The snowy canvas of winter’s white mountain landscape reflects Britten’s overall philosophy toward life and art: She begins from a “blank” place, steps into the depths and plays.
Britten has always embraced the unexpected, the mystery, the blank canvas waiting to emerge into rich, colorful expression. While many people find comfort in the known — going so far as to fear and imagine the worst in the unknown — it’s actually the unfamiliar that excites Britten. In it, she finds beauty.
“I think that’s one of the things people are drawn to — the unexpected being really beautiful,” she says. “The unknown is sometimes scary, and yet it can be so absolutely thrilling and beautiful with a different perception and with trust and comfort.”
“All I see is beauty, and that’s what I feel when I paint,” she says. “The more time (people) spend with (my paintings), there’s an evolution in perception that maybe it’s OK not to know exactly what it is. Maybe it’s OK just to feel it, because there’s something I can relate to in it.”
Lately, Britten has been embracing the unexpected even more, exploring new tools (like a kitchen spatula), new positions (throwing paint on canvases lying on the floor) and literally new colors.
“I’ve created colors I’ve never seen before by happy accident,” she says.
Her ability to trust her technical training, her intuition and her authentic being has led to an even greater excitement toward her art. As a result, she titled her winter show at C. Anthony Gallery “Extravaganza.”
“Fun is evident in my color choices and attitude toward this winter,” she says. “The more I play and the more I let go, the more free I am and the more I trust the process. The more I trust the process, the better my art is.”
Part of Britten’s exuberance this season stems from being named TedX Vail’s artist in residence for 2017. It’s an opportunity for her to talk about how beauty relates to humanity and how she’s inspired by the infinity of beauty. But, rather than simply sharing her love for viewing the world through an intentionally rose-colored-glass perception, she’ll employ math and science to explain how beauty’s natural manifestation connects humans with the infinite through the Golden Ratio, the Fibonacci Sequence and irrational numbers.
The science behind beauty explains why we gasp at a sunset, or a piece of art, and how doing so aligns us with our essence.
And that relationship, be it in Britten’s luminous abstractions or nature’s perfect order, has everything to do with opening the heart, more and more, to beauty.
“Extravaganza,” Britten’s winter show at C. Anthony Gallery, is December 29-31.
— by kimberly nicoletti
December 21, 2016