Jamie Kirkland Art Studio

Let the beauty we love be what we do. ~Rumi ~












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My husband Ralph and I recently drove from Santa Fe to New Orleans, La and back with stops in Baton Rouge, Austin and Fredericksburg, TX. I loved seeing all of the rich golden greens and Burnt umber shrubs and Burnt Sienna Grasses. I can’t remember the winters of my childhood being so filled with color. I speculated that because of a recent hard freeze in the area there many more deep rich browns that I could recall in the past. I love taking photographs when I am traveling especially as sunset nears . The way the fields are lit up by the raking light is very exciting to see. In this post I am sharing a couple of images that have been altered in the Paper Camera App. I am really enjoying the way this app abstracts the landscape into simple shapes.

I find these photographs so visually exciting. I can’t wait to get the paint out and start a whole new body of work.


A  recent Plein Air Painting trip to Fredericksburg, Texas with my painting BFF Mallory Agerton www.malloryagerton.com  resulted in so many painting inspirations.

Color Studies

Field Notes



Best of all time spent with a good friend talking about painting, where to paint, color palettes, times to paint, surfaces, tools and techniques. Dreams and Aspirations

After spending the first afternoon scouting locations Mallory and I got up before dawn every day to get out and capture the magic Hours of the dawn light. We took a break at mid day then ventured back out in the late afternoon for some amazing sunset and dusk painting motifs. There really is nothing more wonderful than sitting at the edge of the pasture watching the light move across the field ad listen to the sounds of birds and feisty sheep and goats and feel the breeze while silently recording it all.

We are both fortunate to have been invited to show at a beautiful new gallery in Fredericksburg Gallery 330 www.gallery330.com








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Back in September I had the opportunity to go out early in the morning with Scott Gellatly product manager of the Gamblin Paint Company and his cohort Dave. They were in Santa Fe to participate in Artisan’s Art Expo.
I suggested the Galisteo Basin Preserve

Although a bit of a drive it is so worth it for the long views, great skies and perfect privacy. My painter friend Bill Rhea introduced me to this painting location earlier this year. I always look forward to getting out here where it is so quiet and the light changes minute by minute.
I am finally discovering thru the use of a palette knife a plein air painting technique that does, I think give me the information I need to make a complete statement. This process is one of putting a lot more paint on the canvas than I do in my studio paintings. It is fun to experiment and think of my time outdoors as field study. In the studio I put many layers of paint on the canvas over days or months. It really is only after three or four layers of paint that I see the painting start to come to life.
It is winter now although the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico http://papnm.org have paint outs scheduled year round. I hope to participate in lots more of these and discover more of the natural beauty of New Mexico.

During a recent stay at Ghost Ranch we made reservations to tour Georgia O Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu, New Mexico, you can click this link for more info and to make a reservation
We were driven from our gathering place next to the Abiquiu Inn up to her house. The village of Abiquiu prefers that visitor disturbance is kept to a minimum so we caravaned up to the house nearby. We were not allowed to take photos inside the house. To get a better feeling for her lifestyle and aesthetic design I highly recommend this book available on amazon .
This book contains lots of photographs of her house in Abiquiu as well as he other house down the road at Ghost Ranch currently the house in Abiquiu is the only one open for tours, however I understand that her home at Ghost Ranch may be open to the public soon.
So many people are fascinated with the life that Georgia O Keeffe created for herself in New Mexico and the work that evolved out of this environment. Although not extravagant by any means her homes are definitely beautiful and she had a staff to help her maintain her chosen lifestyle. The pared down interiors seem almost sacred. They are organic, handmade adobe filled with light. It is hard to imagine that anyone would not be inspired in these interiors. Her kitchen is a particular favorite mine. It feels like she will come in any minute with a basket overflowing with vegetables for the cook to prepare. Georgia was a longtime advocate of organic gardening and loved growing her own vegetables. There is a large pantry filled with dated kitchen appliances that must have been exciting acquisitions at the time. There is a large window over the sink looking out over the Chama Valley and the path to the studio. The studio is filled with plate glass windows overlooking her favorite landscape. It is simple, clean with minimal clutter. She kept meticulous records of her paintings. The original binders are on display in the bookshelves along the “office” section of her studio. There is a separate small bedroom where she slept.
The tour guide was delightful. We even had an actress accompany us who read lines from Georgia’s letters and told stories. The tour is so worth it, to be in the actual environment of one of our most creative personalities.
Highly recommended!

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Our lodging was #10 Tumbleweed. It was perfect! Located up on the mesa above the main section of the property. Ghost Ranch offers a variety of accommodations for every budget.


I was very pleased with our newer room and bath. It afforded me the best panoramic views and motifs for painting. On our arrival we were greeted with showers moving thru. It was a challenge to try and capture the swiftly changing mood.Setting up I realized that someone else had my tripod so I improvised with a chair from the room nearby. On our second day we visited Georgia O Keeffe’s Abiquiu home. I decided to write about that tour in a separate post. We also had a lovely lunch at the Purple Adobe Lavender Farm. The food was fresh and delicious. It was a pleasure to sit outside and enjoy the lavender fields while we dined on quiche.


The third day I set up to paint just outside our bedroom door looking east toward Kitchen Mesa. I really enjoyed my high up perch and view of the rock formations. I was treated to full sun and vibrant colors.

Ghost Ranch reminded me of going to summer camp when I was a little girl. It felt safe to walk everywhere on the grounds and discover all of the painting options. We were fortunate to be there after a lot of summer rain and the landscape was unusually green.

I am looking forward to visiting again and observing the landscape with bare trees and snow on the ground. It is easy to see why this area was so dear to Georgia’s heart.

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Ten years ago this month I came home from an art class at The University of Utah to find a message on my answering machine, yes a machine….. from a lady in Santa Fe asking me if I was still painting? and letting me know that she was opening a gallery in Santa Fe and was interested in my work!!!!! I was thrilled beyond words.. I returned the phone call to Karla Winterowd! She saw a post card that I sent out the year before when one of my paintings was juried into “The Show” at The New Mexico Museum of Art by Susan Rothenberg. Karla kept the post card with the idea.. someday..when I open my own gallery, I am going to call this artist… Karla wanted to see the surface of my paintings and what they looked like in person so I sent her a small 12X12 piece that I titled “Introduction”, Fortunately for me she liked it and took me on as her first artist. In those ten years I have had six solo exhibitions, participated in group shows, Canyon Road Paint Outs, Passport To The Arts Quick Draw and Auction, Art Fairs in NYC, Chicago and Seattle as well as Parade of Homes Installations and Art Feast Home Tours.
I moved to Santa Fe in 2006 a dream of mine since the 80’s…. I am so happy to be a part of this vibrant, stimulating art community
One of the great treasures of the gallery/artist relationship that Karla models so well is the studio visit! So many times over the years Karla has encouraged, supported and offered feedback directly from collectors. She had been a wonderful guiding force in building and sustaining my art career. In addition she is a playful ,funny ,mad business woman extraordinar.
I recently created a coffee table book for the gallery from my own compilation of ten years of photographs of events and travels. I was so deeply touched by the friendship and kindness but particularly by how we impact each other’s lives. Had Karla not saved the post card… had I not gotten the voice message. so many turning points in one’s life hinge on a gossamer thread of what if……

While painting in the mornings I typically listen to quieter music. I am a big fan of Spotify  https://www.spotify.com/us/  9.99 per month you get an endless assortment of radio stations but you also have access to other subscribers playlists and the whole repertoire of a recording artist. so I will listen to classical music, smooth jazz or piano.
Also in the mornings I sometimes want some company in the studio so I look to Terry Gross for Fresh Air http://www.npr.org Interviews that I might like to listen to also Diane Rehm, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion.

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I also like to listen to Artist Helping Artists Blog Talk Radio particularly the interviews with other artists http://www.artistshelpingartists.net. Leslie Saeta is a wonderful upbeat host. She has so many ideas to help artists market and sell their art.  Listening to one of her shows a nice shot in the arm!
In addition I belong to the Silver level of Alyson Stanfield’s Art Biz Coach, http://www.artbizcoach.com/silver/ I have access to all of the recordings from coaching calls to special topics calls. You can count on helpful, inspiring information. Listening will often give me new ideas and get me excited about a new project, here again I get to feel apart of a vast community of artists even though it is just me alone in the studio.
A new podcast that is just starting is one by Edward Minoff and Tony Curanaj called Suggested Donation http://www.suggesteddonationpodcast.com/blog. I have long been a huge fan of Minoff’s beautiful drawings and paintings. So fortunate to be friends with him on FB so I get the pleasure of seeing his work on a regular basis. An amazing talent.

In the afternoon it is loud and thumping in the studio as loud as my equipment will go sometimes Spotify , their Reggae and Soul radio stations, sometimes selecting  their top 100 here and or in the UK. Hearing new music in the sense of an artist putting together sound in a different way is a kick. Check out Galatic ……  My iTunes is crammed with a huge variety of artists and styles and artist that I love, Van Morrison in particular.
The mood created in the afternoon is actually pretty aggressive a driving beat that energies me and excites me to keep the brush moving.  Honestly it is just plain fun to have this sense of freedom up cranking the music up really loud to listen to anything I want and dance around the studio like a maniac.. the paradox is that I paint serene calming landscape paintings.. well I have no other explanation for it other than I love music and it has an enormous influence on my work my attitude and my movements.It allows me to look forward to my afternoon work sessions because I have a treat in store for myself.

For this recent painting “The Opening” I decided to use a cloud formation from an image taken in New Mexico and combine it with The wonderful colors and shapes from images taken on a trip to visit family along The Gulf Coast. I wish a camera could capture the variety of green, purples and reds in the grasses. I was moved by the beauty of open wetlands bisected by waterways. This painting is going to Gallery Orange in New Orleans, LA.

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Karla Winterowd of Winterowd Fine Art http://www.fineartsantafe.com selected six of my paintings to install in the Penthouse Suite at The Inn at Loretto http://www.innatloretto.com. The Inn hosted an exclusive event to announce to the press the pairing with Winterowd fine Art along with upcoming events with other local chef’s and business owners. It was a treat to assist in the installation and watch while decisions were made as to which artwork looked best where. What would make the guest the most comfortable and inspired. It was a team effort along with the great staff at The Inn at Loretto.

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