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Bri Custer Artist Biography
Bri Custer is a full-time artist from New Hampshire, US. She received her B.A. in Studio Art (2014) and M.Ed. in Secondary Education (2019) at the University of New Hampshire, and has shown regionally in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Bri’s work has been featured in Pikchur Magazine and on the cover of PORTsmith Magazine. Bri spent time as an art educator before becoming a full-time artist. In 2020, Bri founded The Non-Toxic Crit Group, a virtual critique group aimed at helping artists dive deeper into their work and build community.
Human memory is unreliable. Our brains can create false or skewed memories, and even block them out altogether in instances of trauma or extreme stress. As someone who has experienced this phenomenon, I have a deep curiosity about the way my brain serves and hinders me, both in life and in painting.
My practice is rooted in plein air landscape painting, but even when painting directly from life, I consider it painting from memory. In the few seconds between looking from the landscape to the canvas, my brain has taken the light reflected by the world, translated it to electrical impulses, and formed an imperfect short-term memory of that subject. Some artists use measurements and tools to close the gap between memory and reality, but I’m more interested in exploiting it. I use the lapses that occur between observing my subject and marking my canvas as opportunities to invent color and space. I relish the opportunity to lay down a wildly bold pink or exaggerate a slant of light to the point of distortion. By the time a painting is finished, it is more a representation of feeling a landscape, than it is a record of seeing one.