Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

My gallery, Art in Bloom, in historic downtown Wilmington, NC, started a series, Covid-19 Studio Views, as a window into their artists’ studios during self-isolation. It’s always interesting to get a peek into artist work spaces, what I refer to as our creative laboratory. I am grateful for my gallery family and opportunity to share some insights to my creative space. It has been busy as I prepare to install a new exhibit, as one of three featured artists and two featured photographers at the gallery. Visions of Inspiration runs June 12 – July 19, 2020. Join us!!

Please check out all the new work and the studio views at Art in Bloom Gallery

Here are my thoughts as part of the series:


“Art in the Time of Corona”

As an instructor and adventure traveler who designs artist getaways/workshops…the seismic shift that is Covid-19 brought me out of the clouds and back to earth rather quickly. As well as back into my studio. My home studio is small but gets lots of light. It has become my haven, a cove in which I have settled into a daily routine of art-making. This was not the case before. Outdoors, the various air bnb’s that make up my temporary homes away from home and all the classrooms I teach were my primary studio spaces. I had learned to be efficiently mobile with my art supplies.

What I am enjoying in this time of quiet and stay-at-home, is a reconnection to what I love about a disruption…it feeds our creativity and sends us into imaginative problem-solving mode. There is much entropy in my studio these days, a sea of plastic storage bins scattered about, tubes of paint, brushes, craft papers, paper towels and lots of paint drips on the floor. The ever-present tripod and video setup greets me each morning as I transition my space into a virtual classroom and multimedia production studio. Multiple canvases in progress leaning against the wall waiting their turn for time on the easel. I love that I have that easel time, and my favorite tools at my fingertips. Now if I can just get it better organized! My studio always feels like the laboratory of a mad scientist. I didn’t always give myself the daily permission to focus on my art-making, there was always another work distraction. A wearer of many hats. Amazing how we artists tend to get into a rhythm of neglecting our own process while encouraging and sustaining others. I am finding a balance and staking a claim.

I’ve always been aware that artists and creatives thrive on disruption, perhaps why I enjoy the challenge of travel, plein air painting, mixed media experimentation. We have to adjust and think on our feet. It provides new perspective, new colors, new layers on our world and history and space. As an anatomist of the world, I am embracing the unknown, making new art, and…staying home.


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My art collection began at a very early age, with the gift of several Dr. Seuss books and my beloved copy of Richard Scarry’s “Biggest Word Book Ever.” I wouldn’t fully appreciate that Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) was such a fascinating and revered artist but I knew as a child that the line quality and colors of the illustrations were exciting and fun. The rhythm of his word play and rhyming scheme complimented the whacky and whimsical nature of the art.

I credit Richard Scarry with my wanting to become an illustrator. His themed landscapes and word labels not only taught me to read, but instilled a desire to draw and create pictures that were charming and informative.


For a long time, stamps were my art and collecting luxury. I had several international stamp books and to this day maintain an abundant array of beautiful stamps from around the globe, to use in collage, mixed media, handmade cards and book arts. The same goes for other ephemera that has found a place in my studio, home…and heart. Shells, rocks from travels, bowls…what is it with me and bowls?? There are the love letters my mother saved from my father that I keep nestled among receipts, old school reports and handmade greeting cards that made up my mother’s own “art” collection. All of it, art to me.

At some point, our art tastes mature and we may inherit or begin to purchase works that have personal significance. Does it need to be original to be in a collection? For years I could only afford the commemorative poster from museum exhibits as a reminder of my favorite artists. And books, of course continue to find their way onto my shelves. I began to collect experiences, not so much things. The tokens of those experiences, memories, have become totems on my studio shelves.

In recent years, and especially with the economic shift of Covid-19, small works shows and virtual offerings remind me that art doesn’t have to be expensive or large or made by a noted artist to be worthy of purchase and admiration. More and more galleries are offering small works for that very reason – what better way to begin one’s own art collection than to start small? In a way, it’s homage to our nomadic prehistoric ancestors, with their carved figurines. They were portable, could be made into a pendant, a lucky charm in their pocket of sorts.

I love working in series of small works, seeing how the lines, shapes and colors speak to each other. They can be grouped together in a fun array, or be a dramatic note to a special spot in our interior space. Small can be big, especially when it comes to supporting your local artists and claiming a statement piece to last a lifetime…and beyond.

New small works can be found at www.kirahfineart.com or www.aibgallery.com.

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It’s been quite a while since my last post. It was an homage to my sister, Kathy, a eulogy of sorts, and since then, I took a breather, a break, to keep hold the thoughts and events since that loss. One year turned into two, and three…

Those years have been rich with adventures and amazing connections. I was reminded then, and everyday, that life is short. I have always been aware of that and feel I live a life that reflects that. Since that last post, I stepped into the artist cave, found inspiration in studio time, in my home in North Carolina, and beyond. The “beyond” includes multiple life-affirming journeys around the world, and Kirah Fine Art, Inc has grown in ways “beyond” belief! Along with short snippets on social media, the blog is revived and I’m excited to share all that is to come…beyond the art, the travels, the classes…beyond the edge of tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.

Join me!




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