Klaire Russell

Klaire Russell

Speed Artist

April 27, 2013


Artist and Creative Native Klaire Russell didn't grow up a painter. In fact, she only started practicing that particular craft in 2007, after she had fallen on some hard times. At the request of her daughter, she picked up a paintbrush and started painting...fast! Her style and quickness garnered attention in the local community, as well as from gallery owners across the country. Klaire is one of Toledo's most motivational treasures. We are proud to share her story.





Tell us more about some of your past projects?

In the past, I taught Healing Art and Motivational Art courses at St. Charles Hospital, St. Annes Hospital, and Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio for cancer survivors and their caregivers.

What current projects are you working on?

I’m currently doing a studio mural for a local photographer who is a cancer survivor!  I’m also busy teaching art classes at the Art Supply Depo, I teach Speed Painting and Sponge Painting.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

Seeing my story and picture on the front of The Arts section of The Toledo Blade on March 3, 2013. Simply put, awesome.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

All the fans of my work around the world. They keep me creating with words of encouragement constantly.

What’s your background story?
I am a self-taught speed artist. I first started painting Jan 7th, 2007, the day my daughter asked me to paint. She thought it would make me happy during a very dark time in my life.

I have been painting ever since that day and have since been featured on WTOL several times as well as in local newspapers, including the Blade, Toledo City Paper, Sojourner Truth and Monroe Newspaper.

I’ve exhibited in two local galleries, 20 North Gallery in 2008 and The Truth Gallery, and also at The Mac Worthington Gallery in Columbus. Additionally, I participated in Artomatic 419! In 2009, 2011 and 2013.

Some of my bigger events and exhibits include Planned Parenthood’s 70th Anniversary, Art Takes Times Square in New York (June 2012), SXSW in Austin, TX (2009), Mano A Mano in Atlanta, Ga (2009), and the Twitter Art Exhibit 2013 in Los Angeles.  

I started my own art gallery, Kstar Studios here in Toledo in 2009.  I became a motivational speaker from the start, which lead to me telling my story and painting live for people at fundraising events, churches, charities, community out reaches, schools and art shows, both locally and nationally. My goal is to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams!  I am currently teaching art classes in the Toledo Art District at the Art Supply Depo, volunteering at The Toledo Museum of Art, and working on expanding my career and business as a professional artist.

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

Never confuse my confidence with arrogance.

Favorite place for local culture?

The Toledo Museum of Art.

Toledo's “best kept secret is…

Wesley's Old School Friday Nights.

My favorite place to chill locally is…

The Art Supply Depo in the Warehouse District.

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found…

On social media. I'm always working hard!

Name someone who you would love to collaborate with.

Salvador Dali and Bob Ross.

3 Words that describe me or my work are…

I always hear people say: Amazing, Blessed, Inspiring

Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.  
College Drop Out (Kanye West)  
Unapologetic (Rihanna)  
Ambition (Wale)  
A Night At The Opera (Queen)

My Life (Mary J Blige)  

My biggest vice is…

Twitter… I need it!

 I'd like to see ____________ in Toledo.

Art programs for the youth locally, nationally and globally.

What’s the last dream you recall having?

I was being interviewed by Oprah on Master Class.

The last lyric that moved me was…
“If the mind keeps thinking you've had enough
But the heart keeps telling you don't give up
Who are we to be questioning, wondering what is what?
Don't give up, through it all, just stand up
Through it all, just stand up”                                                                                                                                          

My Most Inspiring Moment was…
Teaching my first Speed Painting class at the Art Supply Depo (Jan 2013). My students were so amazed that they could paint fast in such a short time! They told me it was the best class they had ever taken and couldn't wait for Speed Painting 2. Such a moment of accomplishment and fulfillment for myself.


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