For artist Kerry Kirkpatrick, there’s nothing she finds more inspiring than the energy she pulls from being surrounded by nature.
“I just feel so much power there and energy,” Kirkpatrick said. “I love being in it and moving through it, so that is where I feel most comfortable and what I want to express.”
“Capturing the Light” is the name of Kirkpatrick’s latest exhibit, which opened on Friday, Nov. 4 at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum and runs to Nov. 26. Kirkpatrick sat down with city museum curator Cory Woodall on Saturday, for a free, public Q&A session to learn more about Kirkpatrick’s exhibition while answering questions from the audience.
Kirkpatrick has been a Juneau resident since 1995, previously living in Petersburg and Seattle where she graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in landscape architecture. After graduating, she moved to Alaska and started a landscape and graphic design business, along with commercial fishing, and continued perfecting her passion of painting.
According to Kirkpatrick, “Capturing the Light” is a collection of new watercolor, acrylic, and oil paintings, which is a medium she started working with in 2020. Kirkpatrick said that the inclusion of oil paintings in her latest exhibition has allowed for her to explore a more expressive medium and to challenge herself as an artist.
“I’ve always been working with watercolor pretty much my entire life, but there were things I wanted to start doing with paint that I really couldn’t accomplish with watercolor and acrylic, and oil were allowing me to do that,” Kirkpatrick said. “I especially love oil painting because it has such a nice fluid quality to it.”
While Kirkpatrick said she can find herself immersed within almost any landscape, she said there’s something particularly special about the wilderness of Southeast Alaska that makes her feel especially blessed.
“We live at the edge of this great community, I love Juneau, and for me I love that we’re roadless, it adds a whole other dimension to living in this place, but being surrounded by the wilderness, being on the water, the trees and mountains right down to the water, just such a definition to our lives and being out in it, using all of your sense out there and being in the presence of wildlife, too, it’s incredible,” Kirkpatrick said. “I’m not a religious person, but it’s a religious experience to be in the presence of all of that and to feel it and to see it going by, I mean we hear politics every day and we hear about COVID and whatever issues that we’re dealing with, but you walk outside and it’s like it’s this steady thing, it’s there every day, it’s doing its thing with or without us and that just gives me so much peace.”
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