saw this painting on my easel in a recent studio picture and asked if it was a painting of me and my raven. At the time I hadn’t set out with that in mind, but now I think he’s right. Seems to be a personal representation of my self and the raven as my spirit animal. I love when that happens!

A Little Mythology

In Norse mythology there is the story of the two ravens, Hugin and Munin who are the shamanic helping spirits of the god Odin. The poem describes them from the perspective of Odin:

Hugin and Munin
Fly every day
Over all the world;
I worry for Hugin
That he might not return,
But I worry more for Munin

Hugin and Munin are simultaneous projections or extensions of Odin’s own being.Their names are derived from hugr which is “thought”, and munr “desire”, both of which are distinct parts of the self in their own right.

If you’d like to read a little more than my excerpt of this story, here’s a link to the site
The author Dan McCoy does a much better job of telling the tale.


June 30, 2015

Blue on Green a Blue heron Painting and musings on perfection.

Blue on Green
12 x 9 x 1.5    Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

This piece is on cradled hardboard and is ready to hang as is or if you choose, you can have it framed.

At last....
A finished painting. It's not for lack of painting - I have several in the works, but I've gotten bogged down by this notion of perfection lately. Believe me, it hasn't been very productive.

Perfection in Imperfection

I recently came across a quote by Alice Walker. “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect.” It was accompanied by a beautiful picture of a forest with bent, oddly formed, moss covered trees. Due to the conditions in this dense forest, these trees have adapted in their growth. And yet they were perfect in their imperfection.

This is the third time this message has crossed my path in various forms lately. It is a lesson in how I let perfectionism get in my way.

I am in the midst of redefining my life and have a lot of plates spinning in the air. I have become frustrated in that I can’t seem to finish many of my projects. I am close, but something stops me. And that something is perfectionism.

In some of discussions with other artists, I hear a common thread of fear that we can’t show our work to the world until it is perfect. Or what we perceive as perfect. I’ve had several paintings in the works that I can’t just seem to finish because I am keep holding them up to some impossible standard of perfection.

But what if we re frame our thinking and accept that in our perceived “imperfection” it is the honest reflection of that moment. Done. Move on to the next one. Tomorrow will bring a new perspective and approach.
Whale art by Eva.

Watch a child draw sometime. They do it with joy and abandon. And when they are done they are happy and proud. They don’t worry or over analyze. That scribble may not look like a whale or that line look like water But you know what? It’s perfect. It was done with joy and honesty and that’s all that matters. 

More thoughts on this in a future post. In the meantime I'm going to embrace my imperfections!

May 30, 2015

A Portrait of Izzy - Original Cat oil painting by Deb Kirkeeide

6x6 Oil

When my friend had to say goodbye to her beloved Izzy I knew that I wanted to paint him as a keepsake of their loving companionship. Even I miss having him grace me with his attention when I was over for a visit. He was pretty much devoted to my friend but he did seem to like me too. 

My friend loved the painting. I think, as an artist, the most gratifying part of my job is when another finds joy and meaning in what I have created. That is truly my purpose and is the most valuable reward.

To Izzy, you are missed but remembered fondly!

If you are interested in a painted keepsake of your pet I am available for comissions.
For more information and examples of my work please visit my website.

May 6, 2015

Tide Pool - Egret Painting

Tide Pool
15 x 20 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

While out in California a while back I watched this egret wading in one of the tide pools looking for dinner along the shore. I think it's fascinating to be able to observe nature in ways we don't normally pay attention to. It was that time of day where the light was just right making the experience even more perfect!

This past weekend was the Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour. Several area artists opened up their studios to the public for show and tell. It was a good weekend, meeting new people and visiting with past collectors. And my studio is the cleanest it has been in a long time! I want to thank all who came out over the weekend.

Here are a few pictures from the studio.

May 4, 2015

Eva's Best Buddy - Painting of a Pug

Eva's Best Buddy
10 x 9 Oil 
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

This is Maverick, my granddaughter's best buddy. Or, her Puppy Brother. For a grumpy old man he is very tolerant of her active toddler ways, but I'm sure he would prefer it if she liked to cuddle up on the couch and sleep instead of going non stop through out the day. She loves him very much.

I decided to start building Eva's art collection each birthday. So this is the second in the birthday series! I also wanted to paint him in a style that fits a 2 yr old's room. I think he turned out to be pretty fun. Her reaction? "Dog!"

April 26, 2015

A Bright Sunny Day - Sunflower painting

A Bright Sunny Day
8x8x1.5 Oil on Cradled Wood
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

It's been a busy couple of months with many projects demanding my attention. I feel a bit like I'm a juggler in the circus!

The latest is getting ready for the Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour coming up next weekend. In the midst of getting the studio ready (cleaning, moving furniture, hanging paintings and planting flowers....) I've managed to get a few paintings done. This being one of them.

If you are in Minnesota next weekend stop in and say hello! For more info click the tour link above.

Purchase Here - 235.00

March 4, 2015

Just Singin' a Happy Tune - Original Meadowlark Painting - Deb Kirkeeide

Just Singin' a Happy Tune
12 x 12 x 1 on cradled board
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

For more birds and animals please visit here

Is it spring yet? Almost. But for many the question may be "is it done snowing yet?"
It will be nice to hear the nature's many songs again.

I am getting ready for a show coming up March 14 - March 22 at Squire House Gardens in Afton, MN where this painting will be available along with many others. This show is always one I look forward to. If you are in the area, please join us for the reception March 14 -  5 pm -9 pm. 

March 2, 2015

Chip - Original Wildlife Painting of Chipmunk - Deb Kirkeeide

8x6 Oil
©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

Just Chip. No Dale.  

This little wildlife painting is an homage to the little chipmunk that occasionally scurries across my deck, running for cover in a nearby downspout if I happen to surprise him with my presence! I'm sure there must be more than just him, but I only see a him on solo expeditions.

He always brings to mind childhood vacations at a woodsy Northwoods cabin. Where the chipmunks were tame enough to eat out of my hand. For a kid, there's a bit of magic involved in feeding the local "wildlife" out of your hand!

See more wildlife over here!

February 8, 2015

Walkin' In Sunshine - Hen Paintng by Deb Kirkeeide

Walkin' In Sunshine
12 x 12 Oil

©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

I'm finding chickens kind pretty interesting lately. There are so many kinds. And then there are those fancy exotic chickens that take on so many personalities just by their looks alone.

I'm presently getting ready for a show coming up in March at Squirehouse Gardens in Afton, Mn.
More details to come as we get closer to the date. And more paintings to show!

January 25, 2015

Out For A Stroll - Original chicken oil painting by Deb Kirkeeide

Out For A Stroll
12 x 12 Oil  

©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

Just two good friends out for a country stroll. And one happy artist getting back into the rhythm of painting again. I finished this one, started two other large pieces and attended our reception for the Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour preview (coming up in May) this weekend.

January 18, 2015

In Silent Blue Waters - Original Oil Painitng of Swan

In Silent Blues Waters
16 x 16 Oil on Panel

©2015 Deb Kirkeeide

 Happy New Year, Everyone. I'm a bit late in getting started, in fact I just took down my Christmas decor! I decided I wanted to enjoy the sparkle a bit longer since I missed a good portion of the holidays. Did you know that it is bad luck to leave them up past February 2nd? So I guess I'm still good!

 This swan painting is one that I have reworked several times. One of those paintings that the longer I looked at it, I kept thinking of other things to try. (I have another that's been hanging out on the easel for the good part of 2 years or maybe more - I'm still experimenting with that one.) This latest version is one I am finally happy with. Any new ideas I have for it will require a fresh start.

But ideas are forming for new subjects and I'm excited to get started on them.