“How do you do that?” people always ask me.They wonder how I can capture the light in my paintings. My artistically generic answer is “layers”. Yet, “layers” is literally a multi-tiered answer. The first level is: I build layers of paint and metal to create windows for the light to play in. The second level is: I build an experience as I paint that is documented along the way as a path of light. The third level is: I paint from a place that is beyond all the layers of existence so the layers take on a new perspective and are seen in a new light. The answer, layers, works for all levels of thinking. And for me personally, while I contemplate the layers of my paintings, I am learning about myself.

As I look back on the last month of my life, I can see that I have pealed away many layers, exposed some raw colors, and added some new sparkles of potential. I see the same in my latest paintings. Drawing awareness from my subconscious, I can see the importance of the changes I have experienced and how these changes will probably affect my paintings in the future. Just as every layer of paint affects the final painting, every layer of experience affects who I am. Something so mundane as moving homes has changed the reflection of myself. Pealing away an old routine, has changed how I move through new experiences. The smallest change, such as running a new path, has sent ripples through my art and life. I can see every emotion I have felt lately if I anonymously look at my latest colors and composition. I also know they are reflecting exactly what I need to see at this moment as they mirror me as a viewer. The layers begin to play.

I paint in a moment filled with whatever is currently swirling through me. I stand back and view a painting with whatever eyes the current moment has opened. I revisit the painting with awareness of the layers and question what is packed in there. The layers are actually what give a painting life and create depth. Every experience, regardless of its conscious value, creates a layer to build the next. Every choice builds a platform for another choice to be made. Every movement determines how the next movement will be made. Every thought builds on itself… So yes the layers are important and all intricately connected to the light. As the light bounces from an interference base coat, to a silver leaf reflection, to a satin resin finish, it does not discriminate. It naturally illuminates the layers.

When I paint I do not think about all the changes in my life, or all the layers of experience I have accumulated; I simply play with light. I paint from a place of harmony and pure beauty, where all the layers melt together. I feel the wholeness of a bigger picture or the grandness of life. The final layer is… that while all the layers matter immensely as I am building them, they ultimately blend together in light. The light is not actually captured or separate from the layers. It is all the layers… and so am I.


Creatively, Britten