encaustic mixed media piece, Sojourner, by Bridgette Guerzon Mills
Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Sojourners, encaustic, gouache, paper, plaster, textile and assorted seed pods and cones, 12x6inches

This piece is comprised of two panels and they had both been framed and had hung in my studio for a long time. I think the seedpod one has been in my studio for several years. I don’t know what came over me the other day but I took them both out of their frames, attached them and then added more textile bits, a milkweed pod, an acorn hat. and a few cones. And I love it.

This bird is called the Northern Wheatear and I painted it in gouache a few years ago. The northern wheatear makes one of the longest journeys of any small bird, crossing ocean, ice, and desert. That’s why I called the piece Sojourner when I had taken that gouache painting and added it to a panel with encaustic medium then added the crocheted and textile bits.

When I added the seed pod panel I decided to just add an s to the title. Seeds, too, are also on long journeys and stay temporarily in their seed state.

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” Cynthia Occelli

I found this quote a long time ago and it has always stayed with me. I think about it when I have gone through crisis. And I have thought about it when our country was/is going through crisis. It is just naive hope to think we will emerge from the mess of the past years and all the upheaval into something new and whole and healthy? I still worry as it seems like there are some cracks that need to be gone through. But let’s hope that new, whole, healthy and just emerges at the end of this long journey.

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