Brittany Metka lets her intuition and inner wisdom guide her with her colourful abstract paintings. She embraces the process and feels the colours as she paints; viewing any “accidental” marks made, as a moment of collaboration between herself and the painting. Abstract art allows Brittany to connect to herself and feel present. Brittany shares her creative process and art rituals with us, and talks about how she manages feelings of anxiety and moments of waiting and wanting.
I just feel each decision one step at a time and I allow the painting to tell me what it wants to be
Your work emits such a bright and positive energy, where do you find inspiration for your abstract pieces?
Thank you for saying that! That is ultimately what I hope my work does; send out light and positivity; so it makes me really happy to hear you say that!
My process is entirely intuitive, so my inspiration comes from within. I start a painting without planning and with each application of a layer or a colour, I ‘feel’ what comes next.
However, after saying that, I do find that much of my work has a connection to the ocean, beach, sun, sky, and heat. But those are all concepts that I discover after finishing a work. I typically don’t know what the painting is inspired by until it’s finished.
What does abstract art mean for you? And how has Abstract art shaped you as an Artist and as a person.
To me, abstract art is vital to my happiness! I found myself in a moment of life suppressing my creative gifts and because of it, I fell into a deep hole of depression. Once I realised that I needed to create to feel better, I kept doing so until I realised that abstract art was the best form for me to express myself. My intuitive process and throwing paint around is totally therapeutic! So, in a way, abstract art has helped me find purpose in my life.
Abstract art has made me a more thoughtful person and artist. It has helped me know myself and connect with myself on a deeper level. Abstract art has helped me understand spirituality and build self confidence. I think I could say so much more about how abstract art has been really important to my development as an adult but we’ll leave all of that for the next interview 😉
Warm Sea Breeze — Acrylic on Acrylic Sheet — 20 x 20 cm
I love how you let your intuition guide you with your art. Can you share with us how you like to work? Do you have any art rituals?
Yes! I totally have some art rituals! I’m always discovering new aspects that help, so the rituals change sometimes! I typically begin in a meditative state and I thank my ‘higher self’ for my gifts and the fact that I get to use them, enjoy them, and put them out into the world. I often ask my ‘higher self’ to work through me, and sometimes I feel it telling me what to do and other times I feel it telling me to do whatever I want, there is this interesting play between intuition and free will in my work.
In my last series, Soy del Mar // Soy del Cielo, I played a playlist I curated over and over and over again. I just couldn’t get enough of those songs and I felt the songs really transmitting their energy through me and into my painting. That playlist was vital to the creation of Soy del Mar // Soy del Cielo.
However, in my current work, I’ve tried to play that same playlist while I paint, but it just feels so off. I can tell that my new work needs a different kind of energy, so most of my current work is done in silence in fact. And I actually really like that because I’m easily distracted so the silence helps me connect with my intuition on a deeper level.
Which actually means that the accident wasn’t an accident but a strange moment of collaboration between myself and the painting.
And then almost always, when I’m painting on canvas, I will have a period uncertainty. This typically comes after an amazing period of pure, intuitive flow. But this time period could last for weeks sometimes. It’s a point in time in the painting process where I’m at a loss for what comes next in the painting. So I usually hang it on a wall somewhere where I know I’ll see it but I don’t have to really pay any attention to it. And I kind of just wait for the inspiration so to say. I think this is in part due to business in life because I find when I have more quite days with less obligations, the inspiration comes much easier!
Walk us through your creative process .. what are the different stages of your work? From initial concept to the execution of your idea.
My creative process differs a bit whether I’m creating for myself or creating for a client. Since my work is intuitive, when I’m painting for myself, I never plan but I also don’t just dive right in. I slowly step into the painting bit by bit, but I never have a colour palette in mind, nor a composition, nor an outcome. I just feel each decision one step at a time and I allow the painting to tell me what it wants to be. There have been moments where I’ve intuitively felt a colour that really shocked me and sometimes I think, ‘wow, I would have NEVER picked that colour.’ For me, that’s a great sign of success in the intuitive process! And the most important, I always obey and I never argue with it (my intuition that is).
In the middle stage of a painting, there is a lot of sitting and staring, haha. But it’s so important to say here, when I’m sitting and staring, I’m not really thinking but I’m feeling. Feeling what intuition is trying to tell me and feel what the painting itself is trying to tell me. It’s such an interesting experience but I don’t like to think my way through the possible colours and textures, I try to feel them.
Brittany in the studio creating
One other important aspect to my process developed into a funny philosophy of mine. When I have ‘accidents’ with spilling or splashing paint in a manner or spot that I didn’t intend to, I NEVER try to remove it. I believe that whatever happened in that moment, the painting was actually calling out for that mark or colour. Which actually means that the accident wasn’t an accident but a strange moment of collaboration between myself and the painting.
And then I think like most artists, I typically experience many love/hate moments with my work. I’ve learned that the ‘hate’ moments truly are my ego speaking out loudly. I’ve learned to trust the process and those ‘hate’ moments have actually decreased but if a ‘hate’ moment does arise, it typically means that the work just isn’t done yet.
My process differs a bit when I’m creating for clients because often times they do have something in mind or some feeling they desire to see in their painting. Also, my process with clients is somewhat collaborative. For me, the most important thing is that the client is totally happy with the end result, and for that reason, I show them process shots and let them chime in about what should happen next. Most of my clients aren’t artists and don’t have artistic training, which typically means that they don’t consciously know colour theory. So, if they make a comment about the colour palette, I feel that the work is still intuitive because their comment comes from a gut reaction.
When I’m creating, I am so focused and engaged that the past and future become non-existent, there is only that moment.
What materials and mediums do you like to work with? And how do you decide on your colour palette?
I love painting with acrylic paint on sheets of acrylic (plexiglass). I’ve been painting that way for the last 2.5 years. In fact, I painted solely on acrylic sheet for so long that it was very very difficult getting back into canvas. Early this year, I felt a strong pull to painting on canvas again but I went through months and months of struggling trying to re-learn how to paint on canvas. It’s so different than acrylic sheet.
Painting on an acrylic sheet is totally backwards because I paint everything in the foreground first and build up the background. On canvas it’s essentially the opposite. Also all the textures that I learned to create on acrylic sheet and fell in love with are really difficult to replicate on canvas. However, I LOVE canvas and am having so much fun essentially creating a slightly new visual language.
Painting on both surfaces has actually helped me learn about my style and who I am as an artist. I’ve recognised that I use similar colours, a lot of texture, gradients, and hard edges. These elements will show up no matter the media and so, are essentially the building blocks of my visual language.
Day Always Comes After Night — Acrylic on Acrylic Sheet — 150 x 60 cm
I learned so much through the struggle of getting back into canvas and realised the importance of challenging myself. I’ve decided recently to work on paper and in watercolour just to continue learning, growing, and pushing myself artistically.
I also love sculpture but have never really had an opportunity to work three-dimensionally, but I have a dream to one day design something sculptural with plexiglass and painting … I think about it a lot so I think the universe may have something like that in store for me!
As an intuitive artist, my colour palette is very connected to who I am. I frequently use colours I am drawn to. I love playing with balancing contrasting colours. I love vibrant and saturated colours. I love when darks contrast with lights. But as I mentioned before, I always ‘feel’ what colour comes next in a painting. Sometimes I feel a colour that my conscious mind doesn’t necessarily agree with, but I never argue with my intuition. 🙂
What is your favourite part about the art process?
I actually skipped this question, finished all of them and came back. This question has been the hardest for me to answer. I’ve really had to sit with it for a while. I think that is because as I consider one favourite part, I think of so many moments in the process that just light me up! The process of listening to my intuition is fascinating because I’ve always been an empath, but have never really understood the depth and power behind being intuitive. It’s so cool.
But then, there’s the moment when a painting is finished, and I can feel the energy and power that it evokes. That is always such a fascinating moment for me, because I don’t typically feel it’s power until the end.
However, one of the most satisfying moments for me is presenting the painting to its future owner. Their smile, happiness, and excitement is so satisfying. I paint 100% for myself. In order to reduce anxiety, to live a fulfilled life, and to honour my higher self and my creative gifts, but I put my art out into the world in hopes that it will spread light and love to others. So when another person falls in love with my art, that also brings me so much joy and satisfaction.
Brittany in the studio
How do you feel when you create art?
When I create art, I feel so fulfilled and lucky. I feel as if I already won the lottery! I love my creative gifts and I am so happy that I get to use them and put them out into the world! Having a life that allows me to create is the best!
But art is also very therapeutic for me so it makes me feel relaxed. One of my biggest struggles in life is living too much in the future and the anxiety that causes. When I’m creating, I am so focused and engaged that the past and future become non-existent, there is only that moment.
What are some of the challenges you face as an artist and how do you push past these?
All of us creatives are on our own journey! And certain problems come and go at different moments in that journey. I’m at the point now where I have such strong feelings that I am artistically ready for something bigger… what, I’m not too sure, a large mural? A project with a big brand? I don’t know what it will be but my current challenge is feeling, craving, and wanting so much that it really hurts when things that I perceive as ‘my big break’ don’t actually pan out. I am learning to trust in the timing of everything. I’m learning that continually putting myself out there and continually creating is the answer and that big thing will come. But it’s hard waiting and wanting … those aren’t always fun feelings to have to deal with. But feeling those feelings has taught me the importance of the here and now. It’s no good living in the future, we aren’t even promised tomorrow, so why not just enjoy today!
The way in which I push past this challenge is by doing a lot of meditating, journaling, and reflecting. I’ve learned to be content with everything I have right now. And I just keep creating. Honestly, I could never give up creating. It doesn’t matter if I never have any soft of big break, I’ll never quit creating because it brings me so much joy.
Just a Bit Longer // The Sun is Still Setting — Acrylic on Acrylic Sheet — 20 x 20 cm
What are your hopes and dreams as an artist?
I don’t have any problem being totally sincere here, but my biggest dream is to be like Ashley Longshore. I want to be myself but with her sort of life and influence. I dream that my art can make thousands of people happy just like hers does. I dream of being an art collector and collecting the works of up and coming young artists like she does. I dream of having a huge studio with a team of people helping me spread my light through the world. And I dream of painting for people who have lavish, colourful, and funky homes; I’ve always envisioned my art curated in a colourful, modern home with super unique and slightly flashy decor.
Anything coming up we can look out for?
Because of COVID, I had to cancel the launch of a collaboration I did with a Colombian designer. I painted two of her dresses! We still don’t have a launch planned but you can be on the lookout for that on social media. I also have 2 series out, Soy del Mar // Soy del Cielo and Amo Mis Tetas. You can find them linked in my Instagram bio or just browse my website. I’ve applied for a couple things but I’m still awaiting responses so stay tuned on my Instagram, I’m super active there! And last but not least, the canvas work I’ve been creating this year will be launched soon!
To view more of Brittany’s work:
Salto al Mar y Me Mojo Las Alas — Acrylic on Acrylic Sheet — 85 x 24 cm