Falling Gently

When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

One of the fallouts from the flood that had to do with my work was having to cancel as well as turn away several opportunities to either teach or show my work. For someone who is constantly pushing my limits to make deadlines and embrace opportunities that come my way, it was difficult for me. I hate letting people down as well as myself. But I learned that there comes a time when I have to be honest with my limitations and say if I push myself on this I may just fall off the edge!

For this reason though I am so very excited to announce here that my workshop with Lesley Riley at the Red Thread Retreat is coming up this fall! I can hardly wait. It may seem that Lesley and I dreamt up the idea of me teaching in Maryland to coincide with my move here. However, we planned it even before I knew I was moving here! So crazy how things work out. Lesley and I began talking about me teaching in Maryland after the Blog Talk Radio interview she did of me about a year ago.

Falling Gently: an encaustic exploration in mixed media
The Red Thread Retreat
Knoxville, MD
October 3-6, 2013

Falling…yes, instead of falling off the edge of my sanity, falling gently into the embrace of creation, of nature, of returning to self. Falling Gently.

This is a 2-day workshop where each day builds upon the next. Two days of exploring encaustic and mixed media at a mountainside retreat. Can’t get any better than that!

Day One: October 4 Encaustic is an ancient method of painting with melted beeswax mixed with damar resin and pigment. Encaustic is the perfect partner for a wide variety of mixed media techniques. On this first day, I will cover the basics of painting in this ancient medium of beeswax and pigment on boards. My work in encaustic often draws upon my use of photos of the natural world. In this class we will learn how to use personal photographs and imagery with wax, through embedding and transfers. I will also be covering safety and studio set-up. This day will give you the foundation in order to feel comfortable in further exploring the possibilities of painting in wax.

Measure of Time, photocopy transfer, copper, saral transfer

Good Intentions encaustic, copper, thread, paper, fabric, photocopy transfer, india ink, oil sticks

Between Here and There, encaustic, embedded photo, paper, oil paint

As you can see from these examples of my work, I use a variety of media with my encaustic paintings. On this first day I will share with you the hows and whys. I don’t hold back! You can ask anyone who has taken one of my workshops, I share all my secrets and the discoveries I have made in my studio practice through the years.

Day Two:October 5 With the basics of painting in encaustic under our belts, we will then explore the use of encaustic in book art form, using plaster as our pages. I will show you how to prepare the plaster pages, and then how to bring in encaustic to create earthy and tactile books. We will use sticks and leaves and other natural things that we find in the woods around us and incorporate them into our books. With the wax we will paint, we will dip, we will embed, we will carveā€¦the possibilities are up to the artist and I will guide you through various explorations of encaustic and mixed media.

I first taught using plaster to make encaustic book art back in April when I went to Whidbey Island and oh man, it was so fun to see the work that people produced in the class. If you want to see some of the books that people made in the class, please visit my flickr page and the set called workshops. So this second day will be dedicated to make plaster pages and constructing books with them and then adding encaustic. Here is another book I made using plaster and encaustic:

Love Notes to Winter, encaustic, plaster, thread, cloth, lace, photos


So, if this intrigues you, please join us! The retreat takes place in western Maryland, which is really beautiful and not too far from Virginia, DC, Pennsylvania, and of course Maryland. I hope you’ll join us. Contact Lesley Riley or myself if you have any questions and be sure to reserve your spot.

If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking. ~Buddhist Saying


  1. This looks to be one special workshop. I am glad you will soon be “back on the circuit” where you belong. And can I say that every one of these samples is truly a treasure.

  2. Wonderful work Brigette – sometimes things happen to make us slow down and we come out of it stronger – I really wish I was nearer and could come to the workshop but I’m in the UK

    1. Thanks so much Rosie. I agree. And I am holding out for the lesson in all this. Although I am already aware of some of them! Wish you could attend to- it would be fantastic to meet you!

  3. Bridgette, I so love your work. I haven’t been keeping up with my emails etc and have been shocked to read about your flood, but I see it has precipitated new beginnings. I had a dream recently that was to do with the salmon. Salmon swim upstream to their birthplace to lay their eggs (create). While the dream has meaning for me, I couldn’t help thinking of it and you when writing this. I love Walking the Earth and it has opened an artistic door for me. I’ve written about you in my blog today and Lesley Riley’s Retreat. Good luck with it. I wish I could come! Blessings. Ann

    1. Ann, Thank you so much for your words here. The salmon swimming upstream is such a powerful metaphor. Thank you for that. And thank you so much for what you wrote on your blog. I can’t even tell you how much that means to me. So glad that it opened a door for you.

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