Charlotte Painter Laura Park’s Playful Impressionist Paintings

Laura Park
Photos by Jamey Price

You can’t look away from Laura Park art – it is playful and layered within a beautiful pastel palette. Laura Park‘s career began years ago as an elementary school teacher, perhaps, she says, more than anything just because she always loved to decorate the classrooms. It was an earlier indicator of her arts career to come.

A native North Carolinian, Laura and her husband, Trip Park – another Charlotte artist and illustrator – moved around to several cities before finally settling back in to the south. In Charlotte, Laura’s passion for design took over and she launched Laura Park Interiors at Cotswold Marketplace. That decision led her to her art, which now occupies a full-time place in her life.

“Painting came out of a need to fill my store wall space,” Laura explains. “I think one learns a lot from being self-taught, as your drive comes from the innate desire to excel in your own creative path. No one else can help you, and you head into the unknown with little more than your heart and a brush.”

Park uses designs created from her paintings on textiles to create pillows, bedding and other products from plates to dog beds.

laura park art
The playful style of Park’s paintings combines her background as an elementary teacher with the warmth of her personality, but the art has also captured attention for their sophisticated abstract strokes and color studies.

When she begins her pieces, Park says that while she does have a color palette in mind, from there she doesn’t use any particular direction or discipline. Like many of the Impressionists she credits as inspiration, she says she typically has paint everywhere – walls, carpet, clothing – and simply lets her mood dictate the colors and vision until she “feels finished.”

The path to being a full-time painter has come of something of a surprise to Park – nothing, she says, that she would ever have planned on doing as her life’s work. As a self-taught artist, she has continued to hone her craft on her own, in part by admiring and drawing inspiration from other established painters. She also names traveling and the change of seasons as major inspirations for her artwork.

“I think the best quote we [her and husband Trip Park] heard comes from Woody Allen when he said, ‘If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.’ That’s about how we feel these days; neither of us planned on being painters or painting anything, ever.”

Her most recent venture is her line of artful lifestyle designs, based on her paintings, that come in the form of colorful pillows, plates, candles and duvets. You can find these and other information on Laura’s work at lauraparkdesigns.com.

Laura‘s art is on display at Shain Gallery, in Atlanta at Gregg Irby Gallery, and in Raleigh at Art Source Fine Art. laura park art