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Deb Lawrence

  • 20130909125943-august_2013_new_paintings_stacked_in_wooltex_gallery
  • 20131001152952-september_2013_studio_shot_sunny
  • 20140217231731-september_2013_tomorrow_s_a_new_day
  • 20131004193647-september_2013_keep_your_head_above_water
  • 20131001152641-september_2013_the_grass_is_always_greener
  • 20131004193859-september_2013_don_t_get_ahead_of_yourself
  • 20130909124821-july_2013_in_it_together
  • 20131006163103-july_2013_be_a_friend_to_yourself
  • 20140325123056-march_2014_say_it_like_it_is_hand_neck_red_dash
  • 20140329115726-march_2014_say_it_like_it_is__8
  • 20140329115020-march_2014_say_it_like_it_is_red_hair
  • 20140317162049-march_2014_say_it_like_it_is
  • 20140214165856-february_2014_more_than_meets_the_eye_detail_face
  • 20140210153007-february_2014_get_it_together_face_1
  • 20140210151743-february_2014_get_it_together_in_progress
  • 20140305184100-march_2014_don_t_worry_be_happy_compilation
  • 20130913142224-august_2013_think_outside_the_box
  • 20130913135618-august_2013_or_is_the_glass_half_full
  • 20130909125322-july_2013_get_comfortable_in_your_own_skin
  • 20131014122110-july_2013_don_t_beat_yourself_up
  • 20131005134734-september_2013_don_t_be_such_a_stick_in_the_mud
  • 20130913135238-september_2013_the_day_isn_t_over_yet_diptych
  • 20131010120118-july_2013_you_are_who_you_are
  • 20131010120715-july_2013_get_real
  • 20130909123341-transitional_object_painting__take_a_breath
  • 20131020144955-september__2013_pinch_me_if_i_m_dreaming
  • 20130909124316-june_2013_breathe_easy
  • 20140122125114-january_2014_ridged_painting_24_x_36_blue_lines
  • 20140120144402-january_2014_ridged_painting_48_x_36
  • 20140119134626-january_2014_ridged_painting_36_x_48_yellow



Lives in

Works in


University of Michigan / Ann Arbor, Michigan

Representing galleries
Posner Fine Art-Los Angeles

photo, design, Illustration, graffiti, street, graffiti/street-art, digital, photography, modern, pop, conceptual, installation, mixed-media, sculpture, abstract, post-modern expressionism, abstract expressionism, geometric, geometric-abstraction, painterly, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Basquiat, mixed media artist, mixed media art, abstraction, emerging, Contemporary art, emerging artist, oil painting, contemporary artist, oil paint, oil stick, contemporary, Spray paint, represented, abstract art, geometric-abstraction;

Bio and Artist Statement

Artist Statement

My work has both abstract visual appeal as well as an underlying conceptual basis.  Psychological at its core, I am fascinated by the inner workings of the mind, conscious and unconscious thought, impulse and defense.  

I am interested in depicting authentic, spontaneous emotion and experience in abstract ways, finding beauty and satisfaction in that which is intensely genuine and ultimately imperfect.  Like a well worn, well loved security blanket, my work takes Donald Winnicott's notion of transitional objects one step further and focuses on what we say to ourselves and others to nurture security, mitigate distress, and become separate, unique individuals, comfortable in our own skin.

Collectively termed Self-Help, the titles of my current body of work serve as saccharin, tongue-and-cheek provocations to Get It Together, Be A Friend To Yourself, Get Comfortable In Your Own Skin, and cope with the stresses of contemporary life.

My handling of materials is intimate, engaging, and even wrenching.  It's not exactly a coincidence that I work directly on the floor, from all four sides, literally manhandling my canvases as I scrape, fold, tear, scribble, draw, spray, and paint, imbuing them with a veritable soul.  Despite allusions to formal geometry, misshapen line and form prevail, creating tension and interest.

My hope is that my work evokes viewers’ own personal narratives, and that the inevitable, highly personal range in what’s seen and experienced ultimately adds depth to the layers of meaning existent in my paintings…much like Rorschach inkblots, which I have begun to more deliberately reference in my paintings.  In the end, I hope my work stirs, provokes, and evokes in highly personal, evolving ways, causing viewers to look, then look again, finding new meaning over time, and in the process, remain alive and relevant.




  • 2014 Represented by Elizabeth Sadoff, Elizabeth Sadoff Art Advisory, New York
  • 2013 Represented by Wendy Posner of Posner Fine Art, Los Angeles
  • 2013 Represented by Teresa DeChant, former buyer for the Cleveland Clinic Art Collection, DeChant Art Consulting, Ohio
  • 2013 Represented by Christy Gray, GrayHaus art consulting, Ohio



  • 2014 Looking Up, curated by Robert Thurmer, director of The Galleries At CSU, Wooltex Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2014 Solo Exhibition: Self-Help, Naji, Naji and Tekler Gallery, 78th Street Studios, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2014 Transmitting Emotion, curated by Karl Anderson, director of Forum Artspace, 5th Street Arcades, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2014 Painting chosen for textile design printing, Fashion Design Department, Kent State University
  • 2014 Painting chosen for EP album cover, Matthew Ryals, Ohio
  • 2013 Painting in personal collection of one of the directors of the J. Paul Getty Museum
  • 2013 Assembly New York, solo exhibition of original oil paintings, Lower East Side, New York
  • 2013 Solo Exhibition, It’s all In Your Head, Wooltex Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2013 Prepare To Be Surprised, Wooltex Gallery, Cleveland, OH
  • 2013 National Juried Mid-Year Exhibition, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
  • 2013 Solo exhibition of original paintings, First Place, Volunteer Lawyers of the Arts, juried competition, Galleria, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2013 52 Weeks 52 Works, juried, featured artist, AGC, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2012 Invitational Exhibition, Greenwald Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2012 Locally Grown, Juma Gallery, Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • 2012 Juried Arts Quarter exhibition, curated by Barbara Tannenbaum, curator, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2012 National Juried Exhibition, Brenda Taylor Gallery, Chelsea, NY
  • 2012 Area Artist Exhibition, Butler Institute Of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
  • 2012 52 Weeks 52 Works, juried, featured artist, AGC, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2011 See Art, Create Art, curated by Mark Cole, curator, Cleveland Museum of Art, Convivium Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2011 Cleveland Creates, Cleveland Artists Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2011 Fall Exhibition, City Artists At Work, Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio
  • 2011 National Juried Mid-Year Exhibition, Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
  • 2010 Invitational Exhibition, Sylvia Ullman American Craft Gallery, Cleveland, OH
  • 2010 University School Exhibition, featured artist, Shaker heights, Ohio
  • 2009 University School Exhibition, featured artist, Hunting Valley, Ohio
  • 2007 One Woman One Art, featured artist, Opus Gallery, Woodmere, Ohio
  • Juried Exhibition, Judy A. Saslow Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
  • Don Drumm Studios and Gallery, Akron, Ohio
  • Lazars Art Gallery, North Canton, Ohio
  • Ann Arbor Art Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan



  • 2014 Winner of Minted/West Elm national juried competition with five painting selections
  • 2104 Winner abstract showcase finalist, ArtSlant, national juried exhibition
  • 2014 Painting selected for textile printing, Fashion Design Department, Kent State University
  • 2014 Painting selected for EP Album cover, Matthew Ryals, Asound
  • 2014 CAN Journal, Winter Issue, Someday Is Now,
  • 2013 Interview with Michael K. Corbin, award-winning contemporary art author, Moving Painting Forward
  • 2013 CAN Journal, Summer, The Elephant In The Room: Prepare To Be Surprised
  • 2013 CAN Journal, Spring, Behind Closed Doors: A Work In Progress
  • 2112 First Place, juried competition, Know Fun, oil on canvas, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Galleria, Cleveland, Ohio 
  • Artist In Residence, Tile Mural Installation, Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Artist In Residence, Tar Beach Project, University School, Shaker Heights, Ohio
  • Niche 2002 Award finalist, Niche Magazine


I was born in the United States and raised in the artsy college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. My parents were big liberal dreamers with artistic and intellectual legs to stand on. As a child, I painted with oil paints, built pots on a potters wheel and fired them in our basement kiln, etched on metal with acid, silkscreened, carved linoleum blocks, learned to weave on large looms, and even tried my hand at marble sculpting. For as long as I can remember I was given the strong message to dream big and pursue whatever my imagination would allow.

While I relentlessly pursued my interest in art, I was restless, intellectually curious, and psychologically minded, so also decided to pursue a degree in psychology. After receiving my Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, I went on to graduate school, earning my Ph.D.. But my art roots would not rest, so I began painting full time and embarked on a private, intensive course of study with Gerald Vandevier, Professor Emeritus of drawing and painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. I am very passionate and disciplined about my studio practice and paint virtually every day. I also make a point of traveling regularly to museum and gallery exhibitions as well as major international art fairs. My work is gaining notice from collectors, gallery owners and curators nationally and abroad.



Recent Exhibits

Deb Lawrence participated in these exhibits:

Mar, 2014 Looking Up
Wooltex Gallery
Mar, 2014 Self Help: Solo Exhibition
Naji, Naji and Tekler Gallery
Exhibited with these artists
Deb Lawrence has Exhibited with these artists:

... Erica Miller
Jessica Newell
Exhibited at these venues
Deb Lawrence has Exhibited at these venues:

Wooltex Gallery Naji, Naji and Tekler Gallery
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