Lou Mitchell Courtney
Originally from North Carolina, I moved to Pensacola in 1992.
I have worked in many different mediums- painting miniatures on mother of pearl, designing & sculpting prototypes for cast furniture & accessories, painting backdrops for theatre & interior design murals, sculpting & casting small bronze figures, etc. I returned to sculpting in clay 14 years ago.
The strongest themes running through my life & current work are transformation & living life fully in spite of our fears- expecting & creating joy. Our experiences can make us stronger & more resilient if we acknowledge truths around us, value what we have, and move away from that which is unhealthy. The cannonballers encourage us to 'Jump!' - to let go of our self consciousness.
The animal head series encourages us to look for the animal spirit within ourselves & to see the interconnectedness of all living things. They are all signed, numbered & documented.
The heart rattles are small sculptures & paintings in one. Most have a message on the backside: 'Sometimes love strikes like lightning', 'Reach for the moon', ' Transformation by the power of love' , 'I'd like to be under the sea', and 'We are all snowflakes' , are but a few. The rattle sound reminds us to ‘pay attention’.
I dig & mix my clay & glazes. My kiln is electric & I fire to cone 5 (roughly 2250’ F) The process of hand building my bas-reliefs and three dimensional pieces is the reflection of an archeological dig into my inner world & observation of the natural world. My work is guided by intuition and is centered around the idea that we are constantly Becoming or Transforming, moving towards or away from something. In each moment there is the co-existence of opposites with the presence of one actively confirming the other. There is a desire for connection, to love and be loved, to bridge Heaven with Earth, to reach towards something greater than ourself. Despite my efforts to simplify, I find my pieces continue to be detailed and narrative. They have been described as feminine and strong, and each tells it's own story.