Friday, June 1, 2012

Artist of the Month - Courtney Prahl

Windy Day
This month's artist of the month is mixed media artist Courtney Prahl.  When I began to look for images to include in the post, I found myself falling in love over and over again with Courtney's art. 
Her work just inspires me.  Courtney lives in Urbana, Maryland with her husband and two sons.  Her boys, the oldest in 5th grade and youngest in 3rd both really love to draw.  Courtney grew up in Walkersville, Maryland and studied art in collage with a concentration in sculpture and 3D arts at Marymount University and Clarion University of Pennsylvania.

There are so many different aspects of Courtney's art that I enjoy. The colors are bright, but somehow subdued. I love the messages that she incorporates into her work. 

Courtney worked at a biotech company before she had her children, then stayed home with them for 7 years until her youngest went to school. She always worked on her art, but really feel in love with mixed media once she had her little one.  She currently works as an instructional assistant at Centerville Elementary when she's not being a Mom and an Artist.
Everything she wanted

I asked Courtney how she goes about her design process, and here is what she had to share:

"I usually have an idea in mind.  I often will lay down background on many pieces before I dive into a specific project." 

I thought that was an interesting idea.  I often find myself stuck when I am working on my art journals and have finally starting allowing myself to just do as much or as little as I choose on each page.  In the past, I always felt compelled to finish a page once I started working on it.  It's a nice discovery of freedom.
Dream II
 Courtney uses a combination of vintage paper, old hardware, tissue, old magazines and junk mail in her artwork.  She also loves oil pastels and found objects.  I asked Courtney what her favorite part and least favorite part of her artistic process is:

"I love the beginning stages when the unexpected can happen and you can see your vision playing out.  My least favorite is the final touches (glazing, finishing edges, hanging hardware and photographing)."
  Courtney also creates beautiful one of a kind sculpture pieces like these.

The artists that inspire Courtney include; Danny O, Cathy Nichols, Gennine Zlatkis and Sarah Wyman. You may remember I wrote an Artist post about Cathy Nichols a few years back. 

Courtney sells her work through The Muse and will actually be there this Saturday, June 2nd for an artist reception from 5 - 9pm.  If you live in the area, you should definitely check it out.  She will have some of her new art pieces there to share.

 I asked Courtney where she sees her future with her art and this is what she shared with me:

"I would love to illustrate children's books.  I did just sign a contract with a licensing/graphics company to use some select images for reproduction and products.  Who knows where this will lead?  I would also love to set up a non-profit/mentoring program for kids to further their pursuits in art." 

Flower House
 I hope you enjoyed getting to know Courtney and her artwork. To see more of her work visit her blog Finding Home, her Etsy shop, or her Flickr photostream. Thanks again for joining me for the artist of the month post.

"Art=Joy" by Madi


Allison said...

I was anticipating this post since I enjoy Courtney's art so much too! I agree... the colors are so vibrant and yet subdued somehow.
Love all the pieces you featured here.
I can't wait to see what comes from her licensing and more about the mentoring idea.

stacie said...

Thanks Allison for your comments. Wish I could see her exhibit tomorrow, Grad party instead.