Artist Spotlight Series: Kellie Lawler

I am excited to introduce you to a wonderful Southern artist.  

I am captivated by her continuous line works that are full of exuberance and life. 

Enjoy getting to know

Kellie Lawler

Oxford, Alabama

What is your training? 

For the most part, I’m a self-taught artist. My dad was a young artist whose dreams were pushed to the side when he was drafted to go to Vietnam at 18yrs old. He never lost his passion for creating and always encouraged me to embrace my artistic intuitions, think and see outside of the box. I developed my skills at my high school in Baltimore, MD, which offered an extensive elective art program. At Brown University, I played Division I Lacrosse, and despite my intention to take art classes at the neighboring Rhode Island School of Design, my focus shifted to sports and my studies not leaving time for much else. Many years, or decades later I should say, my dad came for a visit and brought my old art portfolios with him. The minute I opened those folders I knew I was going to start a new chapter of my life.

What inspires you and your designs?

I love structured design, patterns and textiles and mixing that with the freedom of a Picasso style continuous line technique to create a graphic perspective on human figures, nature and other subjects. This process offers me both the recklessness in creating a subject in one continuous line with no worry over proportion or perfection and then the controlled hard edge painting. In the end, with its imperfect form one of my paintings may be seen differently in the viewer’s eyes than it did in mine when I created it. Even my collage pieces have hidden figures that have been torn apart and reconstructed to form a new vision.

What is your favorite piece? 

I don’t really have a favorite but I have pieces that are more meaningful to me. Usually they are pieces that result from a new idea or challenge. I recently set out to do a gallery wall of botanicals and was really happy with the way they turned out.

How has your area influenced your work?

After living in cities up north for most of my life, moving south to Alabama has helped me slow down my pace, take in and appreciate the inspiration in my surroundings more. The change also provided me the opportunity and courage to get back into making art.


What is your favorite restaurant in ?

Garfrerick’s Café

What is your favorite cocktail?

I would like to say it’s a fancy drink with a clever name but I’m a margarita girl at heart.

How do you balance personal life and work?

This is not something I see myself checking off the to do list anytime soon. I chalk each day up as a success when I manage to keep small humans alive. I recently moved into a studio space which helps me separate work from my family life, but when an idea comes to me or a deadline is looming, I’ve been known to stay up late and work from the kitchen table.

Dream trip?


Dream commission?

My first job out of college was working in the buying office for Bloomingdale’s in NYC. It was great to be able to work in a position surrounded by creative energy while also learning how to run a business. I left the job to move with my husband as he began his career in medicine. It would be incredible for life to come full circle and be able to create pieces to hang in their flagship store. There is no other way to dream than big, right!?!

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

A bottle of wine or my favorite candle, Votivo in their Red Currant scent.

Who is your style icon?

I have a small fashion addiction so that’s a hard choice… but two of my favorites are Olivia Palermo and Victoria Beckham.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

I’m hardly qualified to decide who is up and coming so I’ll just go with my favorite artist. I’d buy every available Sally King Benedict painting if I didn’t have to put four kids through college in the future.

What is your most treasured possession?

I have a few pieces of jewelry that have been passed down to me from family members. I am looking forward to one day passing them down to my daughters.

What are you reading?

I just started The Stand by Stephen King

What are you listening to?

My 3yr old daughter, is obsessed with the movie The Greatest Showman. We have the movie and the soundtrack so I have all the songs memorized.

When I am allowed to listen to my own music I have Sia, The Chainsmokers, Maroon 5, Drake, Beyoncé and Lauren Daigle on my current playlist. I prefer to paint with music blaring in the background!

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

When I have time, it’s anything that brings me into the adult world of pretty things that I can’t have with small children… Veranda,

Southern Living, Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, Domino and occasionally US weekly for the drama factor.

Take a look at Kellie’s cool work and be sure to follow her on Instagram

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