|  October 26, 2010

For a while now I have been attempting to use up what I have and not buy supplies unnecessarily. For one, it’s always good to save money. But what I’m really trying to do is tone down the clutter in my studio. In many areas of my life I am trying to simplify, organize and streamline. With two little ones, art, home, family, etc. etc., etc. it’s just become apparent to me that I need to be organized in order to not feel so frazzled. And one way is to get rid of Stuff. When one does mixed media art, Stuff just seems to pile up until you start to wonder if you might have a teensy bit of a hoarding problem!

I was once asked if it was emotionally difficult to sell a painting. I replied that if I am emotionally attached to a painting, then I keep it. I have a few that are like that. But in general, no. The process, the act of creating, is what I hold onto, not the actual painting itself. Once a painting is completed in my studio, my task is to get it out into the world for it to complete its journey. “Besides,” I told the guy who asked me, “When paintings stick around too long, it can sometimes lead to emotional baggage. It’s better for them to leave me”. Maybe that doesn’t make sense, but it’s the best way I can put it. And really, selling a painting allows emotional, financial, and physical room for new work to emerge.

That babble leads me to the new handbound blank journals that I have added to amanobooks. The butterfly journal below was created from an original 5×5 inch oil and mixed media painting. I cut the canvas off the stretcher bars and glued it down to a new panel and then added torn pieces of paper and paint. I love this image so much more now as a journal than as the painting!

mixed media
handbound blank journal
6×6 inches

With this blank journal I used a print from one of my first encaustic paintings. In 2007 I participated in an art festival in my neighborhood in Seattle. I had ordered a bunch of fine art prints to include with my paintings at the festival. Since then I’ve sold quite a number of prints of this image, but I still had one more. I’m attempting to clear out my print storage bin- so out came the scissors and here is a new journal. Included on this cover is plaster, collaged papers and paint.

mixed media
handbound blank journal
5×7 inches

I like giving new life to things.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson


  1. by ArtPropelled on October 27, 2010  1:56 am Reply

    Nothing like a clean out to make one feel less frazzled! Stuff does have a way of piling up very quickly. You've hit the nail on the head about letting artworks go. For me too the magic is in the actual creating of a piece, though some pieces are steeped in meaning and emotion and when they turn out even better than expected it can be quite heart wrenching to let them go.

    Loving your new journals and particularly Cocoon which is really stunning. It must be a good feeling to re-create something that turns out so well.

  2. by wagedj on October 27, 2010  8:25 am Reply

    It is amazing how rethinking and reworking something you may have 'left for dead' can be resuscitated into something fabulous. Nice work.

  3. by nacherluver on October 27, 2010  11:44 am Reply

    I hear you on the clutter. It's on my To-do list for this weekend.
    Those journals are gorgeous!!!

  4. by Hindsfeet on October 28, 2010  11:56 am Reply

    cocoon, renewal, new beginnings, new endings, a re-purposed life....

    oh thank you for this imagery, these a beautiful benediction for me today.....

    and all I can say to it is, amen, so be it.

  5. by Karin Bartimole on October 29, 2010  6:15 pm Reply

    Gorgeous - these are the best repurposing results I've ever seen! I completely understand your response, regarding selling your art. I feel exactly as you do - you explained it perfectly, to me :) Good luck with all your streamlining and organizing - it's obviously a process that many will benefit from Bridgette, through your repurposed creations! xox K

  6. by Sharmon Davidson on October 30, 2010  8:40 pm Reply

    The clutter and frazzle- I hear you! I really do think people must think I'm a hoarder, but I have a huge desire to simplify- I swear! Working with only one medium would be so much less cluttery, wouldn't it?

    I'm a big fan of reworking and repurposing art, as well as a big fan of your work, so how could the journals be anything but beautiful! I love this butterfly cover, and what perfect imagery to illustrate giving new life to old things!

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