Lead Me to the Water

Art is not living. It’s the use of living. The artist has the ability to take that living and use it in a certain way, and produce art. – Audre Lorde

First creation of 2012:

Lead Me to the Water
encaustic mixed media
5×7 inches

I recently started reading a memoir of a woman who lives in Alaska called Surviving the Island of Grace: Life on the Wild Edge of America by Leslie Leyland Fields. I laugh at myself because yes, I am one of those that romanticizes the rugged, self-reliant life out in the wilderness. It just fascinates me. Perhaps because I know I would totally fail at such a life! I mean, my aloe plant that lives in my studio is not doing very well. Anyway, in the prologue she writes about how she came to write about her life in Alaska and she quotes another writer’s words about memoir:

Listen to your life…See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moment and life itself is grace. – Frederick Beuchner

I approach my artmaking that way. Or at least I try to.


  1. What a great quote! Life is so amazing – so filled with mystery and wonder. If we could only remember to slow down and savor it, we could truly live authentic lives.

    Bridgette – one of the things that I love about your art – is you seem to be able to reach your truth and share it — you are an inspiration.

  2. I too romanticize about living in the wilderness – I am quite practical but would really miss being near creature comforts – great quotes that really make you think! Thanks Bridgette

  3. I sometimes fantasize about that lifestyle too. And I too have realised that I would not do so well at it! It’s great to get away from technology and escape the world for a while now and then but when it comes down to it, I would not last long without the modern conveniences I am accustomed to. I dont know how rugged you think about going but I would not be able to last long without electricity and running water! No heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer?! No fridge and freezer?! Having to fend for yourself and scavenge/grow/hunt your own food? I’d be dead in a week!

  4. I’m sitting here with goosebumps after reading that wonderful quote. What a gift that is if we live by it.

    Your first piece of 2012 is no less amazing. I could look at it endlessly, discovering something new with each visit.

    Happy 2012!

  5. Thanks everyone! When I came across those words, I knew I had to share it.
    tracey-hope your daughter hears the words!
    Judy-thank you so much, that means a lot. I often feel like I’m grasping for things, for understanding, for acceptance, for…fill in the blank…and in my artwork, I continue that search and sometimes find a resolution. Now if I can only translate that to daily life. ha!

  6. Rosie and KBPortraits- yeah, I could never do it, unfortunately. Maybe for a few days. The last time I had to do so was when I was backpacking through the Appalachians and by the second night I was in tears! 🙂 But I admire people who can do it and at least I can read about it and watch it on the Alaskan reality tv that seem to be popular these days. I guess we’re not the only ones.

  7. This quote touches me very much – we should not dismiss boredom and bleak moments. Every moment is precious! So difficult to keep this in mind though…
    Your artwork is brilliant! Reminds me of Alaska,,,

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