Artist and author Janice E. Kirk trained as watercolor painter, illustrator, singer, writer, and teacher. Jan always found the natural world to be a source of inspiration beginning with her formative years in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon, the wildflowers of a California springtime; and she is still drawn to the beauty of ocean, desert, and mountains. She happily accompanied her naturalist/biologist husband and two children on summer trips throughout the American West. Jan sketched and painted everywhere they camped, recording details of nature from delicate plants to sweeping landscapes.
In 1976-77, a year–long Sabbatical camping trip to the Southwest provided time to study, sketch, paint, and photograph diverse plant communities amid stunning scenery. (See her memoir: The Road to Beaver Park, Painting, Perception, and Pilgrimage.) Jan gained a new perspective on the way life systems work together, a vision of Planet Earth as a dynamic whole. Living close to the elements, painting and sketching every day changed everything. She grew to love the great outdoors. She discovered that learning to paint was learning to see, and that seeing is a radical activity. It will change your life. For Jan, it triggered a spiritual renewal that brought her back to faith. It sparked advocacy for earth stewardship.
Jan now enjoys sharing her many camping adventures. Come along as she tells the fun of being out there and the many interesting things to be found. She hopes readers and viewers will be inspired to venture outdoors for another look, some re-creation, and that they will find themselves connecting with the natural world.
Janice completed 300 botanical sketches for Wild Edible Plants of Western No. America (D. R. Kirk, Naturegraph Pub.). She has been published in Teachers of Vision Magazine, Light & Life Magazine, Prism, and the East Valley Times, and was Project Writer for the Language, Art, and Music Project in Shasta County Schools, California (1974-77). Six summer sojourns at Holden Village (ELCA) on Lake Chelan, Washington, strengthened bonds to faith, art, and the environment. After many years in California, Jan recently moved to Winona, Minnesota, located in the beautiful Mississippi River Valley, to enjoy her children and grandchildren.
- The Road to Beaver Park, Painting, Perception, and Pilgrimage, by J. E. Kirk (Resource Pub./Wipf & Stock: 2016).
- The Christmas Redwood, A Forest Parable, written/illustrated by J. E. Kirk (Wipf & Stock: 2016).
- Cherish the Earth: the Environment and Scripture, by J. E. Kirk and D. R. Kirk (Wipf & Stock: 2016).
- Wild Edible Plants of Western North America, by D. R. Kirk (Naturegraph: 1970), illustrated by J. E. Kirk.