William Vincent Kirkpatrick: Modern Impressionist

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Beginning next month, Baterbys Art Gallery will honor the life and work of American artist William Vincent Kirkpatrick by hosting an exhibit featuring his art. Visitors will be dazzled by the artist’s paintings which include serene landscapes, dynamic portraits, and fine still life images.

 

 

Charcoal drawing of a 3/4 length portrait of a man wearing a collared shirt
Portrait of William Vincent Kirkpatrick by Monty Marcos, 1975

 

Kirkpatrick was born in St Augustine in 1939 into a creative family; his mother was an artist and his father played several musical instruments. He had aspirations to become an artist at an early age, and he even won his first art contest at age 10. He moved from Florida to New Mexico in 1956 and fell in love with the landscape. While there, he not only received inspiration from the land, but also from artist and writer Alfred Morang. From Morang, he learned the techniques of the French Impressionists which would become hallmarks of his own style.  Travel also played a large role in Kirkpatrick’s life. He visited places such as Mexico, the Bahamas, Africa, Ireland, Russia, Greece, and China, and he created artwork based on his travels. Eventually, he moved back to Florida where he died in his Vero Beach home in 2004.

 

Kirkpatrick is often called an American Impressionist because he adapted methods from the French Impressionists. From Morang, he learned the essential elements of their technique. He discovered how to apply colors next to each other to suggest subtle shifts in shadow and light. Like the French Impressionists, he used quick brushstrokes to suggest the essence of a place instead of its details. Additionally, he applied his paint in layers to create texture and add dimension to his work. Although, he is best known for his landscape paintings, Kirkpatrick focused his attention on other subjects as well. He also painted captivating portraits and detailed floral scenes and still lifes.

 

Painting in blue, green, and purple of a village surrounded by grass and mountains.
Village by the Mountainside, 1957

 

 

detail of yellow trees
Detail of layered, thick paint from Landscape 45

Landscape painting of a road, yellow trees, a house, and mountains in the distance
Landscape 45 

 

 

Head-on portrait of a young girl against a green, abstract background
Chalita, 1988

 

Still life painting of a table with pomegranates, bottles, and glass of beer with a painting hanging in the background
Pomegranates and Beer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern Impressionists, an exhibit featuring Kirkpatrick’s work, will begin May 8th and continue until June 20th. All the works on display will be available for purchase. The artist’s work rarely goes on view to the public, so do not miss your chance to see his stunning paintings.

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