Britten, an artist beloved in the Vail Valley and beyond, is not merely the painter of the canvas. She is the paint, too: layered, textured, revealed. The long-time resident artist of C. Anthony Gallery in Beaver Creek continues to create multi-faceted, intriguing artwork that invites her audience to come in and get close. This summer, her show at C. Anthony will focus on light, something that has been an important aspect of all of her work. “Lately, I feel like it’s something very important to share because light illuminates possibilities,” she says. “Light brings playfulness, which can change our perception. Or light can guide us in the darkness. And light is inherent, or intrinsic, in humanity. Sometimes we forget that, that we are light. It has the potential to connect us all.
For Britten, light is vibration, a state of being, and an emotion. Expect the exhibit to be both powerful and uplifting — as is her entire body of work. From the effervescence of optimism in “Souffle… delicately light,” to the vibrant, sensual presence of “Realize… the origin of perception,” she continues to produce deeply personal work that resonates with others. “I build layers in paint, just as we build layers of life experience,” she says. “Something new emerges in every painting and that leads to the next, just as something new emerges every moment we live and carries us forward.” “Realize” is about an “aha moment,” something Britten has had a lot of — that moment when something becomes clear, when an idea goes from possibility to reality. The painting seems to vibrate with tension and release. It is hypnotically sensual. “If you look at it, it almost has a voice,” muses the artist. “It’s almost as if it’s communicating, or has a sound.
It’s maybe the voice of my heart or my higher self, connecting the dots.” And while part of that connecting of dots comes from the actual process of painting with a wide-open heart, it also comes from her faith in her intuition, both human and artistic. Because she recognizes that something greater is at work, she is able to trust the decisions her heart — rather than her head — leads her to. “That’s the mystery. Sometimes I can’t explain why I paint what I paint or do what I do… Something greater is at work and I’m just not aware of the grand design yet. But every brushstroke adds up to the finished piece, to the ‘Blueprint,’” she says, referencing another of her new works. And though her work is intensely personal, it’s also communal. Its staying power is tied intrinsically with its connection to the human spirit and the horizon of possibility. And, of course, Britten’s own commitment to holding herself open — and vulnerable — to what the world has to teach. It’s a conscious choice. “Allowing change, expanding my heart, learning important lessons, gratitude, wonder and, of course, my reoccurring theme of infinite possibilities and creativity,” she said. “But that’s just my reflection in it; everyone’s reflection is different.”
– Kim Fuller