One Day in the Studio: Courtney Senior

Posted by Elizaveta Zhurkovskaya on

Courtney Senior is a self-taught abstract artist located in Toronto, Canada. Ever since I was a little kid, I would immerse myself in creative activities - from colouring and drawing to painting and writing. Despite my passion for anything creative and colourful, as I got older it took a backseat to other things. She uses colour, depth, and movement to evoke positive energy through her work. We interviewed Courtney to learn more about her practice, inspirations, and what she is working on today.


1. How does your creative day look like and what inspires you to make art? Has your creative day changed due to Covid-19?

I am not a full-time artist so my creative days, at least when it comes to actually painting, are limited to weekends. This is actually a perfect cadence for me because I find that by the time the weekend rolls around, I am ready to put my heart and soul into painting. I have always feared how painting every day would impact my ability to create. Would I lose my creative mojo? Would I still enjoy it? Weekends are my creative solace. I wake up at the crack of dawn and paint right through until dinner. My biggest inspiration for creating art comes from the pure calm and joy of entering flow state. It’s safe to say I never paint while angry or frustrated, which I think translates to my work. Every detail on the canvas is a mark of my positive energy from that day.

During COVID, I definitely had a few creative lulls. For the first couple of months, I found it difficult to find motivation. When I am lacking positive energy, I don’t bother painting because I know the outcome will be a lot of wasted canvas and paint. However, when it comes to being an artist, perseverance is key. I continued dipping my toe into creative sessions until I felt the drive to create consistently.

2. Tell us more about your art studio.

I paint out of my city condo. During the week it’s my office space and on the weekend, it is transformed into my studio. I actually paint on a flat surface rather than an easel which works well for this space, otherwise, I think there would be paint everywhere. My condo must be clean and tidy before I start creating or I feel on edge. This might seem ironic given that I paint abstract, a very free flowing and often messy form of art.



3. How did you first get interested in your medium?

I dabbled in oil and acrylic at the very beginning of my artistic career, but I found acrylics to be much easier to work with. I don’t have the patience to let oil dry. I actually found fluid acrylics after realizing I needed a different medium to get the effect I wanted using various silicone wedges.

4. Describe your style in one sentence.

Art wedge abstract.

5. Has your style changed over time?

Definitely. I find my style evolves month over month. I am constantly trying new techniques and

tools to add fresh layers, textures and movement to my pieces.

6. What are your main artistic tools?

I’m a minimalist when it comes to tools of the trade and only use silicone catalyst wedges and acrylics.

7. Do you ever experience creativity blocks and how do you stay positive and inspired?  

I have had two or three major creative funks over the last 5 years. I pushed myself too hard for months on end, focused way too much on the business side of art and forgot why I enjoyed painting in the first place; pure unadulterated joy. Getting out of a creative slump does not happen overnight. The first thing I did was a take a nice long guilt-free break. I didn’t pick up a paint brush or try to force my creativity. Instead, I spent time enjoying the creative works of the vast artist community on social media and online galleries. I also did a lot of sketches and journaling with the goal to achieve nothing. I would draw buildings or scribble a landscape just to see how I was feeling. Eventually my creative juices came back full throttle.



8. Do you think the art world has changed or will be changing due to the pandemic? If yes, how?

I think a lot of artists found new sources of inspiration during the pandemic and a lot of non-artists found their inner artist. I think we have already seen incredible evolvement from artists within our community this year and I think it will continue to develop. I also think we will see a stream of new emerging artists. There are so many people that used art as a coping mechanism during the pandemic and I am willing to bet many of them found a talent they didn’t realize they had.

9. What project are you working on right now? What would you like to do next?

I have just started dabbling in a new set of tools and mediums that are giving my work a new layer of dimension. I am still in the beginning stages, but I am excited to see how it will develop.

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