the beautiful below

 |  October 1, 2010

the beautiful below
12 3/4 x 24 inches

I completed this painting this past month and it is my largest encaustic painting to date. Yes, I know, it is not that large, but for me it is. And I have to say that I have really been enjoying working larger. There is more room to explore with. More room for risk.

All paintings are much better in person than on the screen, but this is especially true of this one. There is a lot of variation in the dark “ground” that just could not be captured.

The title comes from a piece of writing that my husband wrote many years ago that I have kept in a journal I made. I often refer to this book for my titles.

How is it October already? September was filled with trips out of the city and into the wilderness for my family. Our last trip was to my beloved Seattle, but we spent most of our time on the other side of the mountains in a tiny town called Winthrop. It was so beautiful there. Have you been someplace where the landscape is so beautiful that it makes you breathless or on the verge of tears? Ok, maybe that’s overly dramatic, but at the very least it made me want to be a landscape painter. I felt so inspired by the beauty in front of me. I just want to capture the essence of that landscape through paint to keep that feeling with me.

I love the foggy, dark green of the Puget Sound which is west of the Cascade Mountains. The east side of the mountains is completely different, but just as beautiful. It is drier over here and it reminded me of the southwest a little bit, which is another landscape that speaks to me. The mountains and hills were a golden ochre, the skies so blue, and the air so crisp. Just what I needed.


Mt. Patterson, Winthrop, WA


I am more than ever convinced that the only possible way to interpret the scenes hereabout is through an impressionistic vision. A cold material representation gives one no conception whatever of the great size and distances of these mountains. ~Ansel Adams


  1. by Liz Hampton-Derivan Studio on October 1, 2010  7:40 pm Reply

    Beautiful piece. I try to follow your Blog regularly as I always enjoy your artwork and your writing.

  2. by helen on October 1, 2010  7:48 pm Reply

    Encaustic work seems to be very popular - yours is very nice - also like you photos.

  3. by Seth on October 1, 2010  10:12 pm Reply

    I can only imagine how rich that dark field must look in person. Maybe I will get to see it in person one day!!

  4. by merci33 on October 1, 2010  10:23 pm Reply

    Hi Bridgette
    How very exciting to stretch the picture plane..12 x 24 is a great size no matter what the medium...The piece is rich and provocative...alluring.

    I LOVE your rounded mountain landscape photos...I want to lie there against the Mother's ear listening to her dreaming her next field of flowers, wandering marmot, blanket of snow.

  5. by nacherluver on October 2, 2010  9:02 am Reply

    Beautiful piece. It's lovely you take titles from your husband's writing. Love the meshing of minds. and yes, I have seen nature so beautiful I could weep.

  6. by rivergardenstudio on October 2, 2010  12:17 pm Reply

    Wow, I can just feel the life in the darkened earthy layer of your "beautiful below" And then to see your hillside and to see it the way you do. I am so glad you had a wonderful visit to the Pacific Northwest. I live much farther south, but next to the Cascade mountains as well. I wish you a weekend of sunshine and peace. roxanne

  7. by Crystal on October 2, 2010  5:30 pm Reply

    Beautiful indeed Bridgette! I saw a few large encaustics last night and they could not hold a candle to your work!

  8. by Sharmon Davidson on October 4, 2010  7:44 pm Reply

    This piece speaks to me of the quiet workings of nature that go unnoticed, but are always there, the deep underground secret places of the earth. It's a beautiful, thoughtful piece. And yes, I have seen landscapes so beautiful they overwhelmed me with emotion.

  9. by EVA on October 4, 2010  10:32 pm Reply

    Really lovely painting!!

    That bottom photograph looks like it could make a great painting too!

  10. by Leovi on October 8, 2010  6:42 pm Reply

    Magnifico lenguaje abstracto, muy sugerente.

  11. by jbkrost on October 13, 2010  7:41 pm Reply

    really great job on the painting

  12. by Shannon Lee Webb on October 16, 2010  3:28 pm Reply

    It is very beautiful and it moves me...thanks for sharing...

  13. by Tricia on October 20, 2010  5:46 pm Reply

    beautiful piece, bridgette. the part you wrote about finding titles in your husband's writing made me smile. that's such a wonderful, special thing. :)

  14. by layers on October 21, 2010  9:14 pm Reply

    Love the simplicity of your encaustic- and the photos have a simplicity that seems to fit.

  15. by jeannette on October 23, 2010  4:13 pm Reply

    I love this piece!May be "bigger" is your new nitch?

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