Artist Spotlight Series: Courtney Khail

The Southern C Summit is such a wonderful place to meet talented artists and entrepreneurs.  

This latest Artist Spotlight Feature is one to watch whom I met at Sea Island this year. 

Enjoy getting to know

Courtney Khail

Atlanta, Georgia


What is your training? please send a fav pic of you

I studied visual arts for eight years at Davidson Fine Arts in Augusta, Georgia (where I’m originally from) before going on to earn my Bachelors of Fine Arts in Scientific Illustration from The University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. I also studied painting, photography, and art history in Cortona, Italy.

What inspires you and your designs?

There is a Frank Lloyd Wright quote in my studio that reads  “study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” If I’m ever searching for inspiration, I take that advice to heart and get outside.

I also gain a lot of inspiration through travel, memories, dreams, and stories.

What is your favorite piece?

I don’t think I can pick just one! I do really love “Amethyst and Emerald” and “Victoria” though, as well as my most recent black and white mural. 

How has your area influenced your work?

I live on the eastside of Atlanta in a relaxed, eclectic neighborhood. Despite being minutes from the city center, it has a very small town vibe. Nothing is too rushed or hectic, which I adore. 

I paint similarly to that as well- very relaxed and unhurried. Watercolors can’t be rushed or they become “muddy,” so patience is essential. I just have to chill out and take my time! 

What is your favorite restaurant in Atlanta?

I love Sun In My Belly. The food is delicious and the cozy, laid back atmosphere is incredibly welcoming.

What is your favorite cocktail?

Bourbon and ginger with lime


How do you balance personal life and work?

My mind rarely shuts off (I’m always collecting inspiration, sketching ideas, etc.) but I do my best to “close up shop” by 6p on the weekdays and try not to work on the weekends. Of course there are always exceptions, but this helps me draw a line between “studio/work time” and “personal time” so my brain can recharge and I can be fully present in whatever I’m doing. 

Dream trip?

I would love to spend three to four weeks traveling and hiking around New Zealand

Dream commission?

It would be very exciting to create a piece for Lady Gaga

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

Either a batch of homemade cookies or my lemon pound cake.

Who is your style icon?

I really like Olivia Palermo’s style.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

I really enjoy Karen Appleton’s floral box series. She’s a fellow Atlantan that paints flowers inside these clear boxes (usually tied with a beautiful ribbon) and they have such depth! I could stare at them all day.

What is your most treasured possession?

Assuming my dog doesn’t count, then it’s a toss up between my wedding ring and a letter my grandmother wrote encouraging me to follow my heart and pursue art full time. 

What are you reading?

I recently finished All The Light We Cannot See (by Anthony Doerr)

and Southern Lady Code (by Helen Ellis). If you like historical fiction and want a good cry, read the first one- it was heartbreaking and beautiful all at once. If you’re a Southern woman and want a good laugh, definitely check out the second.

What are you listening to?

Sam Cooke,

Billie Eillish, We Were Promised Jetpacks, The Wood Brothers, Big Boi, Ella Mai, Brandi Carlile… pretty much a little bit of everything.

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Dwell Magazine is my favorite, but I also enjoy Garden & Gun, House Beautiful, The Jealous Curator, The Art Gorgeous, and Vanity Fair.

Be sure to follow Courtney Khail on her website and Instagram

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