Local artist’s library showcase commemorates Coast to Crest Trail

Sue Britt
(Artist Sue Britt)

Twenty pieces of art by Sue Britt, inspired by the Coast to Crest trail, are on display at the Carlsbad City Library through Jan. 18.

“Two years ago when I turned 60 I decided I wanted to do a long-term project of really just spending time in a particular place to do art about,” said Britt, who lives in Carmel Valley. “I had done that a little bit in the Grand Canyon, I had done an art residency there for three weeks. That’s how I started feeling like an artist.”

"Tumbleweed Surprise" by Sue Britt
(Sue Britt)

The 20 pieces focus on the trail system, starting at Dog Beach in Del Mar and going up to Volcan Mountain. Her work uses a technique that she developed, paper tapestry, with foam board and decorative papers.

“When I started with paper, I was doing things like art books and boxes,” said Britt, who is from Wisconsin and studied architecture at the University of Minnesota. “I had a group that was going through a book called ‘Artist’s Way’ which is a 12-week series of exercises to develop your creativity, kind of discover what you love to do in the form of art, and I was doing that with friends.”

Britt started doing creative exercises such as putting two opposing ideas together, and decided to do some collage on cardboard.

“It was just messing around,” she added. “To me, that’s where a lot of new things come out of, just play and not expect anything to turn out or be of any value. What came out of it was not really what I do today, but it suggested doing landscapes and it suggested weaving. And that’s really where this technique that I call paper tapestry started, is weaving paper together. Over time it’s changed.”

Britt wrote in her artist statement for the showcase that she worked from memory after hiking the trail extensively. She added that it was “easy to see something new every time.”

“What I’d really like people to see is the really amazing number of forms out in the landscape just right here locally in San Diego,” Britt said. “It doesn’t take much to find really interesting landscapes, and there are a whole set of trails. I really hope people will go out and explore that set of trails along the San Dieguito River.”

The Carlsbad City Library is located at 1775 Dove Lane. For more information, visit papertapestry.net.