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. Meanwhile, in 1986 she began a 12 year career sketching quick portraits at amusement parks.
These days Kirkman still does the same quick portraits and caricatures at events throughout south Texas, but there's more to this talented artist than quick sketching. Since 2003, Kirkman has improved her own style and technique through independent study and workshops with several renown pastelists and portrait painters. This effort has been consistently rewarded with 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 portraits and paintings are in private collections all over the world, including the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan and Australia. The vibrant colors and detailed strokes that make up her paintings bring to the viewer an unexpected emotional response. Her portraits of children are especially sweet. Portraiture, wildlife and landscapes all benefit from the talented eye of this artist. "Life is too full to only paint one thing. Everything I see inspires me"!