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SCV artist to show at Autry Museum in L.A.

3 works go on display starting Saturday

Posted: February 1, 2013 5:38 p.m.
Updated: February 1, 2013 5:38 p.m.
Brittany Weistling displays “Ridge House”, drawn with graphite pencil. Brittany Weistling displays “Ridge House”, drawn with graphite pencil.
Brittany Weistling displays “Ridge House”, drawn with graphite pencil.

At age 17, Brittany Weistling is the youngest person ever to exhibit at Masters of the American West Art Show and Sale, which starts Saturday at the Autry National Center.

The Masters of the American West Art Show is considered to be the country’s most important show featuring Western art. It is celebrating its 16th year at the Autry.

Weistling, a senior at Trinity Classical Academy in Valencia, will exhibit three works at the show.

What began as a passion for painting roses has evolved into works featuring people.

“I started out oil painting roses and went to a garden and would sit in front of a rose and paint,” she said. “Even if it was raining I would sit under an umbrella and paint.”

For one of her works on display at the Autry, Weistling found inspiration in a model used by her father, renowned Western artist Morgan Weistling.

“I love history and the Victorian era,” she said.

The painting “Josephine” will be on display in the miniature show.

The title represents the main character from the Jane Austin novel “Little Women” — one of Weistling’s favorite books.

“For my future career I want take literature, to take different iconic characters in American and British literature and do my own interpretation through the medium of painting,” she said.

In addition to the miniature on display, Weistling will exhibit a portrait she painted of her friend, Alexa, whom she costumed in a cloak Weistling described as “‘Narnia’-like.”

Her third work on display, “Memoirs,” is a composed piece depicting an elderly man writing with a quill pen.

“This is the first piece where I tried to do a whole scene, an entire composition,” she said. “I wanted to try elements of candle light. I love that sort of warm lighting and how it affects everything around it.”

Weistling began showing her talent for art when she was 3 years old. She started with sculpture.

“We have entire cabinets full of little sculptures that are no more than two inches high,” she said. “I then made larger sculptures before transitioning to drawing. I would draw every day. I still draw every day.”

“We are very proud of Brittany,” said Wally Caddow, managing director of Trinity Classical Academy. “We are lucky to have Brittany to serve as an inspiration for other students.”

The Weistling family has achieved another first with this Autry show: it will be the first time the show has featured art created by three members of the same family — Brittany, her father and her mother, J. Peralta.

Having a famous artist father is not intimidating for Weistling.

“He’s always been there for me helping me along and giving me tips,” she said. “My parents have been my art teachers since I was born.”

Weistling said it is an honor to have her art selected for display at the Autry.

“It’s such an incredible honor to be selected to show at the Autry,” she said. “Every year I’ve gone to this show; my dad has been in this show every since I can remember. Now, to be part of that, it’s such a surreal feeling. It’s overwhelming.”

Weistling said she is now “serious” about her art and after graduation has plans to attend art school.

Masters of the American West Art Show and Sale at the Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, will run through March 17. The Autry is located off the Interstate 5 freeway in Griffith Park.




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