Designed Oil on Canvas

The beautiful art of Britt Richie fills the walls of the Speck Gallery during the month of July at the Harrison Center. Her artwork is called “Designed Oil on Canvas”, and though this title implies that her work is carefully planned in advance, each piece also gives a very intuitive feel. Maybe this is due to the way that the layers of paint and imagery play together on the canvas. The artist, via her website, describes her work as being an “expression of color through layers of graphical elements and botanical impressions”. Somehow, in spite of the combining of such  unrelated elements, the result of these pieces is that they create a very joyful and relaxing vibe. 


One of my favorite pieces is called “Two”, and it seems to serve as a composite of techniques and themes that Britt uses in this collection. Lovely, almost impressionistic flowers co-exist with super graphic numbers (think Robert Indiana) with circular stencils creating a peek-a-boo effect between the layers.  Britt’s pieces are compositions of flower and feather shapes stenciled over layers of color and graphics. The use of silhouettes, stencils, traditional and abstract painting styles and even graffiti mark-making converge to result in this bright and expressive collection. 


Interestingly enough, in spite of the various themes and styles juxtaposed in each of these works, when I take a fleeting glance around the gallery, I am inclined to call this a show of botanicals. I am personally a fan of botanical imagery and of the old fashioned gardens where my grandma used to grow our favorite flowers. I appreciate that while this makes me feel as peaceful as if I were sitting in grandma’s garden, I also get to enjoy a twist on the typical garden landscape. And in spite of the modern, graphic twist, Britt has still captured the personality of the flowers that so many of us associate so fondly with our experience of the Hoosier landscape. 

Visit this show here between 9:00 and 5:00 Monday through Friday during the month of July.