Born in Salisbury, North
Carolina on January 25, 1977, I grew up with many influences that sparked my interest in
art. I spent many afternoons with my grandmother who let my creative mind go
wild. One on going project involved
creating a village that covered her house using common household items.
Another major influence is my love for nature, which stems from my summers spent as a
camper in the North Carolina mountains. Also my parents took me to museums and
educated me in the world of antiques.
With those influences, I began taking art at Salisbury High
School and then decided when I reached the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to
major in Studio Art. In college, I had an internship with muralist, Michael Brown,
where I learned how to paint outdoor and indoor murals and faux techniques. My
appreciation for art expanded greatly during the fall of 1999 when I studied at Lorenzo de
Medici in Florence, Italy.
When I graduated from college, I lived in Salisbury and painted on my own. There, I
worked on restoring a mural in historic downtown. After painting numerous faux
windows, plates, pickett fences, stone walls and gardens, I decided to start Earle Kluttz
Designs. I have painted a wide variety of
themes and textures, from faux windows and stone walls to cartoon characters in children's
rooms. You name it, I can paint it. Generally, people clip pictures from books and
magazines, and with those ideas I create something original on their wall in accordance
with their personality and style. I also paint accessories such as lampshades,
personalized baby names to frame and hang, furniture and glassware. I am always looking
for interesting things to paint, and after moving to Raleigh, North Carolina, I was not
alone. Together with partner, Raines Thompson, the possibilities have been even more
To make our situation even more exciting I married Raines' brother, Bo, on May
17, 2003. Now we are not only business partners in newly renamed, Kluttz Thompson Designs,
we're family too.
Like Earle, I have always
loved art. I grew up taking classes, and visits to my grandparents' house in Wilson were
also always filled with art projects. Despite the huge mess we sometimes managed to make
in the process, my grandmother, Frances Raines, a portrait artist, always inspired and
encouraged my creative side.
I took several art classes at Broughton High School in Raleigh, but never imagined that
something I loved so much could become more than a hobby. At the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I met Earle, I decided to become a Journalism major, with a
concentration in visual communications. I thought that this would be a good way to learn a
variety of skills, including art. Though I didn't find my graphic design classes to be as
hands-on as I would've liked them to be, I was able to take several
studio art classes, not only at UNC, but also while studying abroad at Lorenzo de Medici
in Florence, Italy.
When I returned from Italy, I began concentrating on my graphics classes designing logos
and also began volunteering at a book store in Chapel Hill designing promotional material
by hand. Then during the summer of 1999 I had the opportunity to go on an art study
program in Australia with students from the
Rhode Island School of Design. I spent several weeks at the University of New South
Wales in Sydney studying Aboriginal art along with Australian art students and then
traveled around Australia and worked on drawing and painting the various landscapes we had
the opportunity to visit. After graduation in May, 2000, I had to get back down to that
part of the world to see New Zealand, where I was lucky enough to spend ten weeks. I
traveled for several weeks and then lived and worked in Nelson on the South Island.
It was an amazing experience and I hated to leave, but I was also excited to get home and
start working with Earle, which I did in October, 2000.
Since then, Earle and my accomplishments have exceeded my greatest expectations. We have
been working together for several years now and have found that we really complement each
other. We've worked on projects in businesses and homes all over North Carolina including
an on-going job at the UNC Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill. We've found that two minds
are definitely better than one, and we're looking forward to working for years to come.
Check back to this website for updates on our progress!