beyond form

beyond Form
encaustic and mixed media
12×12 inches

With this painting I was exploring the transparent quality that occurs when paper is dipped into encaustic medium. It transforms, no longer paper. Wax and paper become one and the transparency can be quite beautiful…and very useful for certain effects.


This was the last painting I created in 2010. I actually had posted a photo of it with my first post of the year, but I took it down and because the quality of the image was so poor. I recently had an aha! moment with my camera and I was able to take a much much better photo of this painting.

In my studio journal I wrote this entry that I’ll share here. It’s a bit emotional, but that’s me.

December 29, 2010: I painted in the morning and it was Good. I felt so happy to be painting and to just BE that I seriously teared up at one point. I know, I know, a bit much, but I can’t help myself.

This was the painting that I finished. The composition was inspired by one of the panels I created for my accordian book. I knew that I needed to return to it and paint it larger. And I feel like I hit on something. That doesn’t happen everytime I paint. I’ll make things that I’m happy with, or ok with…but then there are other times, that I just feel like I tapped into something deep within….and then I am satisfied. It’s like all those other paintings led up to that one painting, if that makes sense. they are all stepping stones to the one piece where I can give an exhale and feel content.

Looking back on this year I’ve had that happen a few times.
1) Beyond Time, encaustic painting
2) The Gatherer (encaustic barbie)
3) Spirits- plaster/encaustic hanging book
4) Born of Earth and Bone, encaustic painting
5) and now this one

It makes me excited and yearn for more energy at the end of a long day when I drag myself up to my studio. But maybe not having a luxurious amount of studio time is actually pushing me to really dig deep when I actually have the paint in front of me….maybe not. I don’t know. And maybe I’ll look back a year from now and be embarrassed by this entry. But I don’t care. It’s all about growing and learning and experimenting and making mistakes and moving forward and listening and…

There are time when I am painting and my heart feels full and light at the same time. And all feels right in my world. This is why I paint. .


I am lucky to live near a Powell’s bookstore here in Chicago and I had a great find back in November, a beautiful book of Joan Snyder’s work for only $20! I recently finished it and I was struck by the visual power that her paintings had on me. The essay by Hayden Herrera was my favorite one and really gave me a sense of the development of Joan Snyder’s visual language and her life. She has excerpts from Snyder’s journal, which of course being the journal-addict that I am, I really enjoyed.

Painting is the way I speak. I had such an anxiety-ridden youth that when I started to paint, it was as though I was speaking for the first time. I was creating a visual language through which I could say anything I wanted. ~Joan Snyder


  1. a gorgeous piece Bridgette! it has everything! I just had that same type of experience yesterday and will be posting about it today! Consistency gives these gifts! xxo

  2. ANd, reading this, I teared up with empathy. I have recently started Beuing Serious about working (fiber art) and at the end of every day — almost every day — I feel so calm and happy that I hardly recognize myself.

    “Anyway” indeed.

  3. bridgette, this is such a lovely piece, just yummy with all the layered goodness.
    thank you for sharing your words. i love that feeling you are talking about-the tapped in one–i am always awed by that moment when it arrives for me, when i feel like i was just a vehicle for the piece to come through.
    and powells—i have heard such good things. lucky you!
    i’ve been meaning to tell you that a friend here in VA invited several other local artist friends to her house to play with her encaustics. this was sometime before christmas. i keep meaning to blog about it. anyway, i finally got to play with the medium you love and wow, i can see why you love it…this is all leading to a conversation yesterday about the five art friends making a road out to encausticamp…it’s too early to get excited but i can’t help it. i still have to see if money-wise i can make it happen…but how cool would that be?! to get to meet you and take a class from you! pure joy!!! *fingers crossed*
    wishing you a creative weekend. 🙂

  4. Hi Bridgette,
    I love your painting and the journal entry… I think we do have to dig deeper when time is at a premium… It does push us!

    And I highly doubt that you will regret your words here. They are a beautiful tribute to the power of art. I wish I could express myself as eloquently!

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