Artist Spotlight Series: Trudi Norris

I love featuring local artists.

My latest Artist Spotlight Series feature is a neighbor that I have wanted grow as an artist over the pat few years.  I have always been fond of her work but I current love where she is headed with colorful layered pieces that have so much depth.

Enjoy getting to know

Trudi Norris

Charlotte, NC 

What is your training?

My exploration into abstract art began as a child through exploring the natural landscape on my farm, near Asheboro, NC. So many activities contributed to my training, taking care of the animals, exploring wheat fields, playing in the mud and even creek adventures!   I never forgot these early lessons as my passion and drive to paint only increased.  

I studied business and finance, working a desk job in Atlanta and eventually took design courses at Emory University at night.  On a destiny chance while working on a design project, I received a job offer to paint a mural for a child’s room.  My inner craft that had laid dormant for years exploded.  From there, I have never looked back. No formal training in art has allowed me to test the water and break all the rules!  It’s an instinctive process for me.  

What inspires you and your designs?

I’m inspired by so many things, my current work reflects my love for how the presentation placement of color magically creates movement.  My designs have a specific place on the canvas.  Each shape and color compliment and support the surrounding.    I am drawn to a vibrant color, then I move to another.  The shapes meld and compliment each other, creating an artistic purpose. The whole work functions together, with each abstract shape and vibrant color laying the groundwork for my audience to discover their own story within my work. 

What is your favorite piece?

My favorite current works are hanging in the Southern Accents show at Anne Neilson Fine Art.

Daydreaming Series is full of color and energy but also has an area of rest.

I enjoy engaging and inspiring the viewer to use their imagination and create their own story about the painting.   My Daydreaming series accomplishes this and allows the viewer to  “peek into my process”.

How has the your area influenced your work?

I love the city of Charlotte – it is vibrant, diverse and ever changing- like my work.I am fortunate to be surrounded by such great architecture, landscapes,  designers and artists!  I’m thrilled to see so many of my contemporary abstract pieces finding homes in Charlotte. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

Restaurants.I’m a foodie!   Food is art… Chefs are artists!    Favorite neighborhood patio is RURU with a jalapeno margarita, with appetizer “I Am Mclovin” and a little live music.  BONUS- I can walk home!  Recently have fallen in love with Zepplin in South End.  Edgy menu, make sure to reserve a booth near the bar with friends- you feel like you are sitting at the bar. 

The cocktail to have here is : Paloma De La Parrilla.  

What is your favorite cocktail?

My favorite go to drink is always Champagne.  I’m a champs girl.  Wine, I prefer Sauvignon Blanc – I prefer grassy over sweet!

How do you balance personal life and work?

Balance is definitely a challenge and I love a challenge.  I have three children- one sophomore at UGA one graduating from CLS and a second grader.  My schedule is all over the place.  Art shows and sorority activities at UGA, Senior activities and then flag football, baseball on Saturdays!  I keep a tight schedule, working after the boys get to school until I pick John Gray up from the bus stop.  The bus stop has been a great 3:30 gage for me for years.  I belong to my family after I leave my studio.  There are lots of late nights too, getting ready for shows and completing commissions can definitely add up to way over 40 hours per week.

Dream trip?

Dream trip is definitely Morocco to see the COLORS!

Dream commission?

I have a dream commission right now!

I am completing two paintings for a contemporary family den. The house is  packed full of a stunning private art collection which I am honored to be part of. 

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

My favorite hostess gift “Boy Smells” candles.  Obsessed with these beauties right now! I also enjoy baking so love to bring my Bavarian Apple Tart.

Who is your style icon?

Style icon: Lee Alexander McQueen – breaking barriers and pushing the envelope for sure.

Your favorite up and coming artist or designer?

My favorite up and coming artist is Brooke Knaus. (@mrsbrookeknaus) She is edgy and trying new techniques that I’ve never seen. Her artwork has a “fresh” quality that I crave.  I love that she is constantly pushing the paint and manipulating different media to achieve new things.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am so excited about the works that Brooke is creating.  She definitely pushes herself out of the comfort zone!  


I’m obsessed with Derek Gores (@derekgores) collage work.  He invited me to tare paper for his collage work at Art Basel in Miami this year.   Of course I was “pick me , pick me”!!  The process of deconstructing to construct is completely mesmerizing to me.  Tearing up Vogue and Town and Country magazines to create high end fashion collage art- just beautiful!  His Kentucky Derby art- just AMAZING!

What are you listening to?

I’m sharing my playlist. 

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Rachel Hollis is definitely a favorite blog!

The daily inspiration from English Room -I need fashion, food, color and design inspiration daily to create and Holly never falls short!

In conclusion, I would like to say that being and artist is hard work.  Hours go into a completed work before I deem it finished and ready to leave the studio. Each layer is an emotional process from start to finish.  As an artist you have to be vulnerable, put your work out there to be completely judged by the viewer.  I am grateful that I do not focus on making beautiful art but creating from instinct. In the end it’s my contemporary art I love it and it makes me happy.




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