There was no question Brit Hansen was going to make a career out of art, but it took some exploration and excavation to find her unique style––one that makes her heart sing.

A fourth-generation artist, Brit studied fine art in college where she also found her way to block printing. She fell in love with the craft, but for many years it remained a creative outlet. Following college, Brit worked as a professional photographer for many years, but then, life intervened. She was pregnant with her first child and assigned to bed rest. The unexpected turn, however, led Brit to a form of art that was deeply fulfilling to her.

It started slowly. She first found her way back to carving block prints and realized how much she had missed the carving process. She continued carving and experimenting––excavating her heart’s calling layer by layer. Eventually, Brit developed a unique style that involved layering paints and then meticulously carving them back to reveal the design.

The result is art that is rich with texture, color and an elegant interplay between light and shadow. And Brit is looking forward to being able to demonstrate her process at the show.

Read on to learn more about Brit and her art form.
brit hansen carved art      brit hansen carved art       brit hansen carved art

How long have you been a professional artist?

I have worked as a professional artist since 2011. First, I was a photographer, then a block printer and now I carve. Those mediums might seem unconnected but each one evolved for me into the next.

What attracted you to art?

I love color and creating artworks that are vibrant but still bring a sense of peace. I don’t think I could fight being an artist, it is in my blood and I have to create to keep my mind and heart happy.

How did you cultivate your style of carved artwork?

I fell in love with block printing in college but only did it as a creative outlet occasionally until I was on bed rest with my first child. It wasn’t until then that I started to develop a style and discover what I really wanted to create. Once I started carving block prints and sketching every day I realized I loved the carving process the most and didn’t enjoy printing. That is when I started experimenting with carving various materials. I knew I wanted to create one-of-a-kind originals with color and texture so I tried carving wood, wax, and clay but paint gave me the look and durability I really wanted. So, I experimented with layering paint and carving it for years and developed my style of textured art which is ever evolving.

Can you briefly describe your unique technique?

I start with doing a full-color sketch and have to decide what colors I want to use, what order they will be layered, and what thickness each color needs to be depending on the texture I plan to give it. Some artworks take weeks of planning. Once I have answered all those questions, I brush one to three layers of acrylic paint onto a wood panel for four to eight weeks until all of the colors I want for the design are coated onto the panel. The deeper I carve with my hand tools, the more I reveal a different color. It’s a reductive process and I like to think of it as excavating my design from the layers of paint.

What is the most rewarding thing about your work?

I love creating art that makes people happy and brings beauty to their space. When the light casts across the work and shows how much depth there is to the carving, it makes people stop and take a closer look. I love that it makes people slow down and soak in what they are seeing.

What is the most challenging?

Creating my artwork is a slow process. Even the smallest artwork takes at least a month to create.

Has your work evolved over the years?

It has evolved and gone through stages. I think each year I spend more time on the details and refining a carving to give it more colors and textures. I also go through stages of different designs and animals I like to carve. Right now I’m loving carving butterflies and moths and have quite a few to exhibit at the show. I have always loved desert cacti, flowers and plants which have been a constant in my art.

Is there a particular piece you’re excited to introduce at the Celebration of Fine Art?

I have a few but one I’m most excited about is an artwork I will be completing during the Celebration. Attendees will be able to see me working on it. It is a 48″x 48″ San Pedro cactus with over four gallons of paint layered. I will be carving away on it until it is complete and it will be a beauty of towering cacti covered in pale pink flowers. I love getting to show my process and attendees will get to see the evolution of the artwork.

What drew you to the Celebration of Fine Art?

I am excited to be able to work and share my process with patrons. I love doing weekend festivals and talking to people about my process but it makes a big impact when you get to see the process instead. Plus, being around so many talented artists and the inspiration, I know I will gain from being at the Celebration.