I am so excited to introduce you all to an amazing artist: Britteny Bennett. Britteny is well known on the island for her paintings and mixed media pieces. Britteny was also an absolute favorite of all the cruise ship tourists that came through Made in Roatan, the amazing non-profit artists co-op where I used to volunteer (read about that here.) Everyone who sees her work loves it. And everyone who meets Britteny loves her! She is absolutely charming. I got the chance to meet up with her at her studio in Sandy Bay. Her studio is an artist’s dream: perfect road visability, located near her home, light, bright, and cool. It’s amazing. Can you hear the jealousy in my voice? It really is amazing.
Britteny is a Roatan native and third generation artist. Britteny grew up watching her father and grandfather carve wood and her mother sew. When she was younger, Britteny’s mother told her stories of how the island women used to make clothing from flour sacks (just as woman in the United States used to do) which inspired Britteny to try her hand at sewing and design. Originally, she thought she wanted to be a fashion designer. She even had a runway show here on Roatan featuring 25 dresses. After attending a term of fashion school on mainland Honduras, Britteny realized that the life of a fashion designer was not for her. She returned to Roatan and began waitressing. One evening a customer invited her to a local art show at Waves of Art Gallery in West End, Roatan. There Britteny saw the works of the artist Virginia Castillo, a Roatan native. Britteny was instantly taken by Virignia’s use of fabric in her paintings.
Britteny felt so moved by Virginia’s paintings that she decided to give painting a try herself. Having never painted before, her first time putting brush to canvas she felt unsure, “I didn’t know I could do it, and when I did… I was amazed.” Britteny recalls with a smile. That was back in 2010, and two short years later this self-taught artist has painted well over 20 canvases just in her “Caribbean Ladies” series. These fabric and acrylic pieces depict a moment in the life of island women in traditional dress. each peice in the series varies in size and ranges from $30-$200 US dollars.
Britteny is a hard-working artist. She is in her studio/gallery every Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-6pm. You can visit her there or on her Facebook Page.