Emerging Artists | Britt Snyder

Snapshots in time

Britt Snyder, Cup, oil, 21 x 30.

Britt Snyder, Cup, oil, 21 x 30.

This story was featured in the October 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Before he started graduate studies in fine art, Britt Snyder says, he was what you’d call a Sunday painter. Snyder, who worked as a commercial artist for 14 years, started painting 10 years ago on a casual basis—a portrait here, a plein-air landscape there. But he wanted to explore painting on a deeper level, and earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting presented that opportunity. “I really just buried myself, built a body of work, and painted all of the time,” he says. “I used the experience during my master’s program to actually say something with my painting and take it more seriously than I had been.”

Snyder is saying a lot with his figure paintings these days. His painting RED snagged the grand prize in The Artist’s Magazine’s all-media art competition this year, and he recently put final touches on a new body of work for gallery exhibits this fall.

“I try to paint paintings I would like,” says Snyder, who often chooses tonalist colors that reflect New England’s rainy-day palette. The artist lives in Northborough, MA, with his wife and daughter, who often star in his paintings. “One of the things I do with my work is—when I’m finished, or almost finished with it—I’ll put it up in my house,” he says. “I want my work to make a positive impact, and when I put it up there [on the wall], it gives me time to ask questions about it before I send it out to the world.”

Snyder paints from life, photographs, sketches, or any combination of those. “With any image I’m looking at, whether it’s a reference photo or someone in front of me, I always want to get a story,” he says. He doesn’t want his representational works to look like paintings, exactly, but more like snapshots in time. “I want them to look alive,” he says. “I’ve always loved portrait paintings by artists like Rembrandt, where you can really get a sense of who that person was, and they have so much life in them. That’s what’s really interesting to me as a painter.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Meyer Gallery, Park City, UT; Abend Gallery, Denver, CO; Smash Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

This story was featured in the October 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  October 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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