“Baskets and Lids” by Kirk McBride

“Baskets and Lids”

oil on linen

20 in. x 20 in.


In recent years Kirk McBride has traveled the East Coast from Florida to Maine exploring the docks and fishing shacks, the old wooden boats and the people who make a living from the sea. His paintings are a way of chronicling this vanishing piece of American life.

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 1970s, part-time while teaching and raising a family, and full time since the early 90s. A switch from watercolors to oils 18 years ago led to plein air painting and regular travels, which continue to provide him opportunities to meet and share 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.

Kirk is represented by seven fine galleries along the East Coast. He has shown his work in dozens of solo and two-artist shows (alongside his wife, Lynne Lockhart). His home and studio are located close to the water on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

View more of Kirk’s work at https://kirkmcbride.com/

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked 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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