Kelly Tunstall - Art & Wall Decor
Kelly Tunstall
Kelly Tunstall

Kelly Tunstall

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco-based artist Kelly Turnstall works in acrylic, collage, spray paint, pencil, pen and ink, gold leaf and some secret sauce.

She frequently works together with her husband Greg and primarily creates figurative art that tells a story with a movie aesthetic and characters that are full of inspiration, imagination, and vibrant life. These stories aim to reflect the viewer's inner conversation and create a happy feeling.

Her experimental yet classically grounded works live somewhat comfortably in a space between graphic expression, stylized representation, surrealism, and sketch. Her use of patina as an aging element and calligraphic drawing methods lend further depth to her story-filled worlds.

Kelly works closely with clients to come up with specific ideas for commissioned pieces. She calls it "a very personal process," resulting in a highly unique piece tailored to it's setting and intended to stoke the viewer's imagination. The simplicity of the messages is enhanced by the underlying vitality and complex layering within the work. In her portraits, Tunstall renders stylized female figures and their adaptations to environment: nests built of painted boards held together by drawn nails or far-off planets. The physical form and its accompanying exterior become a mirror for internal thought processes and turmoil.
Q&A

How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"I paint flat. On a 10 foot long Mission oak table that came from a boys' school in the Haight. I bought it at a street sale, and we've had to find studios to fit it ever since. Almost all of our work starts on or around this table. It's perfect."
-- Kelly Tunstall
Q&A

What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"I work towards an elegant restraint in some works, joyful explosions of color in others. All in all I really hope to enable an immersion in that space- to travel elsewhere."
-- Kelly Tunstall
Q&A

What is your favorite material to work with?

"I adore gold leaf. It can cover any mistake, in the instance of a mistake happening."
-- Kelly Tunstall
Q&A

What motivates and inspires you?

"One true thought- to grab the first thing that comes to mind and hold it tight, and document if possible (I always have my sketchbook within reach).

These moments are usually the clearest and truest. Though they evolve as they become more informed, it is important to hew close to instinct versus outside forces, to trust the gut and the vision."
-- Kelly Tunstall
Q&A

What makes a space special?

"A feeling of family, of welcome, of belonging. If the music is right, the light is flattering, but you can hear the conversation buzzing- or just the words of that one person- the suspension of everywhere, anything else."
-- Kelly Tunstall
Q&A

What’s unique about your work?

"Detailed, colorful, extravagant worlds- character driven, with a calligraphic lightness of linework in conversation with larger areas of spatial washes."
-- Kelly Tunstall
Meet Related Creators
Find more local artists, designers and studios
More Creators Around San Francisco

Keep Exploring Murals

See more murals created by new artists, local designers and studios