We love seeing art tie a space together, which is why we are excited to have Courtney at The Mill this Thursday. Watching/learning an artist's story & techniques connects you with a piece and their artwork. You all know we can't wait until Thursday to learn more about Courtney's story, so we sat down for a Q&A.
Courtney: I am so excited and grateful for this opportunity. We are so fortunate to have The Mill in Columbus!! What’s my process...That’s a great question! With most pieces, I have a vision for what I want the finished canvas to look like. However, because of the inherent random nature in abstracts they always evolve as I work on them. I may think one thing and then totally end up going in another direction.
The Mill: When did you know that you wanted to pursue your creative calling as a career? What advice would you give to someone that has a similar calling to become a painter?
Courtney: I didn’t find my love for painting until after college when I lived in Merigold, MS. After moving back to Columbus, marrying Wiley and staying home with our 2 kiddos, I was totally encouraged by my family & friends to paint again & to share my talent. It’s been one of the scariest but most rewarding leaps I’ve taken. It’s still a little strange to hear people call me an artist. My advice would be to have fun. Don’t be afraid to experiment, try new things. Be original and stay true to yourself. Work through trial and error, but stay with it and find what techniques you can call your own!
The Mill: Traveling and fellow creatives are a huge source of inspiration for us at The Mill. Where/what do you find you are most inspired or influenced by?
Courtney: Some of my most recent pieces were totally inspired during time spent this summer after my dad passed away watching beach sunsets! He and I shared a love for sunsets and especially those on /near water.... whether it be at the beach or the Tombigbee River. I love the colors, the layers and the peace they give. I like to joke that my Dad is in Heaven helping God perfect them to inspire me even more!
The Mill: In admiring your work, we can tell you use a multitude of layers, techniques and materials. Give us the inside scoop. What’s one of your favorite materials you use within your work?
Courtney: I feel like most would expect me to say gold leaf or metallics. But recently it’s been small little pieces like sea glass, sand, stones etc. That’s one of my favorite things about painting mixed media, almost anything can become an art supply! Sometimes I just see things around the house and think “how could I use this”. So, i don’t always paint with the traditional paints and use traditional materials & techniques. I do always try to hide a cross in all my paintings. Some are easy to find and some harder. My faith inspires me a lot when I’m painting. I feel like the search for the cross is similar to our walk with Christ. Sometimes He shows up so obviously and other times we have to get through some layers to find Him, but He’s always there.
The Mill: I know for me personally, there a few things that spark creativity and get those juices flowing. Do you have any workspace must-haves? Like a cup of coffee, or a certain kind of music playing in the background that help make the process more enjoyable?
Courtney: Well, I don’t drink coffee but if I did, I would totally drink Southbound Coffee from Beans & Cream! (Shameless plug for my friends, the Griffins). I guess with a 4 and 5 year old and a puppy in the house, my most creative work happens when it’s quiet! However musically, currently if it’s not Christmas music, I’m not listening.
The Mill: If you had to, could you pick a piece you’ve created that is your favorite? What draws you to this piece?
Courtney: It’s hard to pick a favorite! That’s like asking me which of my children are my favorite! Lol Whether it’s commissioned for a nursery or it’s a gift, they all mean so much to me simply because someone thought enough of that piece to buy it or trusted me enough to commission something so special for their home or loved ones. My artwork is kinda like music to me. When I hear a song it takes me to a time in my life. Same with the paintings... When I see one I’ve created, I can go back and remember what I was thinking or what was happening during that time.