17 October 2014

I've Moved!

CHECK ME OUT OVER AT https://heather-gerkin.squarespace.com/heatherkirtland
OR YOU CAN LINK FROM MY WEBSITE www.heatherkirtland.com

10 October 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Heather Day

"Birds and Reactions 3" acrylic and soft pastel on BFK paper

"The Things You Told Me Today #1" acrylic and soft pastel on canvas
 Heather Day's Studio

Amazing, right?  Heather Day's art is so visually fascinating to me.  The layers of acrylic and the beautiful hand in the pastel marks.  I so enjoy her Instagram feed, and now am totally following her Pinterest too.  Her boards are great eye candy!

I hope your inspired!

08 October 2014

Clouds in my coffee

I have been completely distracted by the clouds in the fall sky. On most days the bright clear blue with so many different compositions fascinating negative space. I can't stop taking pictures.

This must be playing in the back of my head. When I am rocking my sweet little Mr. J. I think of that quiet comfort and that somehow aligns with the soft comfort of those clouds. 

Starting to play around with it a bit in the studio. 

03 October 2014

Weekend Inspiration: Raven Roxanne

 *photo by Kristen Blanton of Hello America
 *Photo by Paige French
 *Photo by Paige French

I am inspired by the super talented Raven Roxannes'"Nest" series.

The composition, the colors, not to mention the treatment of the paint, are such a visual treat.  I've been following her on Instagram for a while, and am always inspired by her images.
Raven was gracious enough to  answer a few questions I had.

1. I just love your "Nest" series.  How did it come about?

The ‘Nest’ series came along organically due to what is going on in my life.  I am engaged and we just bought our first house.  Understandably the idea of ‘nesting’ is very present in my life right now.   "There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.”  Vincent van Gogh - This quote embodies what my ‘nest' are about.
2. Where do you typically find inspiration?  And what artist are inspiring you right now?
I find inspiration in my surrounding humans, clothing, nature, my dog 'Willie Boy’, Charleston, water, light, yoga and my love.  I am inspired by my friends Teil Duncan, Lulie Wallace, all my fellow redux artist, Becca Barnet and so many more….  It helps to have so many wonderfully creative friends.  I am also loving Hense, Michelle Armas, Andrew Hem, Conrad Roset, etc.   

3. What's the studio tool you can't live without?

 Gesso… Some times you have to say f**k it and paint it white. 

How true is that?! Wouldn't it be fun to have a studio next door to her, so you could stop by and have a glass of wine?  Thank you Raven for sharing your work.  If you would like to see it up close and personal and you're in the Charleston area check out her show at Billy Reid. (On the corner of King and Queen streets) 
If your not in that neck of the woods, she'll have the paintings available on her website as well.

Have a great weekend!

02 October 2014

TBT: Now & Then

Picture it, mid-nineties: I'm wearing ripped jeans, a flannel shirt and black biker boots driving through downtown Baltimore in my blue Karmen Ghia on the way to MICA. (art school).  Sorry, I just couldn't seem to find a picture of that. 

The whole atmosphere always seemed, to me a little like everyone for themselves.  As if we we were all competing for this one opportunity, the best art student, or one gallery show.   Being an artist, is most of the time a very individual and solitary thing.  The creative process can encourage isolation and a need to stand apart from everyone else. Yet, like all things it can truly benefit from a community and a support system.

I feel like this has changed.  I am so thankful, for all of us.  When I started blogging I found other artist that were encouraging and willing to share expertise.  I think Bonnie from the blog Going Home to Roost said it best "there is room".  It's true, there truly is room for all of us. It's almost like the more of us there are the more room we make.  On top of that the atmosphere we create is inspiring to us and those around us.  

More recently, I've found these amazing artist on Instagram. I'm inspired daily by their talent.  I love to see into their studios and get a glimpse if their process.
It gives me a great sense of community and feels like having studio mates.  Beyond that they are approachable, relatable, and encouraging.  Since we have moved to a more rural setting I find it harder to make those connections in real life, but I am trying.  It makes me wish I could put together one of these like The Jealous Curator did.  (You must check out her amazing blog!).  But instead I'm going to fill my "Weekend Inspiration" with them.  

There is something so freeing in not racing everyone to the finish line.  A finish line that looks different for all of us anyway.  It allows breathing room for creativity and happy connections along the way.

Join me here tomorrow to check out the first of some talented artist.

30 September 2014

Give it Away

"Give It Away" 36 x 48" oil and mixed media on canvas
This painting is available for purchase and it is also one of the limited edition prints that will be available in my shop which opens online this Wednesday.

I have been thinking about the freeing sense of letting go of competition.  I don't mean to say competition is bad or there shouldn't be a winner or loser in a game or sport.  And to a certain degree, a little healthy competition can push you to so your best, but I kinda think that should still come from within. I am speaking more about creative pursuits and living life in general.  In the act of supporting those around you, you surround yourself with community.  Give it away, the good stuff you have, the positive vibe, and I truly believe it will surround you too. I feel that it will just replenish. I wanted this painting to catch that light playful positive vibe. 

In just this spirit I had a lovely bride in my chair at work recently who in the course of our conversation told me one of the coolest stories I've ever heard.  It just endeared her to me even more, and I instantly felt moved to help.  She is the Co-Founder and CEO of The Global Good Fund.  Their mission is to "accelerate the leadership development of young social entrepreneurs tackling the world's greatest social issues". I encourage you to check out this blog post to hear about the awesome work this organization is doing.  Carrie Rich landed in my chair at just the time I was thinking about this sharing of joy, and supporting of one another.  Her enthusiasm for what she does is certainly contagious.  


I am excited to donate 20% of my print sales until October 7th to The Global Good Fund! 

Just another reason to look forward to the shop opening tomorrow. 

29 September 2014


This week marked a very big part of my life coming to an end. My work family has parted ways and some of us are continuing on in one direction and the others another. I've shared so any milestones with these loves that it is a bitter sweet ending. It is also the beginning of more than I thought it would be.  I love my day job, not only do I love what I do (I'm a hair stylist), I am inspired by my co-workers and my clients daily. The icing on the cake it allows me the security to pursue my life as an artist as well. When these changes started it became a time to reflect on what I wanted and brought me to this space. I decided to specifically carve out studio time, introduce myself as and artist, and to open up my online shop!

I am hair stylist that loves doing hair and making people feel like their best self and an artist who carries this aesthetic into a more tangible beauty.

So as this chapter closes it has provided me a focus and a drive in the studio and gave me much needed push.

This is a super busy week around here.  My shop is opening, and along with that I am working with a lovely charity The Global Good Fund.  I am hanging a show at The Verandah and starting my Weekend Inspiration post up again with some crazy talented artist that have been inspiring me lately. (I better make sure there is enough coffee around here.)  I can't wait to share all these things with you!

25 September 2014

TBT: Looking back

 "Grand" 58" x 68" oil on canvas 2005
  "Ghost House" oil on canvas 2005 SOLD

"Docked" 12 x 18" oil on canvas 2007 SOLD

I've been spending some time getting things in order.  Doesn't that feel good!?  One of my projects has been to go through my inventory, both physical and digital.  I am really enjoying the look back and seeing where I've been, and I am so surprised by how my work has changed, but really by how it hasn't either. 

"Grand" was inspired by a trip to visit my brother when he was living in Chicago.  It's a stop on the EL.  Often, in my work a word inspires me and becomes and image, like this.  I love the size of this painting too.  Working that large becomes a different kind of physical act that is really fun.

"Ghost House" was one of the first paintings I used the wire/leaf hanging imagery and started to scatter the circles/oval shapes.  Here, they feel like stones to me.  Sometimes, they end up in the air like bubbles and take on a floating effect to me. 

"Docked" is a piece from my college days.  I was fortunate enough to study in Italy and was totally taken both by the landscape and the culture.  Along the coast line south of Naples there were so many cliff side views looking down on jetties with docked boats.  This is one of my favorite interpretations.  This painting has a great home in a beach side town of a family friend.  So fitting.   

Along the way I am getting more inspiration for current work too.  I am just so excited for all the new things happening as well!
My online shop is coming soon, and I can't wait to share some lovely art with all of you.

17 September 2014


"Noise" 16 x 20" oil on canvas

It's seems the times that I have something very specific I want to express it takes me a long time to find the right imagery, to get it just right. 

This painting changed drastically so many times till I was finally happy with it. 

My approach to the news is to keep my head in the sand. (Which I realize is a luxury and I appreciate it.)  I will scan twitter once in a while to get headlines. I do want to be informed. (I think.) I am a disheartened that there is nowhere to actually hear the facts and just the facts. There is a skew one way or the other to it all. I'd like to be able to form my own opinion and not have it fed to me. On one particular news heavy day it seemed I couldn't escape it.  Then I was stuck somewhere with talk radio. I got this oppressive feeling. The person was just spewing their truths and one stance over and over in different variations. I could've even agreed with what was being said but the manner in which they were conveying it as if it was truth, the only truth, was disheartening and small to me. That feeling is what was behind this painting.  As you can see it took a few incarnations. 

If you need me I'll be over here with my head in the sand, playing with the kiddos.  And very thankful that I can.

15 September 2014

Sunday in the Studio

 A few new "Whispers"

"Cairn" 20X36" oil on canvas

Ahhh.  A Sunday morning with a hot cup of coffee and some studio time is a rarity and AWESOME!! Have I mentioned how much I love my Aunt and Mom who make moments like that possible?!

The kids and I spent the weekend with them since Hubby was working all weekend. So I got some rare weekend painting time. I'm still in this frenetic creative state and there just seems like there is not enough time to get it all out. I feel like the ideas are going to disappear before I can realize them. I was in the zone yesterday but had to break it up to feed kids and put them down for naps. How do Artist Moms do it?  I am thankful for every moment I get, that's for sure. 

Now back to playing with kiddos, feeding everyone, and attempting to keep things running smoothly on the home front.  I'll find some time to sketch and catch up on the paperwork of being an artist too. 
Oh, and hopefully get to jump on this webinar tonight. Wish me luck!!