Bobbie Crews

Photo by Nathan Sparks
The bond between a person and their car is a tale so familiar that you’ve probably given your ride a personality and a name, or at least know a song about it. Knoxville painter Bobbie Crews brings that bond to life through her paintings that she calls “intimate portraits of automobiles.”

“They become like members of the family, so if I can do portraits of those members of the family for them, I’m glad to do it,” explained Crews.

Working from photographs that she and her husband, Clay, take, she begins to learn the personality behind the car and the bond that has developed with the owner. Through this, she begins to see the character of the car. Often times she incorporates people and landscape into her automobile portraits, using their reflections in the paint and chrome of the cars.

She developed this passion after years of murals, abstracts, chalkboard art, and courtroom sketches done throughout Knoxville, but her ability to see the personality within vehicles led her to try her first automobile painting as a fine art. The response was immediate, and after several years, demand for her art has spread over several states.  She is currently working on a set for a car dealership in Brentwood, Tennessee, at her studio in the Emporium Center on South Gay Street.

Painting intimate portraits of automobiles is not a very common subject, but when a person sees and truly understands what is being conveyed in Crews’ art, that makes it worthwhile.

Visit Bobbie Crews’ studio at 100 S. Gay St. #107, or see more of her work online at

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