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Featured Artist: Lawrence Jolly

Meet featured artist, Lawrence (Larry) Jolly!

Jolly's artwork is on display now through the end of June at our Northwest location, 13435 Hwy 183 Ste 415, Austin, TX.

Lawrence Jolly grew up in San Antonio and attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he obtained his BFA in Graphic Design. After working in both agency and corporate environments as a designer he founded Jolly Design, an award-winning graphic design and branding company that served the Austin area for 25 years.

Following the economic recession and a period of personal upheaval, Jolly began to redefine himself in 2010. He enrolled in an informal painting class at the University of Texas, where he picked up a paintbrush again for the first time in 30 years. From that point forward, Jolly thrust himself into the medium in order to learn as much as possible. He began training with American artist Thomas Darnell in France, and English artist Edward Povey, among others.

In 2016, Jolly decided to hang up his graphic design career and become a painter. He has been able to parlay his graphic design expertise into a successful career as an artist. "With painting, there are no restraints," he explained, "you have to create your own problem and then go solve it."

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Jolly creates art in several mediums, including drawing, painting and mixed media. His paintings are oil on canvas and he often works with silver and gold leaf and found objects. His artwork seemingly bridges the gap between natural and supernatural, with a dose of spirituality.

According to Jolly, his style of painting is contemporary narrative realism. You may have already guessed from looking at his work that Jolly is inspired by Salvador Dali, a prominent Spanish surrealist artist of the 1930's and 40's. In his artist statement, Jolly describes his unique style in more detail:

"In a contemporary realist style best described as “Dali meets Rockwell”, my paintings are both narrative and allegorical, blending representational content with stylistic abstraction. My recent work includes tactile and even deconstructivist elements, which interestingly enough, is also reflected in the bizarre mixed media pieces of painted imagery on wood and other found objects which I like to work on between paintings. My art, both literally and figuratively, is an amalgam of both flesh and spirit."

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Although relatively new to the painting world, Jolly has established a body of work unique to his own creative identity, and has been well-received by the Austin community.

In 2015, Jolly's piece titled “Sedona Lake” was voted the People’s Choice Award winner of the annual City of Austin Peoples Gallery exhibit, and was purchased by the city for its permanent collection at a cost of $3,850. Another piece titled "Exitus" has been chosen to appear in Austin's Art Board competition, where a select number of artists' work will appear on billboards across town.

When asked what he does when he's not creating art, Jolly replied, "I have an old Golden Retriever, Maverick, who I identify with. We’re [both] old guys who are puppies at heart and we enjoy jogging around Town Lake."

You can see more of Jolly's artwork on his website: lawrencejolly.com, on his Facebook and Instagram pages, and at the West Austin Studio Tour on May 20-21. All paintings displayed at Kerbey Lane Cafe are for sale. Questions for Larry? Send him an email.