Fostering experimentation and awareness among her students, Olivia Britt approaches teaching as a facilitator, providing the groundwork from which students can teach themselves and one another. With a high value on one-on-one interaction, she presents specific issues and asks strategic questions, helping students find answers through both practice and discussion.
She empowers students with a logical, systematic approach to drawing and painting analogous to learning arithmetic; she breaks the creative process into concepts and skills, subtraction and division before algebra — helping students gain complete awareness of each skill separately through repetitive practice. Students are strongly encouraged to take an active role in discussion and critique in her courses. Readings and examples from Art History play an integral role in discussion and practice.
Britt views teaching as natural, enjoyable part of her studio practice in that it allows her to maintain an active dialogue with other practicing artists. Britt received an MFA in painting from the University of Washington and her BA from Dartmouth College. She has taught at the University of Washington, Kirkland Arts Center, and Alliance for the Visual Arts, NH. She has exhibited at The Henry Art Gallery, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, the Jaffe-Friede and Strauss Galleries of Dartmouth College, and AVA Art Gallery, NH. She is represented by McGowan Fine Art, Concord, NH.
I use color and form as a way to denote place. Color describes the environment of the actual place, and the forms are used as repetitious interruptions to map out the space in the work. I am concerned with how the denotation of color and form relate to the repeating circles and to the found edge. The forms are made similarly to the way the circles are made, one by one, and in response to one another. These shapes alter the original order, giving the work a new structure and balance. The reductive movements where I physically cut out forms from the paint serve as physical interruptions to further emphasize the destruction of the original plastic order. This process continues in the opposite direction by building form outward to the viewer. Essentially, I build closely staked physical planes of paint.
The meaning is in the change and movement of paint over a period of time. The element of time is directly related to the repetition found in both the circular units and the forms. These forms are inspired by independent conglomerations of shapes which exist in reality with specific function. I am drawn to these places for their prolific repetition of form, and for their awkward and demanding relationship to the landscape.
I am not interested in representing what is seen; rather, I am interested in revealing my relationship to these places, and giving form to what does not already have form. The place I am addressing is a place that exists only in the painting itself.