with Kirah Van Sickle
When we hear “Impressionism,” we often think of the French masters – Manet, Monet, Renoir. But Impressionism was a pivotal modern art movement happening in the late 19th century throughout Europe. From Denmark’s Peder Krøyer, Spain’s Joaquin Sorolla, and Italy’s Macchiaioli movement, we will consider the common denominator with the French…a mastery in capturing natural light, shadows and color, all painting from life. These “other” Impressionists were equally inspired, and inspiring for the abstract movements to follow.
Kirah Van Sickle is an artist and adventurer at heart. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, Master of Science in Medical Illustration from the Medical College of Georgia, and Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco. She managed her creative consulting company, Animania, for 18 years, before transitioning to higher ed. Kirah focused her early representational style on the figure and still life, employing traditional watercolor, acrylic and oil techniques. In 2000, she began to transition from the technical precision of her commercial illustration to embracing semi-abstraction. By 2005, she was fully immersed in a more contemporary approach, fueled by the spontaneity and focus required when painting in the moment, in nature (en plein air) and exercises in automatic drawing. In addition to her studio practice, Kirah is a dynamic lecturer and seasoned studio instructor leading her custom series of plein air, drawing, painting and mixed media courses regionally, and internationally. While Kirah maintains a home on the Cape Fear Coast of North Carolina, you can often find her in Alaska, Florida, the Pac Northwest and Europe. She is an adjunct instructor at the Cameron Art Museum, Cape Fear Community College and Johnston Community College.