Artist Spotlight :: Corey Moortgat


Welcome! Every Tuesday and Thursday Tonia Jenny, the 21 SECRETS Creative Director & Course Manager, interviews one of the talented teachers in our 21 SECRETS program for an Artist Spotlight.

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Hello, Creative Explorer!

21 SECRETS Face Time opens in 18 days!

I originally met Corey way back when, when we worked together in a picture framing shop and art-supply store. We had much in common and were close friends for many years. (People also often commented that we must be sisters because our faces looked similar!) We reconnected in the last couple years through Instagram and I knew when I saw the work Corey was doing with portraits, she’d be a great teacher for Face Time as I always remembered her as someone who put her heart into whatever she did.

Corey’s lesson, Prismatic Portraiture has already taught me some super-cool digital techniques to try with my photos and I know you’re going to love learning her fun approach to portraits, too. But until the fun begins April 1, you can spend a few moments here getting to know more about her.

How have your creative pursuits morphed or changed over the years?

I’ve always done art in one form or another, ever since childhood. “Mom, what can I make?” was a question I asked frequently. My mediums have changed through the years, from pencils to paints, to collage, to mixed media, but my most current creative ventures have brought me full circle back to my paints and my brushes. Life circumstances (the loss of my husband’s job) pushed me to pick them back up and build a business for myself. I’ve been painting portraits of people and pets for the last couple years, and have rediscovered my passion for pushing paint across canvas. Additionally, getting back into a more artistic mind-frame has inspired me to push myself further and begin exploring new techniques and ideas. I can’t wait to see where this newest journey of mine will take me!

Is there a certain new-to-you material that you just can’t get enough of?

About a year ago, an artist friend sent me some colored pencils. I hadn’t used colored pencils since probably high school and hadn’t even considered them since. However, I gave them a try and wow! I was able to do some beautiful portraits with them! I’m not sure why they’d never been on my radar as an art material, but it’s great having that option now if I want to do a realistic drawing. I still haven’t quite decided whether I want to combine them with my paintings in any form, but I guess that’s a definite possibility at some point in the future!

What do you wish you gave yourself more time to explore?

As mentioned above, a great majority of my artistic endeavors lately have revolved around earning money for my family by painting portraits. However, when I don’t have commissions lined up, I’m trying my best to let myself really explore. Now that I’ve begun painting again, I’m itching to really delve in and see what comes out. My mind is swirling with inspiration and ideas, but time and adulting make it difficult to really let go very often!

If we were lucky enough to see your workshop’s “outtakes” or “bloopers” video, what would be the scene?

Oh dear, well, preparing for this workshop has certainly been a learning experience, as I’ve never done video-editing nor online teaching before. My biggest blooper was spending an hour painting the beginnings of my piece, only to find out after I was done that the phone hadn’t been set to landscape mode, and thus the quality was terrible because it had been reduced so much. I spent a good deal of time online seeing if I could rectify the situation, only to decide it wasn’t worth all the technical effort, and would be smarter to just start over and redo the painting and video. So, with that said, is there anyone out there who’d be interested in purchasing a half-done portrait of my daughter that had to be scrapped? LOL

What is your life mantra?

My family has had some extremely hard luck over the past couple of years—the loss of my husband’s job as well as some serious medical issues with all three of my children. But I honestly am a firm believe that things happen for a reason. These tough situations have pushed me in ways I didn’t know I was capable—both artistically and personally—and they’ve pushed the members of my family as well. In ten years, we’ll be in a place none of us probably would have expected if you’d asked us two years ago, and I truly believe that’s a good thing, even though at times, I can get pretty impatient not knowing what our future holds!!

I can relate to Corey’s mishap with portrait mode vs. landscape mode for video, can you?

I can’t tell you how long it took me to remember to turn my phone for video! Luckily she figured that out (and much more! Go, Corey!) and I know you’re going to love her fun and colorful techniques for creating portraits.

💜 Tonia

About Corey

Corey Moortgat is a life-long artist who’s delved into a variety of different art mediums through the years. From paints and pencils to mixed-media and photography, she’s done it all. Most recently, she’s fallen back in love with good, old-fashioned acrylic paints, and currently does commissioned portraits for clients across the country. Although she excels at realism, she loves to mix things up with fun and funky colors whenever she can!


Corey is teaching Prismatic Portraiture in 21 SECRETS Face Time

Have a blast with color in this creative portraiture class! Using acrylic paints and inspiration from free photo-editing software, portrait artist Corey Moortgat will help you transform standard photos into fun, colorful, completely original works of art!

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