Q&A – Questions & Artists: Kyle Buckland

“Spring Morning,” oil on canvas, by Kyle Buckland.

I first became interested in Kyle Buckland’s work when I saw images of his paintings on Facebook. As a prospective member of the American Impressionist Society, I receive work on Facebook on a daily basis that members have posted.

Kyle’s watercolor and oil paintings were dramatic with great color and composition. I was very happy when he agreed to be interviewed.

Randy Rasmussen (RR): Kyle, where were you born and raised?

Kyle Buckland (KB): I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and now live in Abingdon, Virginia. Growing up, as a family, we would come to Virginia in the summer to vacation. I have been a full-time artist for four years, just walking away from my regular job to create art.

RR: What are your earliest memories of the creative process you experienced as a child?

KB: My earliest memories of creating are with my father. My dad was a builder when I was growing up but he always had a great appreciation of art. For a time he worked in the news media and was able to interview artists including Jamie Wyeth and Andy Warhol.

I am thankful to both my parents for allowing me to have such a rich, nurturing childhood. I have a fond memory of my dad showing me how to stretch canvas.

RR: What is the first medium you remember working in?

KB: At first I used just a pencil. I added color when I began at a young age to do finger painting. At the age of 15 I became more serious about art and took all the classes I could in art at high school. I even took an art history class that I enjoyed.

“Marcel,” oil on canvas, by Kyle Buckland.

I found in the school library an old book that hadn’t been checked out in years. It was the classic Carlson on Landscape Painting and I read it several times. It is of course a classic book.

RR: Did you study art in college or ‘just do it’?

KB: I found after a few months I could not afford to paint and pay for college. I did enjoy greatly the few classes I was able to take.

RR: What medium or mediums did you use when you started painting?

KB: I started in oils and then tried pastels and watercolors. Today I paint in oils and watercolors. Early on I fell in love with the impressionists and have been painting light falling on objects. This is what I think we as artists do.

RR: How long have you been fulfilling your passion by being a full-time artist?

KB: Now that I think about it, probably five years not four. I started an unofficial art career painting scenery for small regional theaters. My dad built the sets and I went along one day to help him. We both decided I was not a ‘three-dimensional’ person and they were short a painter. I filled in and ended up doing this work for years. After painting a 30 by 45 feet piece of scenery, I have no fear of a three by five feet fine art painting.

RR: I read on one of your Facebook posts your quote about the difference between painting in oils and painting in watercolor. Could you repeat your thoughts for our readers?

KB: I wrote, “If oil painting is a novel, watercolor is a poem.”

RR: That is true on multiple levels. Which do you prefer, studio painting or plein air painting?

“In The Kitchen,” oil on canvas, by Kyle Buckland.

KB: To me plein air painting is the most important way to paint, especially for an artist to progress. Outside the artist can clearly see light falling on objects and see how differing light changes the subject. Hopefully the artist learns to convey this freshness in the paintings.

RR: You told me you teach. What do you try to convey to your students?

KB: I emphasize two things. The first is talking about the intuitive side of the artist; you simply look and do. This has to be balanced with the analytical side where the artist’s technical skills in drawing are used.

RR: How would you describe your work?

KB: I think my work could be described as contemporary impressionism. I try to express something visually that cannot be expressed in any way other than art. If I do this I think the piece will be successful.

RR: How extensive is your palette?

KB: At the time of this interview it is very simple. I try to use no more than ten colors, a warm and cool of the primaries, titanium white and ivory black. For those that are shocked by my use of black read and study what the artist Zorn has to say.

RR: Do you think art will always be with us?

KB: In this technological world I think art does have a place. I use a digital camera and many times alter the original image in my paintings. This interview came about as a result of social media. I actually think that books and art are a necessary part of life and both will continue to be used to enhance one’s life.

RR: Thank you, Kyle.

View more of Buckland’s work at For more information or commission inquiries email [email protected].