believe and a giveaway

spread 2 in “My book of hopes and dreams”

This is the second spread of my book that will be headed over to the Fifth Avenue Art GalleryMelbourne, Florida. For this spread I collaged on a printout of one of my encaustic and plaster pieces. I like to do that in my journals- reuse one of my original art piece and take it to a different place.


One of the interesting things about being back in Chicago is going back to my old haunts and visiting with people from my past. It reminds me of how far I’ve come, how much has changed, and also how some things stay the same. I have mentioned before that my time here in my early 20s was a hard time for me. A lot of trials. And even though I often think of those times as a time of facing things on my own, I am realizing now that there were often people who were there for me in little ways. Invisible hands.

I was reminded of that last week when I went up to Evanston and visited the owners of The Mexican Shop, a funky little store on Dempster by the El. I had worked there every winter break once my finals were over until Christmas Eve while still working some other job I had. The owners of the shop were so good to me. Just really good people.

Invisible hands, invisible presence. That’s kind of how I see my blog and the blogging community. Just wanted to take this moment to say thank you to those who visit my little spot here on the internet, whether you comment or not, I appreciate your presence in my life. When I first started blogging about my art, I never dreamed the effect that my blog would have on me. I am grateful for the friendships that I’ve made that I never would have made if it weren’t for my blog. I am grateful for the people who have believed in me and my work and have helped me along the way. I am grateful for the people who also post their work and about their processes and about the trials and tribulations on being a working artist. You all provide so much inspiration as well as company in my studio!

In honor of the people in my earlier Chicago days who would slip little presents, sometimes cash, and even food into my hands, I would like to do a little giveaway. I have an extra copy of Dawn Sokol’s awesome book 1000 Artist Journal pages. If you would like a copy, please leave me a comment on this post. You can leave a comment about anything you like, but I would love to hear about an incident or a moment when someone showed unexpected kindness or help to you. I will pull a name on my birthday, December 26th.

I will also add in one of my original 4×4 inch oil and mixed media paintings from the Expecting Series. I haven’t decided which one yet though.

Thank you again!

Oh yeah, don’t forget to leave a link to your blog or an email so that I can get in touch with you if you win.


  1. Your entry made me remember Christmas 1963. My dad had just died in July (by suicide.) I was 16, my brothers were 13 and 6. That year each of us got a Christmas card in the mail and in each was $25. Signed, From Santa. I remember thinking how KIND that person was. How sweet. That they did it without wanting any credit.

    Best to you.
    Nancy (kyana @ livejournal)

  2. I love this post, Bridgette, and your work in general.
    One specific memory I have happened many Christmases ago during a particularly difficult time in my life. A card was left in our mailbox with a hundred dollar bill inside. I never found out who left it but it sure made things a little easier for us. There are angels everywhere.

  3. Here’s to invisible hands, online and off!

    I’ll have to think about a moment of unexpected kindness, though I will say that like you, I experience the friendships made online as a kindness and a blessing.

  4. I’ve had a tough summer with 2 very close family members seriously ill – one died this month.

    My online friends, local friends and work colleagues have been wonderful and so supportive through a really awful time – it helped enormously. So my help was good vibes and sometimes practical help at a time when it was much needed and deeply appreciated .

    Then there’s all the help and advice I’ve been given with blogging and online selling and more …. such a generous community of bloggers :>)

    I only comment occasionally but follow your blog regularly – you make me really want to try encaustics. This journal is looking beautiful.

  5. Happy Holidays, Bridgette!

    I’m having a rough time this season and dreaming that my real life mirrored more of my bloglandia life…

    Not trying to win the book (although I will say it is outstanding and I have read it many times) but just popping in to say how much I appreciate your art, merry christmas and happy birthday!

  6. I remember one Christmas when I was about 6 that some kind soul(s) left a grocery bag full of food and another bag of gifts for our family in the front seat of my parents car. They must have thought our family needed a little help that year, and to be honest, I don’t know much about my parents financial situation that year, but I remember the tears in my mom’s eyes and how it made us all feel.

  7. There are so many acts of kindness that we just don’t see until later.

    I love this post, and bought Dawn’s book after you recommended it. I just sent a copy to a friend in her box-o-Christmas-goodies.

    Happy happy birthday; merry, merry Christmas. And PS – Your Book of Hopes & Dreams is quite magical & very inspiring. Thank you!

    🙂 Debi

  8. oh, i love this topic. people have been really good to me over the years, also. i’ve been given free heating oil, free food, free clothes (one time a completely new wardrobe)..and a few times money.

  9. When I was a child (the 8th of 14), every Christmas someone gave us a large turkey and a ham. I never knew where they came from and don’t know if my parents knew.

    Also since I was a little girl until I left my parents home, I got a birthday card from a family that sort of adopted my family.

    Lots of kindness in my life and lots of kindness coming my way from bloggers reading my humble blog also.

  10. Hi Bridgette – actually, we got the most generous helping hand today – our car got stuck backing our of our drive today, and our neighbor came to our rescue with his tractor – it was so generous of him and we were so grateful! – Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas……

  11. Just this morning I was touched by someone’s kindness. There’s SNOW here in the Pacific Northwest, amounts we rarely see. I parked my car at the top of my steep driveway on Saturday afternoon, knowing that getting it out of the driveway would be impossible. This morning, had a dentist appointment at noon so went out at 10 to get the snow off the car and see if I could get it on the road. And the answer was that the snow was too deep and it looked like the dentist was going to get a cancellation call. Then came a good samaritan. . . one of the security guys in our community. . . who grabbed a shovel and shoveled a path from the shoulder to the street. I was no longer captive! (P.S. I’ve got a copy of 1000 Journal Pages, so don’t put me in the contest —- just wanted to say hi.)

  12. Happy Birthday! I love coming to your blog and seeing your wonderful art. I love this new book and painting you’re sending to FL. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2009!

  13. What a great post! And funny, because I recently posted about a random act of kindness on a friend of mine that really made her day.

    I have really been enjoying seeing these pages you’re posting. So beautiful and inspiring. Every day I check the blogs I follow and look to see if there’s something new of yours to entertain my eyes!

    As far as kindnesses… one time I was walking across a parking lot with my little boy and an older lady came up to us and put a dollar into my hand and told me to go get him something. So sweet.

    Another time I had spent a bunch of money I didn’t really have on a fundraiser luncheon and at that event a woman came up to me (a stranger!) and said she had a dress that didn’t fit her anymore that still had the tags on it and wanted to know if I wanted it. She said she’d drop it by my office the following day. Lo and behold here she comes with enough outfits to nearly double my wardrobe and worth eight times what I spent on the ticket. I nearly cried.

    And here is one that is a kindness in general, not just toward me… in May I had to attend the funeral of my niece. This was the first time I had ever been part of a funeral procession as a family member. I was toward the front of the line of cars and as we pulled onto the street and passed through town all these cars started pulling over and stopping. I burst into tears. I know this probably sounds a little bit silly, but for some reason it moved me to see them pause and step aside as we made our way past, acknowledging our unfortunate moment. Such a kind tradition and I didn’t realize it until I was on the other side of the situation.

    Thanks for getting us to talk about kindness. I’m ready to go do some random acts now myself!

  14. Christmas is always difficult after you have lost a child – but the love of friends and family get you through. After our son died my best friend would just pop in to see if we were ok, take me out for a scrapbooking day or just let me talk. Bird imagery is particularly powerful for me and yours resonates. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas

  15. First, I just found your blog and it is beautiful. I plan on sitting here for a while, perusing all your beautiful artwork.

    Now, since “1000 Artist Journal Pages” is a biggie on my wishlist, I must get myself entered in your great giveaway.

    After divorcing my alcoholic husband (father to my two daughters) and striking out on my own, things were as tough as things get. He never paid child support so it was all up to me. Both of my girls graduated high school early and went on to college, one at 15 and the other at 17, but that first semester was tough. Pell Grants covered tuition since we were so broke but books are soooo expensive and I had no idea how we’d ever manage to scrape up $500+ to get the books each of them required for their classes.

    But I had the most wonderful boss (an attorney) who knew how hard I was struggling and when one of the girls in the office mentioned to him that I was trying to get books for the girls to go to college, he suddenly decided to give me a $1000 “performance bonus” with a note that said “Nothing is more important than education…you’re doing a great job, Mom.”

    Tears flooded my eyes as I realized that there actually were still kind, wonderful people in the world.

    I will never forget his kindness and what an impact he had on me and my girls.

    Happy Holidays!
    Peace & Love,

  16. Love your artwork. Happy Birthday. I was living alone, very little money and living off oatmeal. I had my dog so most of my grocery money went for her dogfood. My boss at the time (even though I didn’t talk about it) somehow knew what was going on. She had dogs so in the morning she would pick me and my dog up for work, we’d drop the dog, Phooka off at her house to stay with her dogs and her husband would feed her. Then on the way home when we would pick Phooka up she would drag me into the house for dinner. Brenda and Benny took such good care of me and my Phooka. Sad to say we lost touch years ago but I think of them often.

  17. Using a copy of your encaustics for this page gave it so much depth. I love all the textures, interesting pitting and scratches.

    This is about a simple act of kindness that meant a lot.

    I was part of a group opening and had a strong reaction to someone’s perfume. I was dazed, my mind blank and I imagine I looked nervous, possibly even unstable. Yes I know that the arts are full of unstable, weird types. In fact we embrace it and even exaggerate it. Fun! But, it happened to be a room full of conservative investment bankers and their clients. This group is not too keen on supporting ‘unstable’ artists.

    I didn’t have the mental presence to leave, so I was wandering around talking to nobody, feeling more and more uncomfortable and getting strange looks. One of the artists grabbed my arm, said she was feeling nervous (she wasn’t) and asked me to stand by her to keep her company. I stayed there until the brain fog cleared up and was able to leave. We barely know each other, so her understanding and kind gesture meant a lot.

  18. Hi Bridgette..I have always loved your work from afar. I did meet you briefly at a workshop. I remembered you because your work captivated me.

    My story is a local one. When I first started playing in beeswax and was really excited about the medium, i longed to learn more. My husband had sent me a link to a wonderful artist who was teaching a workshop in beeswax and had a sliding scale to her workshop. That brought me to tears because of her generousity to artist who may be struggling financially, like myself. Her kindness touched me deeply. But/and to top that off…There was an artist who was following my blog. I didn’t know she followed my blog. I did follow her website though. I blogged about this opportunity to possibly learn more about encaustic and Binky Bergsman emailed me!!! She read my post on Thursday and on Saturday was teaching a workshop on encaustic. She offered to take payments if I wanted to take her class. She was local too.

    Her workshop was amazing and opened doors to my love for encaustic. I don’t know if she will ever understand the gift. Not just the gift of the workshop but her kindness and caring. It was/is truly a blessing. One of those blog followers you talk about. Someone I didn’t even know who was watching my blog.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share. Happy Holidays.

  19. Happy holidays Bridgette. I echo your thoughts about the art blogging community. As you say, invisible hands, invisible presence. I add to that…visible impact!

  20. What a lovely post. You have inspired me to take an encaustic class. I’m signed up for January and I’m very excited.

    I have been fortunate to receive so many gifts. I’m most grateful to the people who donate blood as my life was saved by receiving blood transfusions. At the time, i was pregnant with my daughter so they essentially saved her life too. Happy birthday!

  21. Thanks to you for your blog too! Always inspirational.
    The last few years have been tough. I lost my only child in tragic circumstances and fell into a black hole; then my husband had a stroke; then i encountered a disgusting vile person at work who fixed it so that I lost my job.
    I started to sing again this year….. and was asked if I would be willing to direct a new choir, because other people wanted to sing too. I said “OK” but wasn’t really sure if I could cope with it. We’ve had our first Christmas Carol sing together and everyone has been sooooo kind. It’s great to feel needed and wanted…
    2009 is going to be brill!

  22. Dear Bridget,
    thank you for your generous give away and an early HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I couldn’t agree with you more, about how amazing the blogging community is, and how unexpected the rewards have been. I have found it to be the same by sharing my art and journal this way. Reaching people from all over the globe, and feeling a real kinship to so many people, like you, has been a most enriching experience for me. You with your simply exquisite artwork are some of the invisible hands that have touched me, inspired me, moved me beyond words, with each and every visit…

  23. I photograph weddings and attended the huge PhotoExpo in NY this past October. There I saw a beautiful leather camera bag, and as a joke, posted it on my blog saying how i’d like one for Christmas.

    3 weeks ago I received a note from a past wedding couple who – after seeing that post on the blog- researched the bag (it is not yet available), contacted the company and sent me a paid certificate for a bag to thank me for the work i did on their wedding. I was SO touched by the effort they took, as I often get a ‘thank you’ but NEVER anything like that. I was amazed and touched by their thoughtfulness and generosity!

  24. what beautiful stories some people have left! It is good to know that there are good people out there.

    I wanted to leave a quick comment saying how fabulous your book is turning out. I just love the depth of colour there… with the rich blues and greens. Awesome work.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Icon Site Search Close Site Search
0 results
Text Newsletter