Rita Kirkman was born an artist, and has been using pastel since she was 11 years old. Her work is defined by light, color and composition, and since 2003 has consistently won major awards in national and international competitions. Her work has been featured in the Pastel Journal and the Pratique des Arts Spécial Pastel, and published in many 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.
"I’m blessed to be able to find beauty in everything I see. My work has evolved into an observation of sunlight and shadow, and recently I’ve been playing with more adventurous ways to portray light with color, value, and temperature. Along with themed portraiture, a trendy subject with my collectors has been ranch animals. This works rather well because ranch animals are ideal models of sunlight, and as Claude Monet said, ‘The subject matter, my dear good fellow, is the light.’"
Her work is in public and private collections all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Europe, Japan, Africa and Australia. In recent years she has become a popular workshop instructor, and since 2020 has been Zooming demos and paint-alongs virtually from her studio.