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Joan Lawler

A painter of lush, sensuous and brightly colorful flowers and landscapes, in acrylics, Joan Lawler has loved vivid colors ever since she was a child.  "Every school year my favorite part of getting ready was the box of 48 Crayolas that were part of the required supplies list for St. Paul’s Catholic School."

However, Joan’s career didn’t start out in art.  "My earliest recollection of deciding what I wanted to be when I grew up was when I came home from school when I was in the 3rd grade and proudly announced that I was going to be a nun!  The wild, manic laughter from my mother, and later from my father when he got home from work, gave me a hint that the Church was not going to be my calling.  Actually, my father was a scientist and an engineer, and our house had perpetual science experiments going on.  Microscopes, telescopes, chemicals, were all part of my growing up.  We had the real stuff, not toys.  I remember mixing a batch of sulphur and metal shavings and two or three other things and igniting it.  Little did I know that I had made a rudimentary gunpowder! It was just natural that I’d follow a path into the sciences , so I became an engineer."  Joan got her BSME in Mechanical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University, and later her MBA from Vanderbilt University.

"I loved experimenting with my crayons and tempera paints as a child, but I didn’t know how to use them to make pictures that I thought looked real.  "Paint by Numbers" came out during my childhood, and I experimented with that, but it still didn’t give me what I felt was a "real" picture.  Goodness knows life was plenty interesting without art, with all the crazy experiments my brother and I were always trying--catching poisonous snakes, trying to blow up the playhouse – it’s a miracle that we survived to grow up at all!"

"However, after we kids left home, my mother took up art.  (It was probably the first time she had enough peace and quiet to even contemplate it.)  After she died, I inherited all her art supplies, and most importantly, her art books.  I read the books, and experimented.  I used her paints (real paints!).  For the first time I saw that I could make a picture that looked "real", but by that time I was full-time engineer, full-time mother, full-time graduate student, part time classical pianist, there weren’t enough hours in the day to pursue painting as well, so I put it aside.  I knew I’d pick it up later.  "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven."

When an attractive early retirement package became available from the company I used to work for; I took it and started my journey in art with a year at O’More College of Design.  At O’More a wonderful art teacher, Tim Murphy, gave me much encouragement, and that’s all it took.  I studied everything I could get my hands on, filled up sketchbook after sketchbook, experimented with various media, and decided on acrylics (for now).   I’ve also had the good fortune to study privately with other excellent artists as well."

Joan started painting in acrylics in July, 2001. She finds motivation and subjects for her floral paintings from her garden and the gardens of friends.


Joan C. Lawler

EDUCATION O’More College of Design, September 2000, June 2001
M. B. A. – Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, July 1982
B. S. – Mechanical Engineering, 
            Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville Tennessee, June 1969




Solo Show – Brentwood Library Gallery – April 2002
Solo Show – Institute for the Healing Arts – February 2003
Solo Show – Gordon Jewish Community Center – September 2003
Joint Show – Prestige Gallery – November/December 2003
Solo Show – Renaissance Center, Dickson, TN – July 2004
Brentwood Academy Show and Sale – December 2004
Harding Academy Show and Sale – May 2005
Joint Show – University Club @ Vanderbilt University – September/October 2005
Featured Artist – Ovarian Cancer Research Fund – April 2006
Harding Academy Show and Sale – May 2006
Solo Show – Brentwood Library Gallery – June 2006
Solo Show – The Rotunda – Murfreesboro City Hall – July 2006
Solo Show – Towne Center Gallery – February 2007


JURIED SHOWS Central South Art Exhibition – 2002
Central South Art Exhibition – 2003
The Renaissance Center – September 2003
Central South Art Exhibition – 2004
   Winner Major Eugene Castner Lewis Prize
Central South Art Exhibition - 2005


FUTURE EVENTS Joint Show – Centennial Art Center – April 2007

"Pets of Putnam County" Art Show and Sale in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Aders, Cookeville, TN - June 2007


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Joan C. Lawler
Copyright © 2008-2012.  All rights reserved.
Revised: July 11, 2016