The work of Cortney Herron emulates positivity and inspiration, all while illuminating Black women.
Los Angeles, California
Through her portraiture, Cortney creates moody abstract faces, balancing pastels with nude colour tones to provide a contempt feeling.
How would you describe your style?
I lean towards figurative paintings and portraits in a more abstract way. Before getting into portraits, I was really big on using lines and shapes to create traditional abstract paintings. I find that the abstract style carries over into my portrait work.
What drew you towards painting as a form of artistic expression?
Painting is my therapy. And even when I was younger, I always found myself leaning to art in my spare time. It’s truly the only activity where I’m able to get lost in the zone and lose track of time. There’s so much healing that happens for me when I paint.
When did you first begin to paint?
I started painting when I was 3 years old and continued throughout high school. I took a hiatus from art during college where I received a degree in Graphic Design but later picked it back up after settling in as an adult living in Los Angeles.
You are both a painter and an illustrator. How does your creative process differ when making a painting as opposed to an illustration?
I’m in two totally different moods here. I consider my illustrations to be more like my sketchbook creations. For example, I can’t just sit on the couch and watch TV, so I like to have my iPad with me and work on sketches. It’s always that time where I can be experimental and really just see what happens in the process. For my paintings, I’m in a more methodical state. I already have a general idea of what I want to paint and the steps I need to take to at least set a foundation. This is when I really get lost in the zone – I have my music going, and I’m able to fully immerse myself in the process that can go for hours at a time.
What materials do you use to paint, and what do you use for your illustrations?
Acrylic paint is my go-to. [My] illustrations are all done using ProCreate on my iPad. I use an Apple Pencil (that I’m actually obsessed with) to create the illustrations.
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