Montauk’s John Britton discusses his Dan’s cover debut

This week we have another first time Dan’s papers cover artist: painter, sculptor, musician and president of the Montauk Skatepark Coalition, John Britton. Here, he discusses his October 14, 2022 cover, “Tractor at Amber Waves,” and his passion for capturing the scenic beauty of the East End.

John Breton

Interview with artist John Britton

What inspired you to paint “Tractor at Amber Waves” and was it done outdoors (on location outdoors) or in your studio?

The “Tractor at Amber Waves” was part of a series of paintings I did featuring classic views of the East End. This was one of three paintings I did of Amber Waves Farm. I did a series of sketches, and in this case I did the final oil painting in my studio. I prefer to work on the spot, but sometimes the moment passes and I work in the studio.

How did you decide on the composition of the board and other design details?

The star of the painting is the tractor. It has a whimsical character that almost reads like something out of Dr. Suess. With gorgeous headlight eyes and fun wheels, the tractor embodies mechanical cool that fits in well on the East End farm.
the fields.

Shadmoor Sunset Painting by John Britton

What do you find most enjoyable or satisfying about painting East End landscapes?

The East End not only has special light (particularly in the fall and at dawn and sunset in the summer), but it also offers plenty of views with low tree cover, especially to the east of Napeague. Compared to the rest of New York and New England, this is unusual and allows for greater visual impact in landscapes. And the sunset skies from Shadmoor (State Park) are almost too beautiful to be believed, at least in the sense of capturing them in a painting. We are blessed to live in an area where the natural world exhibits such breathtaking beauty.

Painting “Fishing Boat on Lake Montauk” by John Britton

This is your first work presented on a Dan’s papers cover, yes? What prompted you to submit this magnificent painting?

For me, this epitomizes the best of the East End: the links to the farming and farming heritage of this place; the uncluttered and unoccupied tableau; the focus on nature and an old-fashioned mechanical contraption in the green of summer growth. If only the whole summer in the East could be so zen!

Napeague Beach Road painting by John Britton

Besides this cover, what is an artistic achievement that you are proud of?

I was proud that my last exhibition at the Agora Gallery in Manhattan sold well and was enthusiastically received.

What is the short or long term artistic goal you would like to achieve?

I’m lucky enough to split my time between New York and Montauk. When I’m in the East, I almost exclusively paint landscapes, which I very rarely do in New York. I’ve done about 100 East End landscape paintings and drawings, but I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. I feel that each of my works deepens my connection to this place and I want to continue to build this body of work.

John Britton’s “Ditch Witch” Sketch

Do you have any final thoughts or additional information to share?

It is an honor to have my work featured. Montauk and the whole East End mean so much to me, and it’s a pleasure to try to capture that spirit in the drawings and paintings.

Camp Hero “radar” sketch by John Britton

See more work by John Britton at johndbritton.net.

Local artists who believe their art would be a good fit for a Dan’s papers cover can send high resolution works to [email protected] for exam. If one of your pieces is chosen within weeks, you will be contacted regarding confirmation and your Honoring the Cover Artist feature.

October 14, 2022 Cover of Dan's Papers by John Britton
October 14, 2022 Cover of Dan’s Papers by John Britton

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