Listening To a Deeper Way

Listening to a Deeper Way is an encaustic mixed media painting by Bridgette Guerzon Mills.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Listening to a Deeper Way, encaustic mixed media, 36×24 inches

I recently reworked this painting. I scraped away the original imagery and added the tree. I also added the texture with India Ink on either side of the tree image. I really loved working on that part. I used a steel brush to scratch through the India Ink surface that I had laid down on the surface and I was thinking of the cells and rings of trees and wood grain.

The original painting was called Listening to a Deeper way, and it was a line I pulled from a favorite essay written by Linda Hogan. I decided to keep the title even though the painting had changed. It still felt right.

But because I love Linda Hogan’s writing so much and like to share my favorite writers in case someone happens by this post who doesn’t know her work, here’s another couple of words from her:

“A woman once described a friend of hers as being such a keen listener that even the trees leaned toward her, as if they were speaking their innermost secrets into her listening ears. Over the years I’ve envisioned that woman’s silence, a hearing full and open enough that the world told her its stories. The green leaves turned toward her, whispering tales of soft breezes and the murmurs of leaf against leaf.”

―Linda Hogan [Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World].

This reminded me of a novel I read, Hollow Kingdom bu Kira Jane Buxton, about a crow at the end of the world who was on an epic journey trying to figure out what was going on. There was a part where the trees were trying to tell him something and he said something like, when a tree feels compelled to speak you need to listen. I just loved the way she wrote that part.

detail of Listening to a Deeper Way

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