An Interview with the Baltimore-based Painter and Artstar Custom Paintworks Owner
Kelly L. Walker is a self taught artist and her canvasses express a range of abstract emotions through unusual alchemical reactions. She began painting commercially before learning to paint as a fine artist and these two practices – both an analytical understanding of her medium and a desire to express herself – have created a signature style. Walkers is the owner of Artstar Custom Paintworks, a Baltimore based decorative painting and faux finishing company founded in 2002. She has painted many a familiar Baltimore interior and her clients have also flown her to other, more exotic locations to work her faux finishing magic.
As a fine artist, Walker paints with “zeal and confidence, committing spontaneous reflections of her mood and emotions to canvas.” Walker’s abstract paintings demonstrate the techniques, textures, and patterns she employs as a professional decorative painter. Utilizing a wide range of atypical painting materials, her works are intricately layered and her surfaces defy explanation, calling reference to landscape, graffiti, and color fields.
Name: Kelly L. Walker
Media: All kinds of paint, paint sponges, regular brooms, cheesecloth, soap, graphite,gilding materials, laquer, roofing tar, street sweeping brooms
Studio: Mt. Vernon / Bromo Tower District
Occupation: Decorative Painter, Owner of ArtStar Custom Paintworks
Obsessive collections: Framed bugs and tattoos
Currently reading: Brad Meltzer’s The President’s Shadow
Coolest place you’ve ever lived or travelled to: Montreal
Hobbies or leisure activities: Cycling
Favorite food to eat at home: Chicken & Sweet Potatoes
Favorite food to eat out: The venison at Volt in Frederick – a sophisticated take on meat & potatoes! For something quick, the pork bun at the Bun Shop.
Favorite beverage: Cold Brew from Dooby’s
Political leanings: I am a mixed bag of political views, really, but I guess you could say that I identify myself as “independent”
Favorite baltimore spot to hang out: My studio. When I’m there and I’m working on paintings, it feels so good to be in the zone.
Favorite artist, living or dead: Andy Warhol and Grace Hartigan
Movie that sums up the current state of your life: The Goonies, because every day is an adventure for me!
Favorite bad habit: Spending Money – particularly on tattoos and things for my house.
Mantra or favorite quote: Start where you are, Use what you have, Do what you can.
See Kelly’s work in person at the following area locations:
- Volt (288 N. Market St. Frederick, MD): until September 4th
- Aggio (5335 Wisconsin Ave, NW Washington DC)
- Ware House 518 (518 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD): until mid-September
Check out her feature in Baltimore Magazine.
Find her online: