The love I have of wild things and my need to explore and drink in beauty is inseparable from my art. Wilderness feeds my soul. The spiritual connection I feel feeds my passion. Painting allows me to embrace my most precious memories and feelings. I have always had a strong desire to connect with people. Sharing adventures and sharing my art are my two favorite ways.

A husband and father of four, I was born and raised in the North West of Oregon. As a child I had a need for adventure and danger. I learned to love adventure from my father and art from my mother. My serious art studies began in 1991 at Trinity Western University in B.C., Canada and later I studied at Marylhurst University in Oregon. In my studies I was influenced by the work of Bellows, Rodin, Monet, Kollwitz and others. I saw Jackson Pollock as a great divergent force and Vincent Van Gogh as the greatest impressionist that ever lived. Pollock gave me a license for freedom and Van Gogh gave me a vision of passion. I believed if I combined my understanding of freedom and passion with a divergent technique, I could find some undiscovered territory. During my five years studying art I learned all of the rules. I learned them so I could break them. I create art that is divergent. My goal is to be original without sacrificing beauty. I don’t let the traditional rules of art determine what I can and cannot create.

Pollock painted flat flinging paint down onto his canvases. Like Pollock I paint flat using mixed media on wood panels and my signature is one big unbroken drip of paint from a stick.  My goal is to create motion and emotion in a new and exciting way. With impulse and instinct I employ my subconscious, I often follow the paint until an image appears, then I finish the painting with conscious intent. The painting has a life of it’s own because I allow the paint so much authority.

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“Kitzmiller’s work is fresh and exciting. His own unconventional technique and skill has created a truly stunning body of work. His paintings have been commended by internationally known artists, collectors, and personally praised by Ralph Lauren.”

 

Born 1972 Oregon USA I was encouraged by my mother to be creative. My first art class, at five years old, was in the Portland Children's Art Museum. While listening to Hansel and Gretel I built a cottage out of clay. Later my mother enrolled me in a watercolor class with her art instructor. However, my greatest experiences in building my creative and imaginative mind were not in art classes. Rather, they were the days, years, and entire summers I spent playing and building forts in the private world of the forested ravines on the small mountain I grew up on. My friend Ryan Terrell and I had this secret place no adult knew about, hidden in the middle of a 500 acre rain forest in the Willamette Valley. We had total freedom. Ryan later became the first fan of my art to buy a piece. It was a 24x48 black and white for $900.

“In his pieces, a viewer can almost feel a horse leaning forward to trot, or hear the patting of oncoming bison.” -Western Home Journal

Motion and Emotion, that's my goal and my passion. In art school, throughout the 90's and early 2000's, I was struck by some amazing artists of our past. The two who stand out the most to me are Jackson Pollock and Vincent van Gogh. They both broke rules and made no apologies, they both had tragic lives, and they both changed the course of art worldwide. The thing that haunts me is that I believe they were not finished yet. They both had early deaths. What might have they done if they hadn’t died so young? To some degree my art pursues that question. The abandonment of flying paint, pouring, dumping, and splashing. I choose colors on a whim and mix on the flat surface of a wood panel. I let my unconscious mind free, uncluttered by intent or criticism. Sometimes overcome by emotions too great for words, I paint to express it. My goal is to create emotion in a painting; that silent flat surface reaching out to touch another person. When I paint I often pray, I ask God for partnership and I employ some of His tools; a few of the physics that govern our world. Therefore, my creations mimic natural process and every now and then small miracles appear.

 

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like and artist.
— Pablo Picasso
My father framed and hung this sunset photograph in his office. The hand written description reads Joey Kitzmiller 8 years old.

My father framed and hung this sunset photograph in his office. The hand written description reads Joey Kitzmiller 8 years old.

    

"I regret only the time I have spent denying who I am." Joe Kitzmiller

"I regret only the time I have spent denying who I am." Joe Kitzmiller

This is some of the work I saved from art school. Most of it was given or thrown away.

My serious art studies began in 1991 at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada, and then at Marylhurst University in Oregon, USA; a total of five years of studies. My instructors told me I needed required courses to become well-rounded in art, but my goal was to be sharp edged, not well rounded, and my painting style became divergent. I often used charcoal in drawing class and later would paint with black and white gesso. In class I did life drawings that were timed from five minutes to one hour with black and white paint. I would set up a piece of plywood or masonite in the back of class and put one hand in a bucket of black and the other in a bucket of white, then I would paint with only my hands. This was the start of my artistic freedom. Later I painted trees and landscapes outside of school with this same method. This time without time restraints of course. 

Below is Dragon and Little Joe 36x80. When rules are abandoned for the nature of paint and physics, it sometimes works out quite nicely. I personally do not get tired of looking at these paintings because I don't take full responsibility. I give so much authority to the paint itself that I can't help but be entertained by what happens.

Dragon and Little Joe 36x80 oil and acrylic on wood panel.    D ragon was a thoroughbred that threw me into a tree on a dead run. Little Joe was my sister's first pony. I love horses but I have always preferred handle bars to reins, handle bars are control, reins are a suggestion.

Dragon and Little Joe 36x80 oil and acrylic on wood panel.

Dragon was a thoroughbred that threw me into a tree on a dead run. Little Joe was my sister's first pony. I love horses but I have always preferred handle bars to reins, handle bars are control, reins are a suggestion.