Keith Norval – Painter

A Character Study

Keith Norval was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. As the son of an entomologist studying tick-borne illnesses, Norval grew up in an environment with zebras, elephants, lions, and hippopotami. He became interested in art in preschool and continued working on his art skills throughout high school, where he drew comics for his high school newspaper. “By freshman year,” Norval says, “I had decided that I was going to be an artist.” In 1990, his father’s work brought them to Gainesville, Florida, and after that, Norval pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. He now lives in Raleigh with his wife and four-year-old daughter. His wife is also an artist, and they share a studio that is within biking distance to their home.

Norval paints in oils and limits the amount of planning before he starts painting. “I go with the flow and try to let things happen spontaneously,” he says. He is also very interested in character designs and has many of the same characters that show up in his artwork to help depict themes like business versus life, king versus subjects, and surprise and outrage.

Currently, Norval is working on a six foot by six foot “quilted grid.” It has 144 squares each with its own painting. It’s the biggest piece of art that Norval has ever created, and in his blog he says it’s “too big to fail…I have a show coming up in Rocky Mount at the Imperial Center in September. It’s an open space that needs something large.”

Norval believes his biggest accomplishment so far has been his ability to make a living off art since 2002. He hopes someday to have a piece in the MoMA and “paint until I am really old.”

You can find his work at Artspace and Designbox in Raleigh. His paintings sell for anywhere betweet $50 and $5,000.

AC keith norval

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