Sept. 24, 2014. Boone artist Ryan Kirby took a leap of faith three years ago when he quit his job to chase his dreams as a young, aspiring wildlife artist.
If the success of his latest painting is any indication of things to come, Kirby made the right move.
The cover of the October issue of Outdoor Life – one of North America’s most popular outdoor magazines – will feature Kirby’s latest painting of a white-tailed deer, titled “Running and Gunning.” The Kirby cover is the first illustrated deer cover published by Outdoor Life in more than 20 years.
“I grew up reading Outdoor Life and hoping to one day experience for myself all the fishing and hunting adventures you read about inside,” said Kirby, 32. “It’s an honor to have my work featured on the cover.”
Outdoor Life was first published in 1898 and today boasts a circulation of more than 750,000. The magazine covers the outdoor lifestyle with a focus on fishing, hunting, survival and camping.
“We pride ourselves on covers that grab attention and tell a story before you even open the magazine,” said Andrew McKean, Outdoor Life editor-in-chief. “Ryan’s painting leaves you wondering. Will the deer get away? Will the hunter make an immaculate shot? What’s going to happen? Ryan really captured the magic of the season and of hunting and we’re glad we chose him to bring back art to the cover of Outdoor Life.”
Kirby’s artistic focus is original oil paintings on canvas and the Outdoor Life cover was no different. The entire process can take weeks to complete and was documented by Outdoor Life with a special “Making of the Cover” video that can be viewed atOutdoorLife.com/OctoberCover.
“The deer, elk, waterfowl and other wildlife that I paint were designed by God to live in the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. I appreciate the compliments or any accolades my paintings receive, but it’s the animals that deserve the attention. They are the story,” says Kirby.
The October issue of Outdoor Life is on newsstands now.
A limited edition of “Running and Gunning” framed giclées, which are canvas prints of the original oil painting featured on the cover, are available for sale at RyanKirbyArt.com. The first 25 purchases include a signed copy of Outdoor Life’s October issue.
About Ryan Kirby:
Ryan Kirby is an award-winning wildlife artist who focuses on original oil on canvas paintings of a variety of game animals including white-tailed deer, elk, waterfowl, wild turkeys, upland birds and more.
A lifelong hunter, angler and conservationist, Kirby was named the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) 2010 “Stamp Print Artist of the Year” and “Artist of The Year” in 2013 and 2014 by The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). Kirby’s work has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for wildlife conservation through the fundraising banquets of groups like NWTF, QDMA and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Kirby also is a featured exhibitor at the annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, S.C. He lives in Boone, N.C. with his wife, Kim, a graduate of Appalachian State University.