It’s the third week of the month, which means it’s time for another Grantee Highlight!
One of our values at The Arts Partnership is supporting local art and the artists who make it, and one of the main ways we live that value is by awarding grants to artists in our community. Last fall, we announced our 2017-2018 Individual Arts Partnership (IAP) and Jade Presents Arts Partnership (JPAP) grantees. Every month since November, we’ve been highlighting each grantee so our readers can learn more about them and their artistic process. The featured grantee for April is painter Britt Dalice!
Britt Dalice grew up in Grand Forks, North Dakota and pursued her education in art from Concordia College and Minnesota State University Moorhead.
Her art is inspired by the beautiful colors she sees in the elements of nature and enjoys translating those colors onto the canvas “in a way that creates a multi-dimensional work for viewers to enjoy both up-close and from a distance,” her website says.
Britt received a grant from The Arts Partnership to serve as an artist-in-residence at the Red River Zoo for several days this coming June. Here are some questions Britt answered for us about her process!
TAP: Beyond other painters, what sources inspire your work?
BD: My husband and I like to take yearly “inspiration trips” where we leave for about 10 days in late summer or early fall and camp in a different scenic spot every night. Some of the more memorable places we’ve visited include Grand Teton National Park, Zion National Park, Crater Lake National Park, and both the Washington state and Oregon coastlines. During these trips, I take lots of photos of the wildlife and beautiful landscapes we come across and use them to inspire the paintings I do.
TAP: What is your daily creative work schedule?
BD: My main focus right now is my art career, so I am able to spend most of my time painting. On days when I can devote the entire day to painting, I start around 9am and choose between one of the 5-7 projects I have in various stages of completion. Then, I turn on a podcast or my music and get to work. I typically take a break to go on a walk and eat lunch around midday, and then finish working around 5pm.
TAP: What do you do when you get stuck?
BD: When I am working on a painting and I get stuck on what direction to take the piece, I find that the best thing to do is take a break. Sometimes I will end up setting the piece aside for a week or so while I devote my attention to one of my other projects. During this time, I still think about the painting I am stuck on and frequently one of my other projects gives me an idea about what direction to take the initial painting. Other times when I am stuck, I find that I just need to take a short five minute break to refocus my attention. When this happens, I put on an upbeat song and have a quick dance break!
TAP: What is the most discouraging feedback you ever got?
BD: Right at the start of my career, I ended up having a conversation with an older man I had just met. He asked me what I did for work, and I said that I was an artist. He replied, “I made some bad choices when I was younger, too” in a halfway joking, halfway serious manor. Even after showing him my work, he still attempted to convince me to “do something more productive with my time.” At the time, it hurt, but I ended up learning that the most important thing is that I have confidence in what I am doing. Everything that doesn’t help move me forward isn’t worth my attention.
What is the most encouraging feedback you ever got?
I think what has encouraged me most over the years has been the art teachers I have had. In particular, my high school art teacher was very supportive of me and my work and really helped push me to improve. She gave me a great deal of freedom to pursue projects I was interested in and encouraged me to apply for many different art competitions. It was during this time that I truly developed a love for the arts and decided that painting was something that I always wanted to be part of my life in one way or another.
Thanks for sharing, Britt! Keep an eye out for a feature from us about Britt’s residency at the zoo this summer.