Best known for his landscape and still life paintings, Carl Lawless was born in 1894 in Illinois, where he began his path to artistic success. Although born in Illinois, and eventually a student of the Chicago Academy of Fine Art, Lawless was most active in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, as he studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and later traveled to Mystic Connecticut. While studying at the Pennsylvania Academy, Lawless earned the Cresson Fellowship, which afforded him the opportunity to travel to Europe to further his studies. In addition to an extensive arts education, Lawless also had the privilege of mentorship under several famous artists of the time, including Daniel Garber.
Lawless was a member of the Mystic Art Association as well as the New Haven Paint and Clay Club. His skill in the arts awarded him exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Corcoran Gallery Biennial, the Grand Central Art Galleries, the Mystic Art Association, the National Academy of Design, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
His most typical medium was oil paint, and through his mastery of the medium he created natural scenes including animals, plants, mountains, rural landscapes, and snow. He was also known for his Plein-Air technique and appealing still lives.
After a lifetime of travel, artistic study, and country-wide exhibition, Carl Lawless died in 1964.