Gertrude Stein Questionnaire: Kelly L. Walker

Previous Story
Article Image

Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA)

Next Story
Article Image

Made in Baltimore

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:






Related Stories
Monique Crabb’s reverent textile works

Monique Crabb explores loss and longing through a combination of photography and fiber art

Jang’s practice embodies the mutable relationship between art and craft

Jang is a conceptual artist, a popular tattoo artist, and a renaissance creative with a grip on what it means to make exciting and thought-provoking contemporary artworks in various forms.

Sankofa Theater choreographer and creative director Kibibi Ajanku fell in love with traditional indigo dyeing in The Gambia in West Africa

From Ghana to Benin, Benin to Nigeria, Ajanku has apprenticed with master dyers who retain knowledge of traditional indigo dyeing techniques, an art that is being lost to synthetic processes.

A Charles Village Home Filled with Contemporary Art

What doesn’t fit in their apartment waits in storage as they rotate pieces in and out, rendering their home as both a gallery and a domestic space, enriched by their love for art and artists.