About Bri Custer
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.
"Human memory is unreliable," Bri says. "Our brains can create false or skewed memories, and even block them out altogether in instances of trauma or extreme stress. As someone who has experienced this phenomenon, I have a deep curiosity about the way my brain serves and hinders me, both in life and in painting.
"My practice is rooted in plein air landscape painting, but even when painting directly from life, I consider it painting from memory. 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. Some artists use measurements and tools to close the gap between memory and reality, but I’m more interested in exploiting it. I use the lapses that occur between observing my subject and marking my canvas as opportunities to invent color and space. I relish the opportunity to lay down a wildly bold pink or exaggerate a slant of light to the point of distortion. By the time a painting is finished, it is more a representation of feeling a landscape than it is a record of seeing one."