Artist Statement ANGELA BRITTAIN
My style is derived from lots of influences, the major one being my training in graphic design. Whenever I see the work of other artists done in a graphic style, particularly the artists of the early twentieth century, I am drawn to their compositions, colours and strong shapes.
People fascinate me but I’m not sure that I made a conscious decision to make people central to my work or if this subject chose me. One theme that runs through much of my work is the different perspectives that people have when in the same situation. For instance, some will be living the moment whilst others are lost in other thoughts or a game or dance can be relaxing or a battle of wills.
Sometimes a painting comes together quite smoothly from an initial idea but sometimes it feels as if the original thought takes on a life of its own and evolves into something quite different. When this happens I often leave it a while and come back to it later to see if I like the new direction or not.
Colour is crucial to the mood of the work and I often do five or six different colour-ways as small scamps before I decide what is working and adding value to the composition and the subject.
Although my figures are often stylised, good drawing and composition is something I am always striving to achieve in order to underpin my work with “rightness”. For this reason I fill many sketchbooks with reference material and work on sheets of tracing paper so I can reposition objects and keep going back to my original sketches as I paint. I never work directly from photographs but gather a library of individual body parts or unusual objects to help with accuracy.
My paintings are usually narrative but as they are often viewed without me present, I hope they speak for themselves and convey some of the meanings and some of the joy with which they were created.
I work in oils and acrylics and experiment with textures using unexpected mark making, layering and patterns.