Goodbye 2010!

2010 work
my work in 2010

When I think back on this year, it is hard to put into words. I would say that it was an intense year. I experienced birth of my second child and death of a parent, life and loss, so close together that I spent the rest of the year recovering- physically, mentally, and spiritually. My life vest that kept me afloat were my children and my art. I learned a lot of personal lessons this year and what I have come away with is acceptance and above all else, gratitude. And in my book, those are two big ones.

An interesting thing that I noticed this year is that since I’m not able to be in the studio as much, it doesn’t mean that the creativity or the ideas stop. I found that some of my most creative time was when I was rocking my baby girl in the darkness of her room. The key for me is being still and just listening. These days it is really difficult to do that- not only is there tv, radio, podcasts, but blogs, twitter, Facebook, etc. And not only that, but it’s so accessible, I mean my phone is a computer for crying out loud!

Artwise, I produced less work than I have in the past, but considering my time limitations, I am happy that I was able to keep creating! For that I am grateful. And my work is evolving, my paintings are getting larger and the paintings themselves are taking me longer to execute. But this is a good thing- I am becoming more deliberate in my marks and compositions, while still allowing spontaneity to occur. One of the things that I like about painting in encaustic is that while I know how to work the medium, there is always an element of not being in control. Things happen, pigment moves, layers resurface. I love that.

I’ve done a lot of experimenting this year too with working in 3D that I haven’t even shown here on my blog, but that I am looking forward to exploring even more in 2011. Sculptural work, artist books, fiber…There is just so much out there to explore and discover, I sometimes have to steer myself away and remind myself to focus and hone what I have before me.

Every year since I started on this art path, I have journaled about this art journey of mine and looked over the year to see what I have accomplished…or not accomplished! Doing this has given me the ability to look back, celebrate my achievements, learn from my mistakes, make adjustments, and look forward to what is ahead. I have done this for years in my personal written journals, and I have shared my end of the year art reflections on this blog in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Here is 2010:

:: Took a 6 week class on how to use a DSLR which I loved. My learning curve actually dropped off after my class ended, but it is something that I feel I will forever be a student at, and I’m good with that.


:: Participated in 5 group shows- 3 in Chicago, 1 in Oregon, 1 in Virginia
:: Article published in Somerset Studio Nov/Dec issue
:: Featured guest curator on
:: guest post on Missouri Bend Studio blog

:: Painted 20 encaustic paintings
:: 1 plaster and encaustic sculptural figure
:: 3 encaustic artist books
:: 2 mixed media paintings
:: 12 mixed media handbound blank journals, 4 of which were commissioned

In less quantifiable terms:
:: Still proving to myself that “where there’s a will, there’s a way”
:: Still moving to painting larger paintings
:: Experimenting with materials,
:: Really trying to push myself- embracing that making art is about making mistakes, getting out of a comfort zone.
:: Feeling really comfortable with how and why I do the things I do
:: Learning to focus on what I am able to do, not what others are doing and comparing myself. Everyone has their own path, including myself!
:: Accepted that I have time and energy limitations- it’s ok to say “No.”
:: Saying “Yes!” to new experiences and adventures ahead

I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart. ~ Van Gogh

I used this quote to end out last year, but I still love it and I truly feel this way.

my little monkeys and my best creations
hanging out in their art section of my studio

Just wanted to take this moment to thank everyone who comes to this little blog of mine with your advice, your support, your encouragement, your condolences, and your friendship this past year. Wishing you all a happy, healthy, and creative 2011!


  1. Bridgette! This is a beautiful collection of work. I found that I had limited artwork in 2010 too..but the little I did complete made me happy as well. Happy new year to you and your family and best wishes for good health and much creativity in 2011! xo

  2. “acceptance and gratitude.” two words that were also big ones in my year as well. 🙂
    bridgette, this was a wonderful goodbye to 2010. thank you for sharing this and thank you for all of your posts. i enjoy my visits here so much.
    how wonderful it was to see your year’s work all together and to see your precious little ones. wishing you a blessed 2011 filled with much art making and love!

  3. “Being still and listening” are so important to the creative process — probably as important to the work as actually producing the work! Thank you for sharing your words and images, Bridgette. Happy 2011 to you and your little monkeys!

  4. It’s so inspiring to see the montage of your work! And it makes me feel ashamed when I look at your list of accomplishments for the year. Geez, girl,do you ever sleep? I hate to think how much you usually do, if this is less! Congrats on everything you’ve done, and for being the amazing person you are. Happy new year!

  5. I wish I had the discipline to journal throughout the year. I’ve never kept one for longer than a couple of months. Best wishes for the new year.

  6. best wishes to you in the new year Bridgette – I love reading your posts, being a mother and artist myself i can relate. Your work and your spirit are an inspiration.
    thank you for sharing both!
    with much gratitude,

  7. I love this post and feel like I know you a lot better now 🙂 I can really resonate with your thoughts regarding silence.

    Can’t wait to meet you in person at Encausticamp.
    Happy New Year!

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