Fly Blackbird Fly

Fly Blackbird, Fly
mixed media cover
6×8 handbound blank journal
available @

I finished up this journal last week, but haven’t had a chance to post about it until now because I got sick the day after Thanksgiving with a stomach bug and was bedridden all weekend. I am feeling much more human today, but feel way behind on things. Ah well, such is life! The important thing was that I rested which was exactly what I needed to do. I have had a lot of thoughts on balance (art+life+family)these last few days and hopefully will get a chance to jot them down. It’s important.

But back to this journal…This is a very mixed media cover. I created the blackbird image a couple of years ago in a monotype print workshop back in Seattle. I took it with Doris Mosler and had so much fun that day. I had never done prints before. I had offered it for sale on my online shop, but it never sold. Recently I have been obsessed with using up old canvases, painting over old paintings that I have been tired of looking at, and reworking other pieces. Maybe it has to do with that nesting instinct. Getting rid of things to create more room?

I finally decided that this blackbird image would be perfect for a mixed media journal. And so with a deep breath I cut my print down. It really is very freeing to do something like this. I think people often get way too attached to a “finished” work of art. But really, what happens if it doesn’t work out? The end of the world? No. Not even close. It’s all about exploration, taking it to the next level. And if it doesn’t work out, oh well. On to the next experiment.

I attached the print to my panel with encaustic medium. Used different bits of scrap handmade papers I have in my overflowing paper scrap bin. I have been using cheesecloth in my mixed media works for a while now and have really been interested in including more and more fabric and stitchery into my mixed media works. (I’ve been sewing quite a bit lately, but that’s for another post).

I had so much fun with this piece. Brought me back to my mixed media roots and I feel like this print is much happier now being part of this journal cover. It’s available for sale over at

Don’t be surprised if you see more of my monotype prints show up reincarnated into new mixed media pieces!

I wanted to share the process of reworking this piece after reading Lori McNee’s article on breathing new life into an old painting. I follow her on Twitter, she shares some great tips.


  1. I love the sketchy-stringy qualities to the gesture of the crow, Bridgette. And I also love what you have to say about the freeing aspect of reconstruction with art. It can be so liberating to “destroy” one piece to make another.


  2. i do the same thing…once i’ve looked at a piece for too long it’s starts begging for a new life! i think the book is gorgeous and especially like the addition of the cheesecloth. i’m so glad to hear your on the mend …


  3. A beautiful book Bridgette…the gesture of your crow is timeless…how happy for him/her to have a new lease on life…and your work as teacher is clear…knowing when a work can stand on its own and live its own life and when it begs to be used further is a lesson we grow from all of our days.
    thanks for the reminder and feel better…all back in balance again real soon!

  4. I really love this one, Bridgette. Love the raw feeling of it.

    So totally get the reconstruction. It hurt the first time I took a pair of scissors to a canvas I hated. It hurt less after reusing the bits and pieces to do other artworks.

  5. I find the etching style swirled across the center and the frayed cloth on the sides particularly appealing. They remind me of how I visualize my pain slowly leaving my body after taking painkillers from You’re right about artists getting too attached to their works. I wish I could deviate from my usual technique or style, bit it is too darn hard.

  6. love this cover– blackbirds one of my favorites– and I agree with you– it is very freeing to let go of a piece that is not working and re-creating it into something else

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