So, I’ve just watched CinemaWins set of videos on YouTube, and was reminded just how influential those movies have been in my life.

First off, they were incredibly well done movies of some of my favourite books ever (yes, I was a fan of the books before the movies were even announced). What really got me, however, was watching the behind the scenes footage. I sat there on the couch watching these stories come to life and the work that was put into them. Then came a scene of John Howe and Alan Lee sitting on a hillside in New Zealand drawing Hobbiton. I vividly remember thinking that would be the coolest job ever. I also thought that there was no way ever I could do anything like that. That moment has stayed with me through my entire evolution as an artist. It was the first moment I ever considered becoming an artist, and to this day John Howe and Alan Lee are two of my all-time favourite artists.

So here’s a shout-out to Tolkein, Peter Jackson, Howard Shore, Alan Lee, John Howe, Weta Workshop, all of the people who put years of their time bringing these books to screen. Finally, a shout-out, and thank you to CinemaWins for reminding me how truly amazing these movies are.


John Howe


Alan Lee

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Posted by on February 12, 2019 in Uncategorized


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New Website!

Hey everyone! Check out my new website with my own domain name!

This site will remain (at least for now) and function as my blog.

I hope you like the new site. If you have any comments, questions, or other, contact me I appreciate your feedback.

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Posted by on January 2, 2019 in Uncategorized


Journey before Destination

I just drove approximately 13 hrs in two days in order to go to a concert. This is one of the crazier things I’ve done as a fan. However, when I look at the past two days, it was about so much more than just a concert, and therefore, possibly, not so crazy.

When people learn that I enjoy roadtriping (yes, I made it a verb) by myself, the most common response is “I’d get so bored!” or “Don’t you get bored?” (or reactions along those lines.) The answer is, no. I love it and it’s one of the most free feelings I’ve ever had. It contains some of the wonder that western stories have where the lone cowboy traverses the great American deserts with no other company than his horse. Nothing can tie him down for long. He is like the tumble weed, going wherever the wind blows. He is free.

So, I like driving, cowboy stories, and just went to a concert. What does this have to do with art?

Let me explain. As I drove across those very deserts that hold such a prominent place in tales of the wild west, I allowed my mind to wander. I contemplated how this weekend was very much like my art career. I had a grand goal to drive to Vegas and see Home Free in concert. I could have allowed myself to focus on that goal, getting frustrated with slower traffic, feel pressured to hurry along the way, or get flustered in the unknown streets of Vegas (ok, I did let that get to me a bit). Instead, I enjoyed the scenery, took a couple pictures of snow covered mountains and enjoyed the drive. I didn’t let my anxiousness to arrive at my goal keep me from relishing the process of arriving. So why do I let the hours of practice, the messed up drawings, and the years of waiting to realize my dreams to becoming a self sufficient artist get in the way? I’ve been discouraged at the fact that I’ve found myself in yet another non-artistic job because I have bills that need to be paid. I keep forgetting to focus on enjoying the ride because I’m so focused on where I want to be instead.

This, finally, brings me back to the title: “Journey before Destination.” This is a quote from one of my favourite authors, Brandon Sanderson in his book “Way of Kings.”

“Life before death. Strength before weakness. Journey before destination.”

Don’t be so busy trying to arrive at your destination that you forget to enjoy the journey.


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Posted by on December 6, 2016 in Uncategorized


Hidden Beauty

Today I visited Antelope Island which is found in the Great Salt Lake of Utah. At first glance it is a barren, dull and uninhabited (or uninhabitable) desert mountain. Upon closer inspection however, it proves to be teeming with life and full of an incredible variety of color. The grasses which rise out of this inhospitable land are tough and wirey but they emerge from the ground a lovely shade of green which transitions to a muted purple which waves at you in the breeze. The rocks themselves are streaked with quartz, and red and green rock. With each step I took up the trail grasshoppers burst from the grasses at my feet. The smaller ones disappear again quickly while the larger grasshoppers leap into the air spreading red/orange wings to fly out of danger. Lifting my eyes from the wonders on the ground I see a herd of bison shaking their shaggy heads. Out in the lake I see variations of blue, green, grey and white while above me the pristine blue of a western sky stretches across the heavens. All of this combines to create an interesting challenge for even the greatest master painter.


My challenge for you is to look closer at your surroundings at see what hidden beauty may be there. Look past the obvious flaws and oppression of a messed up world and see that there is beauty everywhere. Whether it is the sparkle in the eye of a loved one, or that flower sprouting out of the crack in the pavement of a busy street, I’d love to hear where you have found hidden beauty in your surroundings.


Posted by on June 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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If you haven’t yet already, be sure to check out my Facebook page! I feature a painting each Monday, give you a glimpse of what my art used to look like through TBT Thursdays, and keep you up to date with what Festivals I am set up at.

Make sure you don’t miss any of it!

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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Demystifying the magic

Today, I want to talk a little bit about the magic behind the creation of art. Every piece of art that is created has had a lot of love, effort, and time that has been poured into its creation. However, I think that is something that is often overlooked when enjoying a person’s art. On the one hand it is great to be able to “make it look so easy”. There is beauty and satisfaction in having created something that amazes people and leaves them wondering what sort of magic lies in your brushes (or pencil, or pen for that matter). However, I think that at times this magic, this “effortless” look can also be detrimental. People tend to value something more when they can appreciate its creation, the effort that was expended and the time it took to create. In allowing people to believe in the magic and the ephemeral concept of “talent”, perhaps artists are selling themselves short. I know that for my own paintings, I have literally cried, sweat, bled, and lost sleep for my craft. So, in an effort to demystifying the magic I have decided to share progress photos of the process. For this I have chosen to feature my painting entitled “Santo Domingo” from my “Cultural Encounters” series which I created for my senior show at Asbury University. This painting also includes a hand made frame, and I stretched the canvas myself. Sadly I didn’t get pictures of this process so they aren’t included.

church 18

The picture above is the final version and can also be found in the “Cultural Encounters” folder. The following pictures are the progress and were taken following each painting session.

church 1 church 2 church 3 church 4 church 5 church 6 church 7 church 8 church 9 church 10 church 11 church 12 church 13 church 14 church 15 church 16 church 17


Posted by on April 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Open House #4

Tubes of paint lie haphazardly on the floor, paintings are stacked in every available space, and an easel stands at the ready with two small paintings balanced on its ledge. This is the chaos you would see if you walked into my studio today. Who am I? My name is Kimberly Riggs and I am a local artist. Originally growing up in Mexico, I moved to Kentucky for college. I attended Asbury University between the years 2005 – 2009 and proudly received my bachelors in fine art. Now, almost six years later, I am still painting and striving to be a better artist. Now normally my studio isn’t quite so chaotic. Yes, an orderly mess is the general order of business, but the stacks of paintings and cluttered spaces go above and beyond the norm. These paintings are standing in readiness awaiting a yearly event that will turn my humble little home into a gallery for two days. Soon, the messes will be cleared away, the paintings will be hung and I will be ready to host my fourth Annual Open House.

Several years ago I found myself frustrated. I was painting several times a week, the paintings were piling up with no place to go, and my only real venues were online through my website and through Facebook. I soon decided that due to a lack of storage space, I had to start hanging my paintings around the house. Eventually white wall space was largely negligible and I had transformed my apartment into a miniature gallery. What is the point, though, in a gallery that nobody sees? So in 2012 I hosted my very first Open House. I reorganized my paintings on the walls, bought and set out refreshments and told everyone I could that for one day my house would no longer be a home, but rather my own miniature gallery.

Since that fateful day four years ago, I have continued my yearly tradition of transforming my house. Each year I have arranged my paintings on the walls, bought refreshments, sent out invitations, and opened my house to the public. Although the essence of the event has remained the same, I am continually working to improve it and make it an enjoyable event for all who come.

This year my Open House will be on Friday March 20th from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, and Saturday March 21st from 11:00am – 3:00pm. So what can you expect this year? I will be debuting a brand new series of paintings as well as showcasing some older familiar paintings. As always there will be refreshments including, but not limited to, coffee and dark chocolate M&M’s. My studio will be clean, organized and open for a behind the scenes peak into the creation process. There will be a raffle each day where the winners will receive a free 4”x5” painting. All other paintings will be for sale. Finally, for the first time ever, I will have some of my recent drawings and comics assignments on display.

The countdown is on. As I start to pull everything together, I am sincerely looking forward to this year’s Open House and hope you can stop on by.


Posted by on March 8, 2015 in Uncategorized


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7 days away

Fear. Timidity. Hope. Terror. Excitement. Believe it or not, this gamut of emotions accurately describes how I feel about March 3, 2015. What is so striking about this date that it instills both terror and excitement?

For those who are new readers and may not be aware, I have been slowly, painstakingly working my way towards getting my Master’s in Illustration. This semester marks the halfway point in this journey. Exactly 7 days, 13 hours and 54 minutes from now, I will be attending my Midpoint Review. This is my chance to present my thesis proposal to a prestigious board of successful artists. Assuming my thesis is accepted, I will then have the green light to continue on in my studies and pour my work and time into my thesis. If denied, I will have to re-work my thesis proposal in order to re-present at a later date. Perhaps now the flood of conflicting emotions makes sense. I am afraid and terrified that what I have done will not pass muster, I’m timid about being judged by a panel of people I hope to someday have as my peers, I’m excited about the prospect of continuing on in my studies, and beginning my work towards my final goals. Finally, I’m hopeful that my proposal will be accepted.

Well, that’s about it for this post. Prayers and well wishes are coveted for next Tuesday, and this next week as I anticipate the Review. I will let you all know how it goes. In the meantime…….back to work!

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


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An Argument for Beautiful Art

I am nestled into a comfy corner of my Alma Mater’s Student Center. It’s a quiet day and the dulcet tones of Loreena McKennitt’s voice are playing in my ears. On the wall behind me hang some student created paintings and I find myself reflecting on a trend I have noticed in art. (Although I should be working on my thesis proposal.) I have observed that much of the art I come across is driven largely by philosophical, ideas. For example, the painting nearest to me is a large yellow square. The bottom third of the canvas is a shade darker than the rest, and in the center is a dilapidated two-story house which is slowly sinking into the darker yellow. This painting is entitled “In the Mystery.” It is an interesting painting which has caused me to reflect upon its meaning several times since I first sat down. Despite my curiosity as to its meaning and purpose I would not categorize it as a pretty or beautiful painting. It is what I would classify as a philosophical painting. Its purpose is to get an idea through to the viewer in whatever means necessary. This is a trend I have been observing more and more. Now, please don’t get me wrong. I don’t have any problem with using art as a platform for expressing your thoughts and ideas. However, I do think this philosophical trend has led artists away from a pursuit of beauty. I have always believed that art should reflect some of the beauty found in this world. It may be done through the handling of the medium, the color composition, or even the subject. I would like to argue that even a disturbing, ugly, or uncomfortable subject can be discussed through art in a beautiful manner. Obviously the rebuttal to this statement is that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” This is true to a large extent and I’m afraid I don’t have a good counter argument. I have found that there is a sad futility in trying to argue with how another person perceives the world. After all, I may state that I find someone attractive and someone else may not see that person in the same way. This is eye of the beholder. So how can this be reconciled? I’m not really sure. I fear I do digress a little from my point here. I did not start writing today with the intent to enter into the intricacies of arguing aesthetics and beauty. My main purpose was to point out art which ignores the discussion altogether in order to provide that “shock factor” which will hopefully get its point across to the viewer. So my challenge today, is if you find yourself wanting to express an idea through art, then by all means do so, but find a way to bring beauty into your art as well. Even ugly subjects can be presented in a beautiful way.

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Posted by on January 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Complexity in the simplest of objects

This isn’t a complicated or long post. However, the farther I get in my Master’s studies, I realize just how complicated a simple object can be.

Don’t believe me? Try this: Set a mug in front of you and try drawing it (if you can, light it with a single light for better lights and shadows). Now draw it again, is the ellipse at the top of the mug correct? How about the bottom ellipse? Does it look three-dimensional? Are the shadows all one value, or do you have some light reflecting back onto the mug? How dark are your shadows in relation to the mug and it’s surroundings? After worrying about shadows you’ll need to re-check those ellipses to make sure they haven’t moved while you worried about other things. Now, look at the light side of the mug, is it all one shade? Are there other things reflecting in the surface? Does the mug look cylindrical, or flat? If you wish to add color to your picture, it gets even more difficult….

See what I mean? If you still think drawing a mug is easy, either you didn’t follow the instructions well, or you draw them professionally (even then, I’d guess they are hard. So why should you care that drawing a mug is difficult? Maybe it means nothing, but I’m constantly amazed at how much I still struggle with getting my perspective correct, and my ellipses the right shape. If I get the drawn elements of my picture wrong, then the rest of the drawing or painting can be ruined, or just look sloppy. These items are the foundation of well executed art. From the way I see it, our lives echo this artistic concept. If our drawing or foundation is shaky, then the result is messy. It is imperative to spend the time that is needed to make sure the perspective is correct, the shapes are drawn, the ellipses are correct, and the foundation is firm.



Posted by on October 3, 2013 in Uncategorized


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