Joel Kirk was born in Dorking, Surrey in 1948. He lived there for the duration of his father's service in the Coldstream Guards. When his father left the regiment the family moved to Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.
Joel has a love of wildlife that stems back from his school years, where his paintings dominated competitions and gave him his main subject matter.
In 1972 Joel was accepted into the Southend College of Art, After completing a three-year course, Joel immediately turned professional and embarked on a career doing what he loves best; observing the natural world and capturing its beauty in oils, pastels and water-colours. As a freelance artist Joel worked for a number of publishing houses. During this time a wide range of Joel's work was published for the small print market, these were to include a series of wildlife studies, wildflowers, landscapes and Joel's Thames Barges. Four limited editions were also published and several original works have been sold in Harrods, one in particular, a study of an Arabian stallion was sold within hours of being hung.
Joel has donated many paintings to help fund-raising for charities, working with Virginia McKenna,
The Born Free Foundation the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund now called The Gorilla Organization and the Royal Society for Animal Protection of which he is an active member and tireless campaigner.
Joel is kept busy with commissions from wildlife organisations from all over the world. Joel's long and illustrious career as an artist has taken him all over the world to study wildlife in its natural habitat. This research has given him a unique insight into the habits of his subjects allowing him to paint with both accuracy and affection. Although he has experimented successfully with a variety of media, his first love is pastels as these give him the ability to work fast and effectively on location. The consequent velvety texture and subtlety of tones with shadows and highlights bring a unique realism to his portrayals and have earned him a wide and enthusiastic following.
Joel Kirk's supreme quality and accuracy has built him a worldwide following and His pictures have a ready market in North America, Australia, Japan, Europe and the United Kingdom.
Joel's work portrays a broad spectrum of wildlife. As well as the glamorous "Big Cats" and Elephants, Joel also likes to paint wildlife closer to home. Birds, foxes, squirrels and deer all feature in their natural surroundings or as studies.
Some years ago Joel Kirk set himself a task of painting as many breeds of dogs that are common in the United Kingdom and all were put into print.
Unusually Joel Kirk's watercolours contain very fine detail which has become one of his trademarks. After seeing Joel's work you must agree with us that any original work by Joel must appreciate in value.