a conversation and give away with brittan/little owl arts

I love getting to know the persons behind the blogs i am reading a little bit better.To know what inspires them, what a typical day in their life looks like and so on...Some weeks ago i had a conversation with Niina/Souvenirs and this time it is with Brittan/Little owl arts. At the end of this post you can also read about how you can enter the give away where you can be the owner of one of Brittans beautiful creations.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Sure! Well, my name is Brittan, I am an artists/crafter living in New England in the seaside town of Gloucester, Ma. (which is part of Cape Ann, a peninsula on the coast north of Boston.) I live in a granite cottage in the woods with my beloved dog, Veda, and bird, Posey. I love the sea as well as the mountains, so where my house is feels like the best of both worlds being in the woods up the street from the ocean.
I love beautiful things.
One of my mentors once told me that she likes to live "the beauty way". This means she would surround herself with what she thought was beautiful, whether it was conventional or not, or to take extra steps to bring beauty into her life, like always having fresh flowers around her house and workspace. I really identify with this, a large part of my life and work incorporates what I feel is beautiful, or beauty that inspires me. I love nature, it is one of the things that most inspires me, one of my favorite things is listening to the trees rustle in the wind or hearing birdsong outside my door.

How does a typical day in Brittan's life look like? I like to wake up fairly early, I have never really been able to sleep in. I like to wake up slowly, snuggle with my dog and bird, make some tea and start organizing my mind and making a list of what needs to get done or what I would like to get done. I am a HUGE fan of list making! Next I usually feed the animals, feed myself and then take miss Veda-lou out for a good walk. I like to be outside, I am always looking for treasures... A special leaf or stone, feathers, bones- the other day I found a shed snake skin out by the wood pile! When I get back, I start working on my list. I usually have a few different things I am working on at all times, this helps keep my creative cycle from getting in a rut (because I have come to realize there is a cycle to the creative process!). So depending on what I need or want to work on, I sometimes can multi-task, like getting some silk dyed while I am working on felting, crocheting or painting. I work all throughout the day, stopping for meals or other chores, but usually until I am ready for bed I am working on things here and there. Sometimes it is hard to take time off, but it's ok because I really love what I do! Sometimes I wonder where the time goes, it seems to fly by so quickly, one of these days I am going to figure out the secret to slowing down time!

I have been following your blog for a long while and i must say that i especially love the posts of your walks in nature Brittan. what does nature mean to you? Nature is extremely important to me, it is pretty much my main source of inspiration. I have a deep connection with nature and the earth. I can remember always playing outside in the bushes making forts or climbing trees and picking wildflowers when I was younger. I went to school to study herbalism, using plants as medicine and it is more of a way of life for me than just a practice. I worked for years at a store as one of their herbalists and have spent many years as a gardener both in my own garden and working for other people. I love the organic textures and shapes that you find in nature, texture is something that I have always been fascinated with.

You are a self taught artist that enjoys working with different mediums. can you tell us a little bit of the mediums you are working the most with and why you have choosen those? Growing up I was always drawing and painting. I liked to work in acrylic and lately have moving into watercolor. For a long time I made sterling silver wire wrapped jewelry using both precious and semi-precious stones. I still do from time to time if I am inspired to create something, but in the last few years have expanded and shifted my focus into fiber art. I make crocheted necklaces and pendants using smooth beach stones and glass that I find both locally and in my adventures, I even use crystals that I get from a friend up the street who mines them locally! I also work with silk and wool, creating nuno felted scarves and things. I also like to spin yarn and needle felt... I like to incorporate nature into my work as much as possible, or use natural materials. I also like to do things myself as much as possible. I make some felted mermaids and owls where I get the wool locally, mostly from some rescued sheep in the next town over, I do all the processing which means I pick it clean, wash it, card it and then dye it before I felting into shape! It is a lot of work, but I like to have at least a few things that are 100% local and 100% handmade!

What inspires you/where do you find your inspiration? I am strongly inspired by my environment, both externally and internally. I am inspired by nature and the environment that surrounds me, but also by my home and architecture. Lately I have been really inspired by scandinavian art, architecture, the landscape and the tradition. I also love japanese art and architecture.
I love looking at textures, shapes, colors and forms out in nature and all around me. I am also inspired by people, lifestyles, animals, flowers, trees, stones, the beach and ocean, lanscapes, weather, and moments where the heart connects. I guess by life in general, especially more rustic lifestyles. However, I am also inspired by mysterious, magical things. I like fairy tales and creatures and beings of spirit, folklore or mythology.

Besides creating, what other things/activities do you enjoy? I love to swim and take walks out in beautiful places in nature, like the beach or woods, as well as car rides to see beautiful places. I love the snow, so I like to walk, snowshoe and snowboard (when I have the $ to!) in it. I love to garden, bake bread and a good cup of tea, it is like prayer, many of my teas are herbs and flowers from my garden. I also love to hoola hoop (with adult sized hoops, not those tiny ones that are kids toys), if you haven't tried it it is so much fun and a great workout!

Do you have any favourite artists yourself? There are so many artists that I love. Growing up I always loved and was inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe and Claude Monet. I was also really inspired by Salvador Dali when I was in high school. I am finding some wonderful artists lately who's work and being I am moved by, such as sheila hicks, Jill Bliss, Abigail Brown, Margaret Oomen, Cathy McMurray, Jillian Lukiwski (to name a few).

Brittan is giving away one of her lovely necklaces where you get to choose the color on the crocheting work that sourrounds the stone. The only thing you have to do is to write a comment under this post telling us what inspires you (and of course it would be nice if you stopped by Brittans blog and said hello). The give away is open until the end of this sunday and the lucky winner will be announced here on monday.

Happy weekend,

the give away is now closed!


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