Inspired by nature. Influenced by minimalism.

Kim Knoll portrait
Kim Knoll's studio

About The Work

Immersed in the hustle of city life but always fueled by a love for the great outdoors, my works on paper connect these two worlds of mine. Mixing the beauty of nature with the simplicity of minimalism, my abstract paintings capture moments and elements that have left a lasting impression on me. Each stroke tells a story inspired by personal experience, turning everyday moments into something special. 

Nature is where I escape the chaos of the city to find solace and recharge my spirit. Observing how water moves, the subtle shifts in air, the expansiveness of the sky, the uniqueness of terrains, and trails marked by time all inspire, inform and guide my creative process. Through mediums such as watercolors, acrylic, ink, spray paint, charcoal, and graphite, I switch between conscious and intuitive approaches to express emotion and meaning through gestures and marks. My work explores the contrasts of perfectionism with humanism and structure with spontaneity.

Using a positive mindset and embracing a peaceful mood, I strive to create art that brings a feeling of balance and calm, providing an uplifting experience and a momentary escape from the busyness of everyday life. Drawing inspiration from the beauty of nature, my goal is to create a connection that goes beyond the surface and touches something deeper that lives in all of us.

About Kim Knoll

Kim Knoll is a contemporary artist based in Chicago with a BFA in Visual Communications. She developed her painting style through her professional experience as a graphic designer. Within one year of pursuing painting as a personal endeavor, Kim's work gained recognition from collectors, art consultants, and interior designers, eventually allowing her to switch her focus to painting full-time. Today, Kim produces original paintings and prints for luxury homes and brands worldwide like The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Yacht Collection, Four Seasons Hotels, Waldorf Astoria Hotels, CB2 and Crate & Barrel. Her work has been featured in Chicago Magazine, Style By Emily Henderson, and Women United Art Magazine.

Kim also co-founded Knoed, a branding and graphic design studio that helped small businesses and startups from 2011-2022. Kim was also the Organizer + Host of the CreativeMornings Chicago chapter from 2012-2016, volunteering her time to produce 48 events for the creative community.

Kim Knoll Art

Solo Exhibitions
• 2019, Jun 26-Sep 3, Neighborly, Chicago, IL
• 2018, Nov 16-18, The Martin, Chicago, IL

Group Exhibitions
• 2023, Jun 23-Jul 28, The Martin, Chicago, IL
• 2018, Aug 28-Oct 19, NIU Art Museum, DeKalb, IL

Select Commissions
• 2024, Crate & Barrel, Spring Collection
• 2023, Regent Seven Seas, Grandeur Cruise Ship
• 2023, JW Marriott Essex House, NYC
• 2023, CB2, Spring/Summer Collection
• 2022, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Evrima Yacht
• 2022, P&O Cruises, Arvia Cruise Ship
• 2022, CB2, Fall/Winter Collection
• 2021, Norwegian Cruise Line, Prima Cruise Ship
• 2021, Bank of America Tower, 110 N Wacker
• 2020, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Evrima Yacht
• 2019, 7 For All Mankind, Milan Flagship Store
• 2018, Chronicle Books, The Spells Deck

Select Features
• The Ritz-Carlton Evrima Yacht
• The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, FL
• The Ritz-Carlton Residences at Chevy Chase, MD
• The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, San Francisco
• Four Seasons Jackson Hole, WY
• Four Seasons Vail, CO
• Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas, NV
• Virgin Hotel Las Vegas, NV
• Waldorf Astoria Doha, Qatar
• Waldorf Astoria—The Avenues, Kuwait
• Waldorf Astoria New York
• JW Marriott Desert Ridge Phoenix, AZ
• JW Marriott Essex House, NYC
• JW Marriott Miami Marquis
• Hotel Martinez, Cannes, France
• Sofitel Riyadh Saudi Arabia
• One Palm Residences, Dubai
• One&Only The Palm, Dubai
• Atlantis The Royal, Dubai
• Rosewood Little Dix Bay, British Virgin Islands
• Le Méridien Fort Worth Downtown
• The Westin, London City
• Capitol Tower, Singapore
• Kempinski Hotel Hangzhou, China
• Artyzen Lingang Hotel Shanghai, China
• Hyatt Regency London Stratford
• Hyatt Regency Orlando, FL
• Whitley Hotel Atlanta, GA
• P&O Arvia Cruise Ship
• Regent Seven Seas Grandeur Cruise Ship
• Oceania Marina Cruise Ship
• Norwegian Prima Cruise Ship
• Norwegian Viva Cruise Ship
• Norwegian Vista Cruise Ship
• Norwegian Sky Cruise Ship
• Celebrity Edge Cruise Ship
• Silversea Silver Nova Cruise Ship
• 7 for all Mankind Milan Flagship Store, Italy
• 7 for all Mankind Berlin Store, Germany
• Bank of America Tower, Chicago
• Sonesta Chicago Riverfront Hotel
• Baptist Hospital Miami, FL
• Chateau Elan Winery + Resort, GA
• Addison Reserve Country Club, FL
• Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland, OR
• Westin Kierland Scottsdale, AZ
• Pendry Residences Park City, UT
• Montage Resort Laguna Beach, CA
• Hotel Clio Denver, CO
• Hotel Longmont, CO
• Marriott Grand Chateau Las Vegas, NV
• Hilton West Palm Beach, FL
• Renaissance Orlando Resort & Spa
• Aura Crossroads, CO
• The Worthington Residences, Salt Lake City, UT
• MerryWood on Park, NC
• Ladd Luxury Apartments Portland, OR
• Wander Teton Valley, ID
• Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
• Encore MidCity Apartments, AL

“I’ve used Kim’s art for a number of projects over the years and can’t say enough about working with her. She consistently adds new work, she is always quick to reply, and her artwork is ALWAYS stunning!”

— Lindsey King, Art Consultant, DAC Art Consulting


Where did you grow up and where are you now?

I was born and raised in Elk Grove Village, a suburb about 30 minutes from Chicago. I've always been in the arts, but chose to make graphic design my career when my high school art teacher told me that's the only way I could make a living as an artist (so not true!). I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BFA in Visual Communications, packed up my car and moved to Tempe, AZ for a fun few years. In 2006 I made my way back to Chicago and have been living in the city since with my husband, Kyle, and my dog, June. I dream of one day living somewhere that's warm year-round where I can stand up paddleboard, live in sandals, and plant a mango or avocado tree in my backyard.

What originally drew you to making paintings?

I discovered my love for painting in 2016 when I was creating the visual identity for a new apothecary. I wanted to use watercolor washes in their identity so I bought the supplies and started experimenting. I loved watching the paint react to water and the effect it gave once it dried. I liked that it had a mind of its own and was hard to control. It allowed me to let go of needing things to be perfect, which was so freeing and therapeutic. So I bought more supplies and explored painting as a personal project, trying different ideas and techniques until I discovered a vision for my art which is how I eventually developed my own style.

How do you go about developing your work?

It all depends on my mood. Sometimes I sketch out an entire painting and then paint it. Sometimes I just start painting the first layer without thinking about it, take a photo of it, and sketch ideas for more layers using my iPad. Sometimes I don't do any sketching and just follow my intuition with each layer. Most of my paintings have been planned during one of the stages of creating them. A lot of my creativity comes out on the iPad. It's a great way for me to explore a lot of ideas without committing to any of them. It's also not a precious piece of paper that I've taken the time to cut and stretch, allowing me to have more freedom of expression without any fears of ruining it.

What is the best advice you could give a novice artist?

It’s ok to not know everything you think you should know. I struggled with that in the beginning. Not that long ago I saw the quote “Every expert was once a beginner.” and it really resonated with me. We all start out somewhere—the beginning is all about guessing, making mistakes and failing. It’s what you have to do in order to learn and develop. I learned what I know the hard way because I didn’t take a single class on painting in art school and I don’t have anyone to guide me through it. So I learned what I know about painting through trial and error, Google searches and YouTube videos, and I’m still learning every day. We're all just figuring it out as we go and that's ok.

Creative blocks. Do you get them and how do you over come them?

Of course! I usually get them when I've been focusing on the business side of things and haven't painted in a few weeks. The best way for me to overcome them is to study my past work and look at my folder of inspiration that I keep updated. I have to submerge my brain in nothing but that for a couple days and get out my iPad to sketch ideas. When I'm really frustrated, I'll just throw some paint on the paper without any thought behind it, and then it becomes a fun challenge for me to figure out the next layer, and the next, until it's done.

Why do you work on paper and not canvas?

When I first started out, all I had was watercolor paper and canvas seemed daunting to learn. Plus a lot more space is needed for storing canvases and more materials and tools are needed for stretching canvas, which I didn't have the space or budget for. So paper is what I went with. But after trying out canvas later on, I learned that paper is much better suited for my techniques and for scanning the art to make prints. I still love that paper takes up less space and it's much easier to ship too. There's an art to stretching paper and hand tearing the edges that I enjoy as well.