Each month, our Curators select an original artwork to spotlight in our Curator's Choice series. This month's selection is Complexities by Bri Custer - a similarly impressionistic landscape to last month's Choice, Tangerine Evening II. But in contrast to Ken Elliott's soft but vibrant orange and yellow piece, Complexities features a cool, coastal palette and lush texture. Read on to learn more about this framed landscape by New Hampshire-based artist Bri Custer, including why we love it so much.
What It's About
"My practice is rooted in plein air landscape painting, but even when painting directly from life, I consider it painting from memory," Bri says. "In the few seconds between looking from the landscape to the canvas, my brain has taken the light reflected by the world, translated it to electrical impulses, and formed an imperfect short-term memory of that subject... By the time a painting is finished, it is more a representation of feeling a landscape than it is a record of seeing one."
Where It Works
Complexities is mid-sized, measuring 24" x 24" and 25.25" x 25.25" framed. With a cool blue and muted violet palette and pale pink accents, we love it in a cool-toned space or a light neutral room. Because of the natural wood frame and warm undertones, it can also draw out warmer colors in a space. The size makes it a flexible piece for hanging on smaller walls - above small dressers, or on "in-between" walls that help break up the space. Plus, because it's an abstracted, almost impressionistic landscape, Complexities has appeal for abstract and more traditional artwork lovers alike.
Why We Love It
We're heading into the the last month of summer highlighting a piece that's about as quintessentially coastal as it gets. In addition to the blue palette and subtle pops of pink, we really love the way the artist has applied thick layers of paint to this piece to capture those dense, fluffy clouds over the water. The application itself almost creates a texture reminiscent of the coast - fluid in some places, gritty in others. The loose strokes accomplish precisely what the artist says she sets out to do - creates the feeling of a place. And we'd like a one way ticket there, please.
Bri Custer was born in southern New Hampshire and raised with a love of the seacoast. She received her M.Ed. in Secondary Education (2019) and B.A. in Studio Art (2014) from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently a full-time artist based in Concord, New Hampshire with her husband, Bryan and hound-lab mix, Vinny.
We paired Complexities with Queen Astrid by Jon Puzzuoli in our featured photo! See more about this porcelain sculpture here.