Kirk is a 1968 graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park, where she majored in sociology and psychology. She also studied at the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, where she was classically trained in drawing, sculpture, anatomy, portraiture, and painting in the style of traditional realism.
In the 1980s, Kirk worked as a television courtroom artist. In the 1990s, she worked as an artist for video games at Microprose, Inc., in Hunt Valley, Maryland. She has done portraiture since 1985, working mainly in oil and pastels. She maintains a studio in Towson, Maryland.