Anywhere and Everywhere

 |  May 13, 2022

When I first started working on the new pieces that I have since sent out to Cappaert Contemporary and Lark and Key Gallery for spring shows, I needed to start small and with what is comfortable for me. It’s like easing my way in to the work flow. The comfortable process for me is the small format mixed media that I have done for years, especially when I used to make my hand bound mixed media cover journals all the time. Below is the first iteration of Anywhere and Everywhere. I created this back in early March.

the beginning mixed media panel

When I was in college I majored in Communication Sciences and Disorders and I had many classes about brain development and how we learn and process the world. I loved my classes as I have always been fascinated with languages too and a lot of my studies focused around how language skills are developed in children. Language is a fundamental way in how humans process the world. Language and communication though is so much more than just words. The way we communicate visually has its own developmental steps. I was thinking about that when I worked on this collage. Especially when I added that blue line of paint at the top edge.

I once had to collect drawings from a bunch of kids at a local elementary school in different grades to study symbolic development and I loved how at the younger years they all would draw a blue line at the top of the page to symbolize sky. Then a big yellow circle with rays fanning out from it. Eventually they would figure out using the “M” shape to symbolize birds in flight.

With a very young group of kids I had to collect samples of drawings and I’d give them a sheet of paper to fill up and there’d always be a kid who would just scribble in the middle of the big white sheet and be like- I’m done! And I would have to cajole them into drawing a little bit more.

Later in my studies, I had chosen to focus on Learning Disabilities. When I had to do clinicals, I remember this one red haired and freckled boy who had severe processing issues, dyslexia as well as math and spatial learning disabilities. Because school was so difficult for him, he had a lot of anger and when we would ask him to engage, a thick invisible wall would go up between us. My professor and grad student supervisor were like, Bridgette, you need to figure out a way to reach him. I was like, uh, ok, I’m only 20 years old….I had no idea what would work. At the next clinic I had to run it independently with the professor and grad student observing through a one way window/mirror. I was running out of ideas to get him interested as well as understand the lesson and I reached for the dry erase marker and went to the board and started drawing an airplane. I don’t remember why I drew an airplane, but I remember it clearly. We continued on and finished our objective. Afterwards my professor and supervisor were so excited. They said that when I started drawing, the angry red haired boy, actually looked up and watched me carefully and uncrossed his arms. It was the first time in weeks that anyone had been able to penetrate that invisible wall.

There had been other times when I would draw something for young kids they would all hush down quietly and actually get still, like I was a powerful magician, casting a spell. Which anyone who has to wrangle a bunch of little kids with lots of energy knows, was a bit like magic. The creative process is so fascinating and it’s so integral to what makes us human. And I believe there is something magical about it.

I created the original collage on the inside of an old school book cover.

Anywhere and Everywhere, handbound blank journal, by Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Anywhere and Everywhere, mixed media handbound blank journal, available at

I bound up the original collage into a journal. And then, I decided to mute the whole piece with one of my birds in flight images dipped in encaustic medium and adhered it over the original collage. But the original scribbles and ink splatters are still there, just under the layer of birds, who sort of look like flying Ms. Just a tad.

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