Janice E. Kirk, Author

Janice E. Kirk is an award-winning poet, published author and illustrator of six books (listed below). Trained as an artist, singer, and a writer, she writes from a painter’s perspective, a naturalist vision, and a pilgrim’s heart to share the extraordinary beauty and lessons of the natural world. Confirmed scribbler in sketchbook and journal, Janice learned nature’s ways during a lifetime of camping adventures in the American West. She sketched, painted watercolor studies en plein air, and absorbed natural history from her biologist/naturalist husband, Don. In the 1960s they collected information on wild edible plants for Don’s book, Wild Edible Plants of Western North America (Naturegraph, 1970), illustrated by Janice with 300 botanical sketches. Several summers found them on Teaching Staff at Holden Village (ELCA) in the Central Washington Cascade Mountains.

In 1976-77 a year-long Sabbatical camping trip in the Greater Southwest provided time for study, sketching, painting, and photographing plant communities. The family lived close to the elements and marveled at stunning landscapes. Jan gained a new perspective on the way life systems are put together, a vision of Planet Earth as a dynamic whole. It triggered a spiritual renewal and sparked advocacy for earth stewardship. A major concern are the lost and scattered native plant communities. Retired from teaching, she now writes and illustrates in hopes readers will enjoy nature and be grateful for the greenery of the earth and all it provides. She challenges readers to help restore native species to their rightful place in God’s creation, starting in our own backyards.

Books in Print

Drawing Close, Encountering Joy, an Artist’s Psalms and Prayers for the Earth (Resource Publications, 2022), Poetry. Enter the joy and peace of the natural world. Through the eyes of an artist, discover nature’s abiding witness to the “wondrous Mystery wrapped in beauty”. . . “Read slowly in a quiet place and be fed.” Written and illustrated by Janice E. Kirk. 109 pp.

Milton the Mouse (Resource Publications, Wipf & Stock, 2019). What do you do with a stowaway mouse from a camping trip? First, you have to catch him . . . “Not your average mouse book, this one has Beethoven and John Milton in on the fun.” “. . . A romp from beginning to end.” Children’s Middle Grade fiction. Written and illustrated by Janice E. Kirk. 55 pp.

The Road to Beaver Park, Painting, Perception, and Pilgrimage (Resource Publications, Wipf & Stock Pub., Inc.: 2016) Learn to paint–learn to see–change your life. A family’s year-long outdoor odyssey of exploration and discovery in the Greater Southwest. “You will see nature with new eyes . . . ” Written and illustrated by Janice E. Kirk. 160 pp.

The Christmas Redwood, A Forest Parable (Wipf & Stock, 2016). A Nativity story for all ages. “Hold fast and be faithful, be true and take heart.” Gift book. Written and illustrated with b/w line drawings by Janice E. Kirk. 50 pp.

Cherish the Earth: the Environment and Scripture (Wipf & Stock Pub., 2016). Answers the question: Is earth stewardship biblical? Yes. “The best book I have found for beginners in Christian earth stewardship.” Written and illustrated by Janice E. Kirk and Donald R. Kirk. 180 pp.

Wild Edible Plants of Western North America (Naturegraph: 1970, 1975), with 300 pen and ink botanical drawings. Second edition features 64 color photos. Throw it in your backpack when you take a hike. “If it’s not in Kirk, it’s probably not edible.” Written by Donald R. Kirk, illustrated by Janice E. Kirk. 326 pp.


Finding the Artist Within Me, (Winona Daily News, Winona, MN: 1/11/2019). Finding a sense of place in the American West. Written by Janice E. Kirk.

Out Sketching, (East Valley Times, Palo Cedro, CA: 2013-2014). Thirteen articles with illustrations. Sketching trips in the Warner Mtns., CA. Written and illustrated by Janice E. Kirk.

Eat ‘Em Wild, (Down River Magazine, 1956-76). Thirty-nine articles, featured column. Written by Donald R. Kirk, illustrated with pen/ink botanical sketches by Janice E. Kirk.

The Way of Shalom, (Light & Life Magazine: May/June 2004). Our “Shalom” camp revealed the harmony of relationships in a God-ordered world. Lead article, front cover and illustrations by Janice E. Kirk. Back cover by Donald R. Kirk.

Book Review: Creation, McGrath, Alister. (Prism Magazine, Sept/Oct 2005, ESA). Reviewed by Janice E. Kirk.

The Year of the Angel, (Teachers of Vision, Fall 2008). Childhood memories of a special teacher who opened the world of art and nature. Written and illustrated by Janice E. Kirk.

Conference & Event Photos


Complete this work which I began in hope
and with Your name,
So that my singing may become healing,
Curing the wounds of body and soul.
If my humble work is finished
With your holy blessing,
May the divine spirit in it
Join with my meager inspiration.
Do not extinguish
The revelation You have granted,
Do not abandon my reason,
But, again and again, receive praise
From your servant.

Gregory of Narek, 10th century Armenian Poet