field notes on home

For a few years now I have been using plaster gauze as the substrate for different artist books that are then combined with encautic. This year I started teaching these book structures and using wax with them in workshops. So I have a lot of started plaster pages, some finished ones, as well as some that were already bound as books laying around in various drawers in my studio. I really cannot stand to have things laying around in my studio. I see them as missed opportunities to create something more, something new, just something else. So I decided to do something with them and I’ve been working on these small 6×6 inch paintings these past two months in a series called “Field Notes on Home”.


Field Notes on Home are meditations on my new surroundings and environment. We have been doing a lot of hiking and exploring and on these walks I pick up things here and there. And always taking photos. I ended up making nine 6×6 inch paintings for a show called “Off the Grid” up in New Hampshire coming up in December. I will post the details to that soon.

Towards Order
encaustic mixed media, including wasp nest
6×6 inches

This is an actual wasp nest that I spied off of a rock wall in Harper’s Ferry, WV when I was teaching at the Red Thread Retreat. I spied it, but was scared to collect it off the wall even though it was obvious that it was an empty and abandoned nest. Luckily I was with Lesley Riley who easily and handily plucked it off the wall for me. This was the first painting I started in the series and it makes me happy whenever I see it.


I looked up wasp symbolism and read a few myths and folktales concerning the wasp. I found that among the symbolism of the wasp is the idea of order and creation and progress.

A few weeks after I finished the nest painting above I decided to do a wasp panel. I keep going back and forth on the title for this one. It’s originally titled “Awakening”, but just now I’m deciding to change it to “Seeking Clarity”. I read this explanation of wasp symbolism and I’m thinking I like the new title much better.

Seeking Clarity
encaustic mixed media
6×6 inches

Well, I have seven more of these paintings to post, but I will leave it to these first two for now. Hopefully I will be able to post again soon. My blog writing is always relegated to the evenings and lately I have been too tired. I’m blaming the time change.


  1. Oh Bridgette both of these pieces really speak to me. The surfaces demand to be touched! Love where you are going in this series and look forward to seeing the other seven! And no doubt more…

    1. Thanks so much Seth! I thought that I’d make more once I was done for the pieces for the show. But I have found that I am done and am ready for something else. Well, at least for the moment…

  2. hi bridgette! so nice to meet you yesterday and i’m enjoying reading your blog. (truly, i’m procrastinating reading your blog, but enjoying it none the less!) i look forward to seeing the rest of the pieces in this series.

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