Rita Kirkman was born an artist. She has been using pastel since she was 11 years old and had her first paid portrait commission at 17. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988, after which she improved her own style and technique through independent study and workshops with several renown pastelists.
Since 2003, Kirkman’s finely detailed pastel paintings have consistently won major awards in national and international competitions. Her work has been published in The Artist Magazine as well as others. She is a Signature member of the Pastel Society of America and a recipient of the Master Circle Award from the International Association of Pastel Societies. Her work is in private collections all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia.
"I’m constantly overwhelmed by the simple beauty and uniqueness of everyday life. I work to capture a moment or a feeling, or to present an ordinary subject in a new way. I want to hold the viewer a moment longer with a sense of wonder, or perhaps a bit of humor. Life is short and fast. I want to slow down and see it.”
In 2011 Rita added oil paint to her repertoire and has been striving, with some success, to become a daily painter.