Following the Path

 |  November 18, 2014

Following the Path
Following the Path
encaustic mixed media
12×12 inches

I painted this landscape painting earlier this month inspired by my hiking trip down in the southwestern corner of Virginia in October. It was a foggy hike going up that mountain, heading into the clouds. There were times when the fog was so thick, that I did feel a little nervous about continuing on. But we trusted our instincts and kept on, never straying from the path. Oftentimes in a hike up a mountain, you have to trust that inner compass, whether it’s the fact that you’re on a path so densely surrounded by forest or that the weather creeps in making it difficult to see. You keep on and then a moment comes when you reach a clearing or the fog lifts and you are rewarded with such beautiful vistas that it makes it all worthwhile.

But the arduous part is also part of the beauty. It is all part of the journey.

This was a painting much like that journey in that it had been many paintings already. I kept working on it. Staring at it. No, no. Worked on it more. No. Not yet. It had so many layers of wax because of my dissatisfaction. I finally had enough and thought that what it needed was a clean slate, so I started to scrape and scrape and scrape. Saving the wax in a separate tin to reuse, for as we all know encaustic paint is quite pricey. As I scraped back, collaged bits that had been embedded and earlier paintings were revealed, and I slowed my scraping. Pause. Stare. hmmmm. Ok, I like this….and I reworked what I had revealed in my scraping back.

I really do believe that so much of the creative process can be a metaphor for living. Trust, faith, listening to that inner voice- whether it is dissatisfied or telling you that resolution has been reached. I have also been writing here in my recent blog posts about trying to really hone in on my voice and what I am trying to say and I have come to the conclusion that that is an issue that I will always face as a visual artist. It is a path that we are continually following. If it’s already figured out, then what would compel one to keep returning and returning, day after day? It’s the questions we follow, not the answers.

“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives”. -Henry David Thoreau


  1. by MaryJo Fisher on November 18, 2014  10:37 am Reply

    Oh, Bridgette! Love the process, love what lies under layers. Love that you thought to go back, and find it. (Isn't it funny that things that are "lost" turn out to be right where we left them! If we can quiet the daily clamor, they do call us to find them....we think back to where we left them.) Wonderful Thoreau quote,too. Thanks for sharing. You still teach me! Keep up the good work!

    • by Bridgette Guerzon Mills on December 1, 2014  4:43 pm Reply

      Thanks MaryJo- you put it so well- that we need to quite down and listen and perhaps find out that we weren't so lost after all!

  2. by Kim Henkel on November 22, 2014  11:55 am Reply

    Bridgette - Another beautiful creation, and I love the story you tell of both its making and the meaning connected to life. Beautifully done, once again.

    • by Bridgette Guerzon Mills on December 1, 2014  4:42 pm Reply

      Thank you Kim, I appreciate your words. It helps me to write down why I do what I do, it helps me connect the dots.

  3. by Sharmon Davidson on December 2, 2014  9:48 pm Reply

    Lovely piece, Bridgette, as well as it's story...

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