Field Notes on Home, part 3

“You hear that sound? That’s the Red-winged Blackbird. You hear that, then you know spring is coming. Gives you hope on a dreary day like today, doesn’t it?” – a woman at Golden Gardens in Seattle, 2007

I know, a while back I said I was done with my birds, but I can’t stay away! My birds and I have a lot of history together and there are times when my birds are the only way to express what I want to say. The birds that I usually include in my paintings are Red-winged Blackbirds and have always been a symbol of promise for me. These are three more paintings that are now up in New Hampshire for the show “Grid” at artstream studio. The show opens December 6 for those of you in the Dover area.

Process shot
process shot

This image is a process shot of the below piece, Where It Begins. Lately I have been doing a lot of stitching and sewing of either fabric or paper, or in this case, little twigs, and then adding them to my paintings. The title comes from a quote I ran across several years ago that is kind of like a mantra for me in terms of my parenting philosophy. “Home is where your story begins”. Yes, indeed.

Where It Begins
encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches

A few weeks before Halloween we went to a farm to get pumpkins and run through the ginormous corn maze. I picked up this corn tassle from the path because I thought it was beautiful. Corn has such rich meaning in so many cultures, especially from the region where my mother is from in Central America. Corn is a life line, the origins of the people, a symbol of fertility. The stories surrounding corn are really poignant actually, many having to do with female/mother energy and sacrificing bits of herself to feed her children.

encaustic mixed media, including corn tassle
6×6 inches

And lastly, this piece with an image of a bird that I have used often in my work. After I finished this one I told myself I was going to retire that image, but of course, a week later I made another painting with it. But this one, I am very happy with as I remember the contentment as I drew into the wax. Reminds me of when I used to work with clay and being in a ceramics studio. Stepping into a pottery studio always has an immediate effect of lifting my mood. The smell of the wet earth and the wonder at what people create with just their hands and a lump of clay creates a happy space for me. Always has.

Variations of a Song
encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches


  1. I’ve always thought birds were messengers from the spirit world — and your work always speaks to my spirit – so don’t chase those birds away -) These are lovely pieces.
    A clay studio always makes me smile too.

    1. I think of them as the same way Judy- as messengers. And in fact, a lot of my bird paintings from several years ago often had to do with dreams/visions. I don’t think they will let me chase them away. 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement

  2. I have to remark that your work is arresting and inspiring – I was introduced to it thanks to my wife Holly Suzanne ( and we continually are moved and encouraged by the work that you do – thank you for sharing it here

  3. I love your work just as much as the day I first saw it Bridgette. There is something so enthralling about the surfaces you create, your color palette and the symbols that you choose.

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