Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Cotton.
Courtney, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My teachers and parents noticed my attention to detail in my drawings and my love for art at an early age which flowed into many years of art classes both in and outside of school. I was lucky to have a cultured New Yorker as a mother and my youth was filled with visits to galleries and museums throughout the country. She registered me for any art class that our local YMCA had in their catalogue and enrolled me at RISD for summer school in high school. I studied art in university and attained a degree in art with a concentration in interior design in 1990. My first job after university was with KNOLL where I was immersed in good design and learned about many great architects, furniture and textile designers. After seven years in the world of commercial interior design, I moved to Miami Beach where I abandoned design and started to paint again while working for an artist as a weekend studio manager. I then moved to Argentina in 1997, where I continued to paint and teach painting to ex-patriots. I returned to the United States in 2001 with three children in tow yet continued my path as an artist.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
As much as I’d like to say my art career has been smooth sailing, it has not. One challenge I have found along my path was achieving a balance with raising three kids, marriage, spirituality, friendships, family obligations and finding the time to make and market my artwork. Another challenge would be the speculative nature of art, finding the right person for each painting takes time, therefore a steady paycheck can be elusive. Having an assist career is typical for many artists, which takes away from time in the studio producing work and I have had my fair share of side hustles.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a contemporary artist specializing in modern conceptual paintings. I specialize in acrylics on canvas yet sometimes work on paper and make collages. I’m most know for loose and fun work that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Staying in the game for the last twenty-one years gives me a lot of pride and I am constantly improving. I like to use my art for causes as well, it is important for me to connect with people and give back. Project HARTwork is a non-profit I am currently involved with that pays me and uses proceeds from my art to fight human trafficking. I also give twenty percent of my Aspen sales to the Hope Center in Aspen Colorado because of my desire for mental wellness and the study and teaching of social and emotional well being.
Recently I started working in a larger format and love the physicality of working on a large canvas. My smaller paintings which I call sketches are 12” x 12” and I often use these to springboard into larger paintings sized at 24” x 24”, 36” x 36” and my new 60” x 60” size. I think one thing that sets me apart from other artists is my prolific output and that I do not have a set style or subject matter for my work. Sure, I paint in series, exploring my subject matter du jour in an in-depth way for up to three years yet I enjoy variety and take detours which lead to creating new series, exploring new materials, and practicing different techniques. Clients also, hire me for custom artwork called commissions in our industry. These are challenging yet are a huge compliment and site-specific art really enhances both residential and commercial interiors.
What were you like growing up?
I was terribly shy as a child, sucked my thumb and then turned to nail-biting. I am told I was high energy.
Schoolwork was difficult for me, perhaps because I was a daydreamer.
My interests included painting, wood carving, movies, swim team, travel and I enjoyed parties even though I was shy. Beauty, good design and art have given me much joy since I was a child.
What role has luck (good luck or bad luck) played in your life and business?
On luck, I feel I am a very lucky person and that life affords me the honor of being an artist is a testament to that luck. My artwork is in private collections throughout the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, South America and Vietnam. Many businesses in the Denver metro area have invested in my work for their facilities. Designers, architects and art dealers specify my work for their projects. The only bad luck that I can think of is when I’m not accepted into a show or residency I have applied for. I seem to get over the disappointment to my ego pretty quickly and move forward.
- 12″ x 12″ paintings $200
- 24″ x 24″ paintings $600
- 36″ x 36″ paintings $1300
- 60″ x 60″ paintings $3600
- Address: studio:
2690 W. Barberry Pl. Studio D
Denver CO 80204
studio visits by appointment 720.289.9323
- Website: courtneycotton.com
- Phone: 720-289-9323
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @courtneycottonetal
- Facebook: @artistcourtneycotton
- Twitter: @courtney_cotton