Painting the Veil of Memory. Western Avenue Studio: 578
Following the Figure
Through the twists and turns of time, Britt has pursued figure drawing in many forms, from game characters to fine art portraits.
Britt: I grew up in Michigan, the son of a physicist and grandson of a fashion illustrator. As a child to my early twenties I focused more on music and guitar, eventually moving out to Los Angeles with the dream of becoming a session musician. Early in Los Angeles I fell back into art with the thought of pursuing graphic design as a practical career option. Over the period of a year, this transitioned into a love of figure drawing where I met fellow attendees who worked for video game developers or movie companies such as Dreamworks or Disney. Realizing this was a possibility, I developed my figure drawing skill and applied to various game companies, eventually landing a job as the first ever intern at Blizzard Entertainment in Irvine, California. While at Blizzard I learned the skills to transition into a full time artist position at SONY which led to a career as an artist in video game development with games such as Warcraft III, Diablo II expansion pack, WALLE, Rockband Greenday, Empire Earth III, DeBlob and many others.
As I worked in game development, I was constantly developing my art skills on the side through classes at night and the weekend. I gradually found my passion for oil painting and pursued that as a weekend warrior, going to landscape painting and figure painting sessions. Seven years after moving to Massachusetts I landed a full time position as a professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute where I taught for 7 years. While there I learned it would be to my benefit to get an MFA if I wanted to have a long and stable career in academia. In 2012 I signed on for a two year MFA at Lesley University where I took my painting and drawing training and focused it into learning to make a personal statement.
Evocative & Atmospheric
Britt’s current work is in large scale paintings with a focus on the figure. His technique calls on memory and emotion, creating a sense of a story half-heard, or a meaning half-understood.
Britt: I hope that people can relate to the way I portray things and find some level of inspiration to bring to their own practice or lives.
Thoughts I have for other artists are to be open to learning from others, but balance that with an understanding that you will have your own unique approach with your own strengths and weaknesses. You are not your teachers and will have your own things to say. One of the most helpful pieces of advice I ever got was when a fellow painter observed me painting and commented on how tall I am and how I making small paintings. As soon as I took that into account and changed my canvas size, brush size and approach it started to fall together.
Similarly, this same painter expressed that she didn’t connect with the painter I was showing her that inspired me. This reinforced in me that no artist is infallible and ultimately quality is in the mind of each individual audience member. If your personal way of approaching art requires great and widely recognized technique then fantastic! If your honest statement and temperament means a simpler and perhaps messier visual mark then equally great!
Keep it honest and make the work you want to make regardless of whether it has mass appreciation is my best advice.
“Keep it honest and make the work you want to make.”
I am currently represented through Maybaum Gallery in San Francisco, CA and am just starting to show at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. I’ve shown in many galleries such as Arcadia Contemporary, Meyer Gallery, J. Cacciolla Gallery and have had the great fortune of having my work featured in magazines such as Southwest Art, American Art Collector and others. Presently I am 7 years into showing my work in galleries and working hard to establish myself and move the ball forward.