MUNTHE ART MONDAY: CORTNEY HERRON
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Cortney Herron, and I’m a contemporary figurative painter from Los Angeles, California. My artistic journey is rooted in a deep connection with nature and the calmness nature brings, almost always promoting a sense of relaxation. I translate the beauty and tranquility I find in the outdoors onto canvas through bold yet calming color palettes. I navigate the realms of acrylic, oil, and digital mediums, using organic forms to foster a sense of connectedness with the natural world.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
Being a woman in the art world has been a unique journey. It's both a challenge and an opportunity. I believe that my perspective as a female artist adds a distinct layer to my work. It's about bringing forth the subtleties of femininity and embracing the strength that comes with it. In some instances, being a woman has opened doors for meaningful collaborations and conversations that delve into the intersectionality of art and gender – essentially where my perspective as a female artist is given a voice. So I feel it’s very important to make sure that the voice and platform I’m given speaks to my authenticity. This is one of the most empowering parts of being a female artist.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
Jordan Casteel captivates me with the rawness and authenticity embedded in her work. Her ability to capture the essence of her subjects is both powerful and intimate. Casteel's paintings go beyond mere representation; they become a celebration of the human experience. She fearlessly explores the nuances of identity and culture, creating portraits that serve as mirrors reflecting the beauty and complexity of individual lives. In her art, I find a resonance with the honesty and playfulness that I strive to convey in my own work.
Georgia O'Keeffe, on the other hand, has been a longstanding muse for her unparalleled portrayal of nature. Her ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, especially in her depictions of flowers and landscapes, is truly mesmerizing. O'Keeffe's work embodies a deep connection with the natural world, something I too strive to convey in my art as well. The way she brings out the essence of each subject through color and form inspires me to continually explore the profound beauty of the environment that has shaped my own artistic vision.
Both Casteel and O'Keeffe, in their distinct styles, embody a commitment to authenticity and a connection to their subjects, whether human or natural. It's this authenticity and the ability to capture the essence of life that deeply resonate with me and fuel my own artistic exploration.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
One of the most intricate challenges I face as a female artist revolves around societal expectations and the nuanced pressures placed upon women. There's a delicate balance to strike between personal aspirations and the external expectations that often accompany being a woman in general. Society often imposes timelines and benchmarks, creating a sense of urgency that can overshadow the organic, evolving nature of not only the artistic process but evolving as a human being.
Striving to be authentic in my work sometimes means challenging preconceived notions and stereotypes, which can be a journey in itself. The pressure to conform to certain standards, whether in subject matter, style, or career trajectory, can be a constant undercurrent. It's an ongoing negotiation between staying true to my artistic vision and addressing external expectations, all while trying to break down barriers and challenge norms.
Additionally, the broader societal expectations placed on women, such as timelines for career milestones and societal roles, can add an extra layer of complexity. Balancing personal and professional growth while challenging these timelines requires a deliberate and conscious effort. It's about carving a path that aligns with my artistic journey rather than succumbing to external pressures. But despite these challenges, I see them as opportunities for growth and transformation. By navigating and challenging these expectations, I hope to contribute to a broader shift in the art world, where authenticity and creativity can flourish unhindered by societal expectations.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I want people to feel a sense of connection when they engage with my art. Whether it's the harmonious color palettes that evoke tranquility or the portrayal of the human form capturing moments of introspection and daydreaming, I aim to create an emotional resonance. I want viewers to recognize the authenticity in each piece, where rules of perspective and proportion are set aside, allowing a glimpse into the innermost self. Ultimately, I hope my art serves as a reminder of the beauty in both our external and internal worlds, fostering a sense of harmony and connectedness.