Featured Artist Kimberly McBride

Enjoy the portfolio of painter Kimberly McBride who uses a finger painting technique to create portraits of well-known figures in the arts. Visit her website to see more.


Portrait of Basquiat by Kimberly McBride

“Basquiat” acrylic, 36” X 36”


As a contemporary fine art finger painter, there’s one question I’m asked all the time: “Hey, Kim, why do you finger paint, isn’t that something for kids?”


Portrait of Debbie Harry by Kimberly McBride

“Debbie Harry” acrylic, 36” x 36”


Finger painting can be considered childlike and utterly superfluous by the uninitiated. But think for a second. What was Basquiat toying with? Isn’t his work uniquely his own because of his brand of childlike quality? Pollock tossed and flicked paint. I literally put my fingerprint on every inch of my pieces.


Portrait of Kurt Cobain by Kimberly McBride

“Kurt Cobain” acrylic, 36″ x 48″


I’m a finger painter, and over the years, I’ve created a refined look using my fingers and acrylic paint. The aesthetic of the finger strokes, the hard and soft patter of my fingers, each of my fingers, is something I enjoy as I work.


Portrait of Charles Bukowski by Kimberly McBride

“Charles Bukowski” acrylic, 36″ x 36″


My life as an artist happened before I could speak. I was taught art by a Lithuanian fine artist, Vera Richardson, my grandmother. As a teenager. I’d go to her house on weekends, and she’d give me hours of color theory lessons She couldn’t have stressed more the importance of dark and light during the process of making art.


Portrait of Ernest Hemingway by Kimberly McBride

“Hemingway” acrylic, 36″ x 36″


Then we’d work in charcoal. She’d instruct me in self-portraiture by my looking into a mirror and never looking at the paper—allowing the dark and light to come together to form the face. We’d listen to music, usually the Doors. She loved Jim Morrison and would speak of him like he was part of our family.


Portrait of David Foster Wallace by Kimberly McBride

“David Foster Wallace” acrylic, 36″ x 36″


She always talked about our favorite rock heroes or writers as part of our family. It’s obvious now that my grandmother influenced my subject matter. We also talked about music and literature; these heroes now comprise a huge part of my catalog.


Photo of philanthropist Gary Herberger

Photo used for Gary Herberger piece


These hero portraits have evolved into commissioned portraits. One of my favorite commissioned pieces is a 36” x 48” of the late Gary Herberger. Herberger was a philanthropist and one of the last architects to apprentice under Frank Lloyd Wright. The portrait I made is featured in the lobby at Herberger’s Young Scholars Academy at Arizona State University.


Portrait of philanthropist Gary Herberger

“Gary Herberger” acrylic, 36” x 48”


The students at the school were so curious about the technique that the faculty invited me to teach the process on their campus. Some kids were afraid to touch the paint, but with some enthusiastic help, they dove into it!


Visiting artist Kimberly McBride teaching at ASU

Kim working with Herberger’s Young Scholars on the ASU campus


There’s nothing like getting your hands messy with paint, only to create a refined piece filled with love and passion. Through the mind, then heart, into the body, and through the fingers—the pieces come alive.


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