by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

From Nature to Paper

A nature enthusiast and artist, Sue Britt moved to San Diego from Minnesota about 14 years ago. She, her husband, and three children landed in Carmel Valley – which seems to be the perfect fit. “I like that you can get to nature easily, a canyon, an estuary, a park, a beach,” shared Sue. “The majority of my artwork is inspired by nature.” Sue enjoys exploring her creativity through reading nature books and hiking locally or throughout the country’s many National Parks.

faces_2“I try to capture the awe I feel while moving in these places,” explained Sue. “I draw when I get back from a hike. I think about what struck me most, a color, a shape, a slope of a hill. Often it is the movement of land or seasonal cycles or the fire cycle.” Using her own technique called paper tapestry, Sue creates fluid landscapes with woven and layered paper. “It is both 2D and 3D art created with hand-made papers,” Sue described. “There is an amazing array of color, texture, and luster in the papers I find. Sometimes I spend time looking for just the right paper to fit a piece of art. Other times a paper may send me back in my mind to a place I have been and inspires new art.”

Although it wasn’t until fairly recently that Sue took up art as a profession, she has been an artist her entire life. “My mother fed me art materials, created space for me to play, and encouraged exploration from an early age,” recalled Sue. “I have always used my creativity in every job I have held but I finally returned to the practice of art thanks to working through the book The Artist’s Way with a group of friends about nine years ago.” To this day, Sue meets with a group of her fellow artists to inspire new work. “We meet once a month and share our explorations,” stated Sue. “This kind of group experience challenges me to deepen my understanding of my art and to move in new directions.”

Sue shows her work at Studio 34A in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center. “My work is always up and I am usually there two days a week working on a project,” she noted. This inspired artist enjoys talking with the center’s visitors about everything from her artistic process to hiking. When asked if she had advice for budding artists, Sue answered, “If you have an inclination to make, draw, paint, or create in any way, just do it. Find a corner in your garage, find a class, find your creative friends. Make space in your life to create.”


Name: Sue Britt
Profession: Artist
Community: Carmel Valley
Hobbies & Interests: Hiking, reading, gardening
Favorite Local Spots: Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Gonzales Canyon, the beach