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BIO

MEET THE ARTIST!

BNW ART

THE LEAWAYARTISANS

Who is BNW Art? Well, they are a small team of two fun creative minds based in Baltimore, MD: Britnie (The Artist and founder) and her assistant, who helps with some promotional content.  Leaway (originally spelled leeway) was simply a fun play on words, meaning, "freedom" to create just about anything. A variety of unique original art is offered including fluid paintings, abstract art, oil paintings, drawings, custom logo designs, t-shirt designs, beaded jewelry, darkroom photography, flyers, and a variety of other services. Please keep in mind that profanity and hurtful requests are not accepted (positive vibes are all welcome). There's a plethora of knowledge to share. If you like the work, feel free to contact or follow BNW Art on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with the latest art and updates! If something in your heart tells you to purchase work, feel free to do that too!


 


“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
-Thomas Merton
 

Mother nature oil painting on wall
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Mother Nature oil painting on wall
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Art by Britnie

Britnie Walston Artist Bio

Artist/Owner

Britnie W.

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Britnie was born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and grew up near the Chesapeake Bay. She is a Goucher College grad with a bachelor's in studio art major, and a fine and performing arts scholar. During her education at Goucher, she held internships at galleries and studied a variety of subjects including art history, curating, painting, sculpture, and independent studies. While in college, she also studied abroad in Greece where she learned about Greek art, mythology and explored historical sites. Before attending Goucher, she concentrated primarily in visual and fine arts throughout high school. This led her to earning a scholarship for the "Young People's Studio" painting class at the Maryland Institute College of Art, amongst other awards. Britnie has been a professional artist for 15 years and counting, although she has remained passionate about art since she was a very young child.

 

She first started an art business known as BNW Art (est.2009), and continuously seeks to bring joy to others through her work. In addition, she has also done a variety of freelance graphic design commissions including illustrations for "Black Dads Can" by Gregory Collins, and currently working on another children's book soon to be available. She also created a Youtube channel filled with tutorials, DIYs, and hacks. Britnie has been featured in magazines such as Chestnut Review, Sonder Midwest, Blue Mesa Review, Abstract TV Magazine, Mud Season Review, Kithe Journal, The New Southern Fugitives and many othersBritnie's work is also forthcoming in december Magazine and The Carolina Quarterly. In addition to that, she has also exhibited in multiple shows with galleries such as Towson Arts Collective, Art Enables, and Maryland Art Place.

She was also the White House Christmas Ornament Artist of 2008, followed by various other awards and honors such as Honorable Mention with Grey Cube Gallery, a Special Merit Award in Light, Space and Time Gallery's "Open" 2020 Art Exhibition, and an Artistic Excellence award from the Circle Foundation for the Arts. Britnie has also won Most Honorable Mention awards in multiple Art Show International Gallery exhibitions. Her work has also been featured in statewide shows such as Art Show International of Los Angeles, CA, in addition to being chosen as one of their permanent solo exhibition artists.

 

Overall, Britnie's work is inspired by her inner emotions of liberation (“set free”) and freedom (“being free”), daily life struggles, and the beauty of nature that surrounds us. Although Britnie enjoys pretty much anything related to art, her favorite medium is oil paint, primarily depicting the absence of human presence and self reflection. In her paintings she likes to focus on energy, vibrant abstract colors, reflection and movement of the water. In addition to landscape painting, she also works in a variety of other areas including graphic design, abstract art, drawing, as well as beaded crafts, photography, and most recently fluid painting. Some may say Britnie is a "Jack of All Trades". She loves the surprise of it all, and the creative freedom it allows.  She wants her work to inspire the viewer and bring them much happiness! Commissions are also welcome. Just ask by filling out the contact form or requesting via email! To learn more about her work and what inspires her, visit Britnie's portfolio page, and take a look at the descriptions for each piece on her images!

See Artist CV here: Artist CV

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Britnie Walston Artist Statement

Artist Statement

Britnie is a versatile Maryland based artist who captures energy through light and vibrant colors. Growing up near the Chesapeake Bay, her landscapes and abstract work as a whole, are inspired by the beauty of nature; often depicting the absence of human presence, liberation (“set free”) and freedom (“being free”).  Though her diverse range of work requires different creative processes and mediums,  they all are influenced by the same subject matter: freedom.

In her landscapes, she portrays the personality of nature through the use of exaggerated brushstrokes and abstract color. For example, using dramatic horizontal  brushstrokes for a warm analogous red, yellow, and orange sunset sky. The water may include a gradient wash of blue to turquoise with a dappling of white paint for mist to capture the crashing waves. This creates a surreal paradise for the viewer  to reflect, escape, and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us.

Britnie's abstract work consists of a variety of unconventional techniques to capture elements of color and texture. Her current body of work is created with acrylics through a method that never gives the same results twice.  One of the most used techniques in her abstract paintings, is the method of mixing individual acrylic colors, floetrol, silicone, and water followed by a blow torch. Together, the chemical reaction creates cellular forms. Britnie also achieves different results using household objects such as strainers, straws, and frosting spatulas to manipulate the design. Although this technique is methodical, it still possesses unknown mysterious results while creating exuberant energy throughout the composition.  

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Britnie Walston Artist Statement

As early as I can remember, my mother first introduced me to art. She showed me how to restore old furniture, transforming it into a new treasure to be appreciated. Learning this taught me the beauty of not only the finished result, but that the process of creation is an experience and beauty in itself. In addition, she often came home with coloring books, Crayola sketchbooks, glitter, glue, and many other sorts of craft materials. We once bought a coffee table from the thrift store, sanded, and polished it. From this experience, I was able to grasp the understanding of self-gratification and transformation, seeing things through an artist’s eyes, having the ability to see the beauty and magic in something that only seemed “normal” or invisible to others. From the moment I started, I knew that's what I wanted to do in life. From then on, I concentrated heavily on visual and fine arts from middle school to college. Most people told me how difficult it was to make a living in the art industry, but the possibilities to me seemed endless. It was my passion, and brought me happiness. 

I am a versatile Maryland based artist who captures energy through light and vibrant colors. I spent a lot of time by the ocean. I really enjoyed painting and spending time in nature; especially seascapes. When painting seascapes and landscapes, it is my way of escaping and makes me feel as though I am reliving those memories. I also enjoy painting abstract art. From a very young age, I always knew that I wanted to pursue art. As an only child, I always found myself alone drawing cartoons, making crafts, and coloring while most kids preferred to play at recess.   

Living near the Chesapeake Bay, my landscapes and abstract work as a whole, are inspired by the beauty of nature; often depicting the absence of human presence, liberation (“set free”) and freedom (“being free”). I have always been a relatively shy and quiet person, so painting is my way of communicating, and expressing my thoughts and emotions on canvas. The sense of freedom is communicated through the bold vibrant colors and inclusion of water in most of my landscape works. The absence of human presence that marks out my paintings takes on allegorical meanings. In this sense, my artworks have more than a story to tell and trigger the viewers' imagination. Though my diverse range of work requires different creative processes and mediums, they are all influenced by the same subject matter: freedom. 

Studying abroad was also a requirement for my college education, which was a very enlightening experience for me as a young artist who was still learning the world around me, trying to find my own identity when it came to creating, figuring out what inspired me, and why. Throughout my entire college career, I was challenged and encouraged to ask myself these questions as a creator. Having a solo show during my college career also influenced me and gave me the opportunity to begin thinking about what really moved me, and what I enjoyed. The answer to that was nature. Having the wonderful opportunity to study abroad in Greece also helped to broaden my knowledge more about the world around me, and learn about a new culture. While there, I was also quite intrigued by the beautiful scenery and art that I had the chance to learn about and explore on several islands. College, although challenging, also introduced me to many new techniques and materials and helped me realize what it was that I wanted to focus on as a subject matter.

In my landscapes, I portray the personality of nature through the use of exaggerated brushstrokes and abstract color. For example, using dramatic horizontal brushstrokes for a warm analogous red, yellow, and orange sunset sky. The water may include a gradient wash of blue to turquoise with a dappling of white paint for mist to capture the crashing waves. My everyday life is sometimes filled with chaos, life distractions that are out of my control. Sometimes it feels as though everything around me is busy and fast, so I paint to escape and also to recreate a surreal world that is in my mind, wish to experience in real life, and one that I can actually control. This creates a surreal paradise for the viewer to reflect, escape, and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds us.  

When painting landscapes, I usually have a reference, and sometimes combine a variety of images to form a surreal environment. Often times, especially when painting sunsets, I combine a variety of colors from my imagination. To capture realism, I use references to portray realistic elements such as rocks, how the water crashes onto the shore, and how the waves gradually form to foam as they brush against the sand. Although I am creating a surreal experience, I still aim to incorporate a realistic setting at the same time to make it believable and feel like you are truly there. The logic behind it is like a dream. When you are asleep, your mind makes up realistic elements, people, and environments. However, because you are still in an uncontrollable state of mind, there are still some abstract qualities in the dream that you wouldn’t necessarily experience or see in real life while completely conscious.

While my landscapes require a more traditional approach, my abstract work consists of a variety of unconventional techniques to capture elements of color and texture. My current body of work is created with acrylics through a method that never gives the same results twice. One of the most used techniques in my abstract paintings, is the method of mixing individual acrylic colors, floetrol, silicone, and water followed by a blow torch. Together, the chemical reaction creates cellular forms. I also achieve different results using household objects such as strainers, straws, and frosting spatulas to manipulate the design. I continued experimenting on my own and found new ways to manipulate designs. Eventually I began also using a variety of different color combinations to symbolically represent nature. Although this technique is methodical, it still possesses unknown mysterious results while creating exuberant energy throughout the composition. What I admire most about fluid painting is that the process is limitless. There is always so much to learn, as with any form of art. You can mix the colors with oil and water for a special cellular effect, or choose not to. You could use a blow torch to pop air bubbles, bringing out more of those cellular shapes, or you may choose not to. Either way, the end result is always interesting, and because of the nature of the process, you never know what it will look like in the end.

The wide range of color variations one can use, the idea of not knowing, having the freedom to make decisions throughout the process, although the painting will always speak for itself in the end. The end result is simply determined by the nature of the fluid painting process itself, and the colors flow freely. For myself, I only have complete control up to a certain point. I can mix the acrylic colors with silicone oil and water, or choose simply water. I also have the choice of how much water or how less to add to my paint, which both create a varying degree of results. The number of colors I choose to add, and even the types of combinations. Different results can even be created simply based on how much or how little the paint is mixed. There is no right or wrong way to the fluid painting technique; it just requires some knowledge of the craft and knowing what mixtures, techniques, and tools create certain results. Aiming to create a unique sense of abstract geometry, my artwork portrays the personality of nature through sapiently structured combination of intense, bright and at the same time thoughtful nuances of tones.

The tones depicted in my works depend on my particular emotion at the time of production. For example, if I am experiencing a serene mood then my paintings may include a cool color scheme with a variety of blue hues and tints of white. If I am feeling euphoric, I may depict an ocean shore with crashing waves on the rocks, followed by an abstract sunset consisting of a warm range of pink, orange, and yellow with exaggerated brushstrokes. Sometimes, if I am feeling a bit stressed and want to let go, I may even create a fluid painting which is a bit less controlled. In the end, I am still portraying the same subject matter but in a more symbolic abstract form. When I am painting, I paint a world that is the opposite of what I experience on a daily basis. My experience in the art industry continues to grow through research and self teaching.

Artist Bio and Inspiration