memories to hold me

memories to hold me, encaustic and mixed media, 6×6 inches

I spied this bird back in October and she inspired this encaustic piece that I finished up last Sunday.

The texture was created with cheesecloth. I think I’ve mentioned this before, that I keep cheesecloth in my kitchen drawer and also in my studio. I tend to use it more in my studio though! I love to add texture to my paintings. I am a very tactile person. I like to touch and feel. Touch can tell so much.

I picked up this tendency when I was a little girl from my second oldest sister who lost her sight before I was born due to the cancer treatments she underwent. I remember playing with her braille books she brought home from school. Watching her run her fingers over everything- my face, the banister, the keyboard of the piano, babies, and very patient dogs and cats. It always amazed me how animals always seemed to know to be patient with someone who has special needs.

Her favorite thing to do was to play with string and yarn. We used to sit together on the floor and knot pieces of string together. I would help her pick out different colors and piece them together. I don’t know what we were making…but we had a good time making a big mess of it all.

She was a big influence on my life and how I see the world. I keep a photo of her in my studio for that very reason. From the beginning of my life, my parents taught me and my other sisters to be her eyes, to help her to see. That had a big impact on me. As artists, that is what we do…we see and allow others to see what perhaps they cannot see on their own.


  1. hey Bridgette…ever since you put up that post about your older sister awhile back in late September, i find myself thinking of her from time to time when i visit your blog. wanted to leave a comment then but was a bit too choked up about it. well, right now, not much different. i imagine seeing traces of her presence in your work and in how you go about doing things. it moves and comforts me to see how much she is still so much a part of you…

    last night John read me the first couple of pages of McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, and there was a great passage giving a different angle to the saying of how the eyes are the windows to the soul. it basically sums up perfectly what i believe what art is about. don’t have the book with me right now to quote it but what you wrote here about being eyes for others to see made me think of that. maybe i’ll put up the passage on my blog later. i think you’ll like it too.

    this blue blue painting is beautiful. i love everything about it. the strains reaching up, how they are delicately in transition between the dense layers and the quiet clarity of the blueness. the silhouette of the bird sitting high up in the sky, patient, watchful, and at peace…

  2. I found your blog after receiving my complimentary copy of Artful Blogging – I have a small ATC featured – but your art has blown me away – it is so fabulous – I’m going to have a look around your blog and see if you sell any of it. Just looking at the images in the book have inspired me, calmed me, excited me, made me smile! Just wanted to let you know.

  3. See, you did it again! The image AND the post took my breath away. Before I had lasik surgery done 5 years ago, my eyesight was a -10; that translates to what a normal person could see from 20 feet away, I would have to be within 3inches of my eyes to see it without correction. But, since it was correctable, I did not get the classification of legally blind. I felt very vunerable living halfway between the sighted world and the blind world. Vunerable becuase I relied on the correction, but not blind enough to develop other ways of seeing the world. I would imagine myself being completely blind and learning by way of touch how to find things. It was a lttle game or excercise I would do “just in case”. When I ‘look’ at something, I often have to resist the urge totouch it, to run my fingers over it…I wonder if this is why?
    As for the cheesecloth fetish that I have, I cannot even begin to offer the reason why. I just know that I do.

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