Vanessa Kirk, an interventional radiology technologist and a Longmont-area artist, has always considered herself very artistic and has taken classes in a variety of art forms. The majority of the artwork she creates now, however, is in an art form she never studied formally: acrylic painting.
Kirk’s aesthetic blends a variety of ideas into one unified piece.
“I find a couple of different ideas then mix them together in the same way I might decorate my house,” Kirk said.
As she continues to develop her artistic skillset, she approaches learning in much the same way.
She said, "I saw a similar piece I liked but I wanted to make a more detailed face. So, I looked up how to do that on YouTube and applied what I learned from that video. I did the same with a certain map I liked and then I put that on. So, it was cut and paste of a bunch of different stuff I found appealing with my own twist into one big piece."
Kirk gets great joy out of giving people what they really desire with her pieces.
"I love when I create something that makes somebody else just blown away and extremely excited, even more than I am, about a piece that I made. That's what I love: making something awesome for somebody else. I love hearing, 'this is priceless. I could never give this away. I love this so much,'" Kirk said.
Kirk also has a particular affinity for representing women's faces in her work.
"I think women are beautiful," she said.
Kirk also said she tends toward some darker, boundary-pushing facial expressions. While she has sold some of these pieces, she said, "I tend to make art featuring women mostly for myself."
Of course, creating anything is not without its challenges and perfectionism can complicate matters. Kirk said getting just the right balance of color sometimes impedes her process temporarily. A lack of time makes it even more difficult.
"I don't do too much blending. It's just very time-consuming and I don't have a lot of time. So a lot of my paintings are gonna be hanging out. So a lot of my paintings are in a posterized style,"
Kirk said. Posterized images use a very limited number of tones or colors. It gives images a poster-style or comic-book style look. She hopes that working with posterized images will give her a better understanding of color and make the process go a bit more smoothly, reducing the time it takes.
Kirk is also ready to expand her horizons even further. She'd like to begin creating wood resin tables and is dabbling in watercolor painting.
Her latest endeavor is combining her healthcare career and passion with her artistic passion, she's bringing her knowledge of the body to her current work: creating a watercolor heart painting.