Artist in Focus: David Kirkman

Here at EASEL one of our favourite things is getting to know a little more about our lovely artists and what inspires their work.  This week we were lucky enough to grab five minutes with Essex based artist David Kirkman of DKirkman Art to chat about what drove him to turn his passion into his career and, because we're nosey, find out what hangs on his walls at home.  

What inspired you to choose a path of creating art? 
 I started painting at a young age and I was influenced by my late Grandad. He was a successful local artist and he taught me the intricacies of using different mediums. I used to predominantly paint portraits and landscapes but about 5 years ago I wanted to feel more freedom in my work. I started experimenting with abstract painting and fell in love with this style. It allowed me to create in the moment, and gave me a way to manage my mental health, which I have struggled with in recent years. I have been incredibly lucky to be able to take my passion and make this my career, I turned professional about a year ago. 

Tell us about your main focus in your work and what drew you to that? 
My main focus is to create pieces that invoke positivity through colour, contrast and messaging. I love that art has the power to transform your emotions and instil positivity. I work in two styles; abstract and pop art mixed media prints. The focus of my abstract work is to help the viewer find a moment of escape and allow colours, movement and contrast to take centre stage. The lack of a recognisable object or scene in abstract painting means we think more about how a piece makes us feel rather than just what we see. I paint in the moment - my canvas is my sketch book. I let my feelings, thoughts and past experiences take over and guide my creative decisions, which empowers me. I want my paintings to do the same for the viewer, providing an oasis of happiness for even a couple of moments. 
 My Pop art 'Love and Honey' collection combines digital art and copies of my abstract paintings to create modern and lively pieces with positive and uplifting messages. Digital illustrations of Winnie the Pooh are used to evoke happiness and hope. This is a commentary on the power of wellness and looking after yourselves. 
What hangs on your walls at home? 
I constantly rotate my own pieces around the house, as I like to live with them to see if they feel finished, as part of my process. I have several landscape paintings of my Grandad’s, who was an amazing artist. The only piece I have bought, is by an artist called David Renshaw. My wife and I purchased this on our honeymoon. 

What’s the latest piece you’ve sold?  
The last pieces I sold were from my Love and Honey collection. My last original abstract painting sold was titled LA and was in my 'Abstreet' style.