Brittany Atkinson is known for her unique women portraiture style full of whimsy and bright colors. Romantic and cheerful, her work is widely known and collected by people all around the world. Her Instagram following is growing rapidly and deservingly so!
A full-time mom, a working artist, and a small business owner, she keeps the balance in her life with impressively and contagiously positive energy.
We got a hold of Brittany and asked her about her life, work, influences, and inspiration.
Q: On your website, you are talking about the women that influenced you since childhood. Particularly, your grandmothers. Can you expand on this influence and/or maybe tell us a couple of stories that stood out for you?
Brittany Atkinson: Growing up I was very close to my maternal grandmother, Trudy (Mimi). As a small child, we would sit at the kitchen table and make up stories, usually about our favorite character Peter Cotton Tail. She would write down our ideas and then draw the stories into life making our own little storybook. We would then pour a cup of chamomile tea and sit on the sofa to read it together. I was always fascinated with her creativity and drawing ability.
Once I was old enough she encouraged me to start drawing the pictures for our books. She helped guide me through my stick figures to more “realistic” characters. She saw how much I loved drawing and encouraged me to follow a creative path in life. She influenced my desire to paint women.
My Fraternal grandmother, Barbara (Nana) was an incredibly talented artist as well. She had an art room where she spent hours upon hours creating the most beautiful works of art that she would typically give to the family.
She would often take a break to play classical piano and then have a stroll with my grandfather around the canal in Cape Cod, Massaassachustes.
Nana was a woman of many hats; big hats, small hats, colorful hats, and muted hats.
She wore them any chance she could get, and boy was she beautiful in them. Much of my work, which includes women in hats is deeply inspired by my Nana.
Development as an artist
Q: Every artist is going through stages of evolution in terms of styles, subjects, mediums, etc. Could you, please, tell us about your journey? How did your current style emerge and what stages you went through?
Brittany Atkinson: I have always been fascinated by the human face and form. I have old sketchbooks filled with portrait and figure drawings from childhood and adolescence. When I was in high school I would create little storybooks for my friends showing their dream crush falling madly in love with them. I would pass these in the halls between classes in hopes to keep their dreams of young love alive.
I myself was a hopeless romantic heavily influenced by the words of Shakespeare and the beauty of Picasso and Dali’s modern art. Later, I attend college where I took several art courses.
I kept drawing and painting throughout college, but once I had to join the “real world” my creative side took a backseat. It wasn’t until a year after my second son was born that I picked back up a paintbrush.
As a mother and wife, it was easy for me to lose myself in my family as I love them all dearly, but something was missing. I was missing a deeper connection to the little girl inside of me, full of wonder, unafraid, and with so much love to pour out onto the canvas.
Now, two years later I own a small art business and I am able to share my inspiration with others.
An artist mom
Q: What is it like to be a full-time mom and a working artist?
Brittany Atkinson: You know, it’s only hard when I allow it to be, and that all comes down to my perspective. I have to be disciplined with my time to make creation possible.
When I do that, I am not fumbling for time alone from my children and then resentful when I don’t get it. It’s a balance filled with discipline, flexibility, and grace.
I want my children to see me do something I love while also caring for them as a present parent.
It’s my intention to show them, through my actions, that you can do anything you want, even when you have several other obligations as long as you plan ahead.
The sacred moment
Q: What was/is the biggest excitement in your life? And did you paint it?
Brittany Atkinson: Yes! About a year and a half ago I had a spiritual awakening…it was an unbelievably beautiful experience that brought me to my knees. I painted it right away.
I don’t know that I’ll ever share it publicly because it is so personal, but I love that I have a tangible memory of that day.
Outlook on life
Q: Please, finish these sentences:
I will always… be grateful for everything I have.
I will never… say never.
I’m grateful… for my health, my family, all the women who have touched my life, and my home studio.
I dream about… traveling throughout Europe and seeing so many of the masters’ works.
You can find Brittany Atkinson online
Official website: brittanyatkinsonart.com