Artist Courtney Patterson joins us on Close-Up Culture to talk about her creative journey, embracing vulnerability, her love of nature, and much more.
Can you tell us about your early memories of creating art and what drew you to it?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been expressing myself through art. It wasn’t something I thought about – it just naturally became a huge part of my life, like breathing. When I was just a child, I carried a sketchpad with me everywhere, turning my view of the world into little drawings. Art was like therapy, and if my younger self could see me now, she’d be really proud.
Your talents include design, illustration, photography, and so much more. How would you describe your style and your approach to your work?
Creativity is a beautiful journey for me. In my day job as a creative designer, I do everything from design, to illustration, to taking photos and even writing. I love mixing it up with different mediums, and it’s fascinating how a vision can come to life in so many ways. I’m all about embracing challenges and getting hands-on. In my free time, I enjoy using charcoal to sketch, and I’ve recently fallen in love with traditional oil painting. It sets my soul on fire.
What means the most to you as an artist?
Art, to me, is a blend of pouring my heart out and appreciating life. Through my art, I can be open and connect with people on a deep level. That shared connection is incredibly beautiful. Just having this conversation about it brings me goosebumps.
What has art and creating art brought to your life?
Every time I pick up a brush, there’s an element of vulnerability. What starts as a task quickly turns into a meditative journey that’s bigger than life itself. Art has taught me that things come together, one stroke at a time. Art has taught me the gift of patience. Art has taught me that what we know as “mistakes” are just beautiful opportunities to grow. Art has taught me there’s real magic in embracing vulnerability. Art has taught me who I am and who I’m not.
What’s your proudest piece of work?
If I had to pick one piece that makes me incredibly proud, it would be ‘Golden Girl.’ This traditional oil piece features a woman riding on horseback with the sunrise behind them. Sunlight filters through the horse and rider, making it something truly special, embracing just how much light riding brings into my life.
There are some stunning photos of your outdoors adventures on Instagram. How do you love to spend your time away from the canvas?
I love the great outdoors, it is where I find a lot of inspiration. It’s almost like nature has its own language. Whether it’s calm, chaotic or something in between, there is always an opportunity for some good learning.
Do you have any fond or fun outdoorsy/adventure stories to share with us?
One of my all-time favorite outdoor adventures was backpacking in the mountains of British Columbia. A few years ago, a friend and I took on climbing seven mountains in a week. It was both emotionally and physically intense, and it shaped me in a big way. I am forever thankful for that experience.
What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?
My big dream has always been to work on some massive art commissions, and I am thrilled to say I’m making that happen. I’m all about keeping creativity flowing and constantly honing my craft. Plus, I really want to share the joy of art, especially with children, and help them nurture their creative talents!