Where to find my prints and paintings!
You can check out available paintings and prints over at my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/cortneynorth
My website is being updated and will include a new shop page (exciting!), but until that is ready I’ll be using Etsy as my primary shop page.
A little about Cortney…
I started creating art when most of us do, when I was a young kid. I loved the feel of crayons in my hand. Funny enough, one of my most clear childhood memories was my goal to have the giant 94-packs of crayons on my desk at coloring time in elementary school. I still remember when they had a naming contest and one of my favorite yellow crayons was officially named Macaroni and Cheese. I didn’t like it because it wasn’t official enough or regal enough to join the ranks of cerulean and ultramarine. Those were real color names – how dare they mix food with my prestigious colors! Perhaps it was a clue that colors might be important to me later on in life.
My parents took all the clues that I loved art and made sure I was enrolled in art classes each school year. A few summers were spent attending painting classes at local art schools. My high school years centered around ceramics and state art competitions. All this said, it wasn’t a big leap for me to then major in Fine Art during college and graduate with a Fine Arts and Fine Art Education degree from Bluffton University. It was a natural progression of a passion that had begun so humbly with that big box of crayons.
Over the years I’ve been honored with features and awards in numerous art shows, along with being included in private collections internationally. These accolades are not only exciting, but entirely humbling.
About my paintings…
Abstract paintings give my imagination a chance to ignite and process instead of consume and move on. I like the lingering, evolving relationship people have with abstract paintings. Creating abstracts that have a base rooted in nature without the literal aspects of nature best allows for this relationship. My abstract style has evolved over the years from impressionism to expressionism with a landscape-oriented bent. I love nature and aim for my paintings to be reminiscent of our outdoor world without crossing over into realistic style. With each painting, I follow these personal principles: I utilize the rules of natural lighting, integrate atmospheric depth and vary movement between lines and blocks of color. Colors are extremely important to me and my greatest focus beyond the composition is layering the correct colors together to support the vision I have for the painting. Overall I see my process as one that constructs a scene from the blank canvas.
In some ways I want my art to have an ethereal quality, but I’ve come to realize that what is most important for me is to create a painting that evokes feelings of calm, peace and pleasantness for the viewer. Our world is visually stimulating and, at least for me, I need a calm sanctuary when I come home. I want the art that surrounds me to feel pleasant and allow my mind to take a vacation from the stress. That’s the purpose of my art right now: to create a respite from our busy world. A place to visually visit and feel your stress unwinding. A place where your imagination can be free and take you where ever you need it to go.
And when I’m not in the studio…
It’s pretty simple, but when I’m not in the studio I enjoy reading, being in nature and spending time with my husband.
I love books! Fiction or non-fiction, I will read it all. One of my family members once told me that she was happy as long as she had tickets to go somewhere no matter the destination or event. She just wanted tickets in her wallet! I feel that way about books. I’m my happiest self if I know there are at least 3 good books in my home waiting for me to give them attention. I try to post updates about the books I’m reading in case you’re curious what’s on my nightstand right now.
Being in nature is a big source of inspiration and relaxation. We have a lot of nature trails nearby so when I need to get rid of extra energy, I go for a stroll. The change of seasons was a big adjustment after moving to Ohio from Florida. I’ve really fallen in love with the season shifts and find it fun to observe these changes. I also get out to see the animals. All but one of my outside-the-studio jobs have revolved around animals. I love any opportunity to see them in their natural habitat. Ok, I mostly see birds, domesticated dogs and squirrels, but I like watching them too!
As for my family, so far it’s just me, my husband and a rescued bearded dragon who we affectionately refer to as ‘Little One.’ Her proper name is Kronos. She is more spoiled than a lizard should be. She has more personality than a lizard should have. I know it is surprising but they do have individual personalities and ours is the R2D2 of the bearded dragon world. We will add a canine to her ranks, but for now, the spiky Little One will do.