mixed media panel
6×8 inches

This mixed media panel is a collage that includes used tea bags at the top. I was inspired by the wonderful Patti Roberts-Pizzuto to start saving used tea bags to use as a collage element with my encaustic paintings. And back in 2009 I went to the Old Town Art Fair and saw the amazing work of Rasa Pranckunaite who had stitched a bunch of tea bags together for one of her pieces and I have never been able to get it out of my mind. I am a coffee drinker so I have never had tea bags handy, but my husband (the more health-conscious of the us) has started drinking tea and has been saving the bags for me. This piece is not encaustic, but I couldn’t resist adding it to this collage.

If I could include a subtitle to this post the full title of the post would be “Intentions: keeping it real”. This panel is the first creation of 2011. The funny thing is that so far 2011 has been really crazy/hectic/fuzzy that I can’t remember when I finished it!

Actually, the very day that I wrote my recent post on my art and business goals/intentions for 2011 I had an afternoon/evening of caring for an inconsolable 10 month old. The rest of the week followed suite as it turned out she had caught whatever nasty bug has been going around and then gotten an ear infection. So, the moral of the story is, I write these goals/visions/intentions down, but reality of daily life is different. Nights up rocking a baby, mornings of spilled coffee and trying not to be late for preschool drop-off, of oh no the laundry is still in the wash, of oops I meant to pull the chicken out of the freezer this morning, of I really need to call my sister back, but I never can find the time….

I am not complaining. This is life and life is full and messy and hard and wonderful. I am a wife, a mother, an artist, a sister, a daughter, a friend, a neighbor. I am always trying to balance it all. I often feel fragmented and I am often messing up. But I think that’s normal. My goals and intentions are there to strive for, to keep me going forward, not to make me feel bad. I had a studio day on Wednesday and had so much to do that I didn’t know where to start and I ended up wandering around in a circle in my studio like a lame little duck. It was really pathetic! At that point, I thought, this is not productive and I had to leave and disconnect from studio/office and just bring a journal and write out my priorties. It really helped get me back on track.

I love my journal. Really, I don’t know how people manage without one. Speaking of, I won a spot in Stephanie Lee’s Shifting Ground online journaling class. (lucky me!) She really gives a lot of to think on and write about in order to shift perspective, to make changes…I am enjoying it so far.

I have also been following along with Donna Drozda’s “Luna See” articles in my journal and it has been bringing me a lot of insight. I highly recommened reading Donna’s blog. I love her work, I love her words and I hope one day that we will get to meet.

All of this writing though mean less time online. But that’s a good thing, I think.


  1. Bridgette, you are doing just fine! It has already been a busy year for you. 2011 has a whole crazy momentum all its own, it seems to me, and has started out for a lot of us throwing down and announcing it means business! People make fun of my many To Do lists of plans and intentions, not understanding these are guidelines and goals to reach for to keep me on track, not rigid deadlines or obligations for which I am setting myself up for failure. Too many resolutions fail for lack of flexibility! Someone once said that aiming too high and missing is not as bad as aiming too low and hitting the target. Keep aiming high. All the best to you!

    I really admire your work, btw!

  2. hi gabriella, thank you so much for your supportive words and your encouragement. I really appreciate it! Yes, to guidelines!! Glad i’m not alone.

    I just visited your blog and added it to my list of blogs to read- wonderful space you have created there. Looking forward to finding some time and reading more! thanks again, bri

  3. it is normal…
    and crazy.and busy.and life can be so full of dailyness that you can get bogged down in the laundry-dinner-potty-pre-school thing.but your creative self is still in there wanting to be heard and seen. and it will be. just give yourself the gift of time and space and little pockets will open up.


  4. Ahhhh…life getting in the way of art. Something I think we all deal with! Sometimes I use tea as a stain but never saved the teabags. Clever recycling.

  5. What a great piece of artwork! I love your mixed media work so much. I myself am just starting to work in mixed media as well and I love it. I’m so glad I found your blog…and you are in Chicago no less! I wish the Encausticamp was here too, I would’ve definitely signed up for a workshop or two.
    I look forward to your next post!

  6. A nice little piece. At least you have good excuses. Life keeps us busy. Enjoy your children as many times as possible. They grow up much too fast.
    Maybe they will be doing art with you.

  7. Bridgette….lovely use of the teabags! I’m so glad to hear I inspired you! I must give credit to Michelle Moode (she also has an etsy shop) too, who helped to inspire me years ago. She came to one of the printmaking workshops here and I bought a beautiful little piece made with teabags sewn together like a quilt…had drawing and printing on it too. So gorgeous and delicate, that when we moved from that last house three years ago now, we (either my husband the very careful packer, or me the just get it in the box packer) packed it away so carefully we’ve never found it yet. My heart yearns to see that teabag piece! You are doing amazing things….you are to be applauded for carrying on as wife, mother, friend, etc. etc. You must never berate yourself for not keeping up! Best wishes to you and good cheer!
    Keep making that beautiful work, at a pace that you can live with!

  8. The time to be balanced is when we are dead. I can’t imagine it would be any fun to be around/talk to a completely balanced person.

    These wild and disorganized days will one day show up in your art (no doubt looking far less disorganized).

    Writing things down is no doubt a wonderful idea. Even if you do not get these things done, just the act of writing loosens up what needs to be loosened and tightens up what needs to be tightened (I’m really trying to convince myself of this).

  9. Great post Bridgette – I can relate to it on so many levels, though our lives are very different, not being a mother of two little ones – but 6 months of ongoing home construction and endless chaos can put a monkey wrench in daily intentions! Still, I do believe our intentions are heard on a deeper level, even though it doesn’t feel like they are carried out when the day to day stuff completely dismantles stuff! So very cool that you are following along and working Donna’s Luna-see!! If you are so inclined – I recommend having a personal Life Cycle chart made and phone session with her! Her intuitive guidance and wisdom are spot on.

    I really love this first piece of 2011 you’ve done – the tea bags are a wonderful textural addition. Best to you and your intentions in the new year!! xoxo K

  10. Women tend to be so hard on themselves at every stage of life. Yes. . . it’s a lot to balance and there’s no perfect way. There’s only YOUR way. You’re doing fine.

  11. bridgette, love the tea bag so much. and what you said here: “I often feel fragmented and I am often messing up. But I think that’s normal. My goals and intentions are there to strive for, to keep me going forward, not to make me feel bad.”—-thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing that. i am too hard on myself sometimes, thinking i should be able to do it all. your words have helped me today.

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