CCP asks Courtney McClelland the deep questions about her craft
1. What gets you out of bed every day?
I’m not a morning person. My alarm, a coffee and a place to be. I look forward to days in the studio with new canvases, time with friends and family and slow days.
2. Who is the artist that has inspired you the most?
Philip Gustons worked from abstract to representation across his life. His book ‘I Paint What I Want To See’ is the best summary of and advice for being a painter I have ever read.
3. What medium are you working with?
I work usually on a larger scale with acrylic and oil on canvas. I work between thin and thick layers so I use a number of mediums to create different textures.
4. When you are creating art do you listen to music, and if so; what genre and/or band? and if you don’t; are there other essential items that you use?
I listen to a bit of everything. A lot of time while painting I listen to instrumental and folk music. My favourite band is Big Thief.
5. Do you make prints from your original artworks? How important is that print to you and your work?
I haven’t made prints before, but it is something I am looking in to doing in the future.
6. acrylic, watercolor, oil, gouache, ink.
What are your thoughts and ideas about these 5 different art mediums.
I work with all these mediums. When I first started making art I worked only in watercolours on small detailed watercolours. Now that I work in a very different way on canvas I like having thick textures so acrylic and oil mixed with mediums are my go to. I love the unpredictable marks paint can create and there are so many different ways to manipulate different mediums to create beautiful textures.
7. Have you exhibited your work? How important was the framing process to you?
Due to the size of my canvases I don’t put them in float frames but I stretch all of my canvases myself. I like being involved in every stage of making the painting. I would love to see them framed inside collectors homes.
8. What defines a great artwork?
When it feels like something I haven’t seen before.
9. What is your favourite genre of art? Why? and also your favourite piece of art?
I love painting and have always been drawn to it more than any other art. I love figurative painting that comes from intuition and imagination rather than references. I can’t pick a favourite artwork but some of my favourite artists are Maria Lasnig, Adam Lee, Cecily Brown, Ambera Wellman, and Joshua Hagler.
10. What is the best and most enduring advice about art you have received? Tell us by who if you can or want to?
At Art school one of my lecturers looked at my small paintings and told me it wasn’t working for them and to just make the biggest painting I could. It started a whole new way of painting for me.
11. When you are not making art, what else do you do?
I work at CCP, I see my friends, read, spend time in parks and at beaches, and go see live music.
“I don’t know what a painting is: who knows what sets off eve the desire to paint? It might be things, thoughts, memories, sensations, which have nothing to do directly with painting itself. They can come from anything and anywhere”