Balancing

 |  May 29, 2012

As the mind explores the symbol, it is led to ideas that lie beyond the grasp of reason. – Carl Jung


Balancing
encaustic, oil paint, pigment sticks, laser transfers, thread
24×24 inches

This is my largest encaustic painting thus far at 24×24 inches. I really love working larger as it allows me more space, more freedom to explore the surface. In my paintings I am often thinking about memory and the passage of time. The surfaces I create often mimic the surface of items, natural or man-made, that wear the effects of time and the elements upon them.

When I was working on this painting earlier this month, I kept thinking of how the encaustic surface retains a memory. Or, it can. There is always the ability to melt or scrape away what has been done. But I purposely work the surface as if it were a memory holder, much like paper, much like skin. Once a mark has been made, even though erased, even though healed, there is an imprint somewhere that it occurred. And sometimes, we are reminded of a scar that we once thought was long gone. A hurt, a smile, a caress- they are stored in our cells and become a part of who we are.

Taking a pigment stick or a dab of oil paint and rubbing it into the wax surface, and then wiping the excess away- the marks, the hidden pocks,a scratch become evident. The surface reveals what was once hidden from first glance. What is often quiet and hidden adds to the richness of what is before us. We often want to hide the effects of time and memory, put them away, but our memories are who we are and deserve acknowledgement.

Thread appeared again in this piece as it did in Is that So? And as I working the thread lines, I recalled how I used thread years ago when I did a series exploring my first pregnancy. And I also used bowls back then as a metaphor for vessel. Five years later they are both reappearing again, but I am a different person now, with different experiences, and the thread and the vessels have grown with me.

Painting is a kind of call and response. During the act of painting one is listening, paying attention to a self, a voice simultaneously recognizable and foreign. – Squeak Carnwath

Right now, Balancing is hanging on the wall at Studio 303 at the Zhou B Art Center. Jenny Learner kindly invited those of us who took Shawna Moore’s workshop to hang some encaustic work up. I am honored to have four of my bowl paintings hanging there right now. They are for sale, so if you are interested contact either myself or Jenny.

zhoub

12 Comments

  1. by Diane McGregor on May 29, 2012  11:43 am Reply

    Wonderful painting, Bridgette. I think the larger size is compelling. LOVE the quote from Jung.

  2. by Wax Beach Artist on May 29, 2012  11:45 am Reply

    What a powerful post! I love everything you said about the encaustic process. Your painting is gorgeous, as always! So rich and full of textures and memories that I wish I could just reach out and touch it, to savor the essence of what is there and what once was. Love, love, love it!

  3. by Jann Gougeon on May 29, 2012  12:19 pm Reply

    Great description of working with wax! I resonate with all of it.

  4. by Crystal on May 29, 2012  12:30 pm Reply

    What a beautiful post Bridgette. I love the description of the memory of your mark making being retained even though healed. I hope I can get to Zhou B to see this while it is hanging! Congratulations on that opportunity! And keep on writing. Your words are as rich and deep as your work!

  5. by Kathryn Dyche Dechairo on May 29, 2012  1:07 pm Reply

    Beautiful new piece and I love how you talk about the memories of the marks made even if not easily visible. Great post.

  6. by TheFairyyellowbugQueen on May 29, 2012  2:31 pm Reply

    I enjoy the textural quality of your work. The threads really bring the eye down to this beautiful composition still life. These earth tones always speak to me. Gorgeous piece! *smiles* Norma

  7. by Seth on May 30, 2012  10:21 am Reply

    This really is a strong, powerful piece. Working big works for you! I absolutely love your description here of the process. "A memory holder." Perfect!

  8. by merci33 on May 30, 2012  4:31 pm Reply

    Grand size to be expanding into and fabo piece..the empty bowl/the bowl filled ...always so provacative...to contemplate.

  9. by Carole on May 30, 2012  11:36 pm Reply

    Bridgette, not only have you shown us your absolutely beautiful work you've also included a Squeak C. quote! You've made my day.

  10. by Marie on June 2, 2012  10:51 pm Reply

    Nice!

  11. by Chris on June 5, 2012  11:36 am Reply

    Lovely piece. Love the series.

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