Kirk has been painting & drawing since childhood (including pastels of tall ships & his first oil paintings by age seven). He was influenced by his father, the late Capt. John Larsen. Having worked on charter boats and becoming an avid scuba diver and fisherman, he was destined to combine his love for art and the sea.
After graduating The School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration, Kirk worked as an artist, illustrator, set designer and portrait artist. His indulgence in Plein air painting in the mid nineties rekindled his love of the water and the boats upon it. His favorite scenes were and still are seascapes and wide open spaces.
In 2004, he embraced his love for sailing and that indulgence has become an addiction. “The Shields class and the classic wooden yachts are really my favorite boats to paint. I seek to convey that feeling of being on the water or in love with it, in my work.” Kirk is grateful to Donn Costanzo, Jeff Law, John McGrane and especially Betsy & Hunt Lawrence for generously welcoming him into the world of classic yachts.
Kirk is the recipient of 133 awards for his works in acrylics, watercolors, photography, graphite, pen & Ink, mixed media, sculpture and ice carving -portraits, still-life, landscapes and abstraction. Recent honors include: Best Depiction of Water, in Plein Air Magazine Salon, 2016, multiple Best in Shows, 1st places and Awards of Excellence; Raymar Art Contest Finalist for “Grappler’s of reliable recycling”; The Museum Purchase Award at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, for inclusion in their permanent collection; The Isabelle Steinschneider Memorial Award from the Hudson Valley A.A. 80th annual exhibition; The Katlin Family Seascape Award from The Salmagundi Club, NY; and Talent in Motion magazine’s Artist of the Year. He was featured in the 15th national exhibition “Contemporary American Marine Art” curated by the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) and the 16th National Exhibition and Easels in Frederick Plein Air Competition-2012 (EIF0 Grand Prize & Collector’s Choice. His work has been shown in 49 solo shows, multiple juried shows, including: The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT; The L.I Museum of Fine Arts; the Nassau County Museum of Art and Islip Art Museum. He is a contributing Plein Air Painter in Easton, Frederick, Bucks County and the Plein Air Painters of the Maritime Gallery.
Kirk is a Professor at the Parsons New School University School of Design Strategies, an associate of The School of Fashion Design, a film and television actor SAG-AFTRA; mentor and motivational speaker. He is an award winning published writer of short stories, screenplays, essays and poetry, and not surprisingly, much of it about sailing and the sea. In 2015, he was nominated for Poet Laureate of Nassau County.
He is a Member of the Salmagundi Club NYC, OPA: The Oil Painters of America, ASMA: American Society of Marine Artists, AIS: The American Impressionist Society, MAPAPA: Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association, NYPAP: New York State Plein Air Painters.
“When painting, I have the feeling that all is right with the world. Those that have my art on the walls, say it has the same effect…” – Kirk Larsen