signs of life

signs of life, encaustic and mixed media,
9×12 inches

Thank you for all your supportive comments on my last post regarding sharing my thoughts behind the pieces. Sometimes I just get unsure of what is too much, how much, etc. But when I began painting again, one of the reasons why I started to journal along with my paintings was to be able to work out my language. What I mean is, it is hard to put into words why we do what we do. Even if there is no deeper meaning behind the reason there may be a circle included on the right top of a painting. There is, however, a reason behind our impetus to create. Figuring that out gives me direction.

This piece above was an exploration of building up layers of wax and then scraping back. You can see in the bottom, the scraping back I did. Upon seeing the results, it reminded me of the natural aging process we see in our everday surroundings. The signs of life around us. Oxidation, decay, life upon life, the eternal circle of life and death. I have always been in love with patina. When I was in high school and did a lot of work in clay, my teacher would order special patinas and oxidation pigments just for my projects.

Then I started thinking…what if I added metal to my encaustic pieces and then aged them?? Hmmmm. That could be a beautiful marriage between rusted oxidation on metal and the lovely, bumpy texture of wax.

Since I work on wood, it was very easy to just hammer in some metal pieces and go at it. Here is a detail shot of some rusty goodness:


You can see a bigger photo of this if you click on the picture. It will take you to my flickr account.


  1. VERY cool with the metal and wax together, Bridgette. These are such incredible pieces. And what a great experience – having a high school art teacher who supported you to that extent! Hugs, Shari

  2. My eyes always light up when I see you’ve put up a new post. It’s the next best thing to working together in the same studio. As always, I love what you are doing and am always inspired by your work.

  3. I totally understand what you are saying about decay, oxidation, and patina in art- and their relationship to the natural process of our lives. You have captured this so well in this piece. And that deep blue in the painting is magnificent.

  4. This works well together. There’s an interaction with the metal buttons and the stretching tree branches. The green patina on on the metal reinforces the blue below. Lovely!

  5. This is absolutely incredible. The metal works so well in this piece and now after seeing it, I can imagine it in so many of your other pieces.

    I don’t think you ever over-share. I thoroughly enjoy learning the mental process that accompanies the creation of other people’s artwork. Learning what moves them, what motivates and inspires them makes the art more meaningful for me.

  6. thanks shari~ Yes, I was very lucky to have had her in my life at that time. She was a book artist when she wasn’t teaching ceramics and pulled me aside to teach me how to make books. She said she knew it was an artform that would speak to me.

    Thank you Judy! Your words mean a lot to me. I like the idea of us working side by side. 🙂

    hey seth, i knew you would feel the same about patina and oxidation! It was your book on urban decay that really spoke to me.

    Thanks LEah!

    Thank you Gina, I was really hoping that the green patina would come out to interact with the green on the bottom. With rusting things up though, you never know what you’re going to get!

    Thank you so much for your words Carmen. I’m really excited about incorporating more metal into my work. Or at least rusty things.

    Thank you Half-moon.

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