the heart of the land

 |  January 15, 2009

In the Heart of the Land
mixed media and encaustic, 6×8 inches
to be bound as a journal cover later

This is my first mixed media piece to be inspired by the midwest since I’ve moved to Chicago. The tree that inspired this piece resides somewhere in Wisconsin. I took the photo when I went up to Cedarburg this past October.

I’m still playing around with the title. I didn’t just want to call it “heartland” as I have a small oil painting that I created several years ago called that. That little painting was inspired by our drive from St. Louis to Seattle when we moved there! It’s a scene from South Dakota, you may recognize it if you’ve ever driven through there. Just kidding. But really the scenery doesn’t change much along that stretch. I thought it was beautiful.

Despite the barbaric temperatures outside and scary, slippery streets, I have been feeling more at home here. More at peace with our move. I think the fact that I created this mixed media painting is testament to that. And maybe even helped me reconnect to my new environment during the process of creating it.

To create this panel I used an old record sleeve that I sewed lines across. The tree in the middle is encased in wax and paint. I hammered in some small tack nails at the bottom of the panel.


  1. by Michelle on January 15, 2009  3:59 pm Reply

    bridgette, it is beautiful!

  2. by Carmen on January 15, 2009  4:03 pm Reply

    I love the dimension in this piece Bridgette. It's beautiful and it reminds me of back where I come from.


  3. by Haley Nagy on January 15, 2009  4:10 pm Reply

    Chicago will grow on you. After months of freezing temperatures, you learn to truly appreciate the warm months. I was never more active than when summer rolled around. You'll become more attuned to the seasons than you ever thought possible...

    If you feel like getting out of the house, there's an encaustic exhibit in Chicago Heights.

    I also wholeheartedly recommend Metropolis Coffee (best coffee in the USA). That will warm you up!

  4. by Wild Somerset Child on January 15, 2009  5:33 pm Reply

    Feeling settled and thus able to create is symbolic of wherever you stand in time, I believe. Such a beautiful creation, Bridgette - how do you find the the hours do make all these wonderful paintings? Can't wait to see it as a journal cover, if you ever offer it for sale. 'Raven' still sits on my desk, admonishing me when I do not open the pages to write my creative blog notes. Ann (from UK).

  5. by Paula Scott on January 15, 2009  5:43 pm Reply

    I really love this one. It is so serene and peaceful. Perhaps symbolic too, of your coming full circle in your geographical locations?
    Thank you too, for including a bit on how is was constructed.
    Happy birthday to Noah!! Two years old is cute,but exhausting. But, those two year olds have wisdom that we seem to loose as we get older.

  6. by JonesMoore on January 15, 2009  6:16 pm Reply

    This is oh so beautiful!

  7. by tangled sky studio on January 15, 2009  9:32 pm Reply

    hi bridgette,i'm so happy to see this piece and i really, really like the stitching. the tree seems so far away it's almost as if the idea of the midwest is a dream...and i agree-brrrr!

  8. by smith kaich jones on January 15, 2009  10:18 pm Reply

    Settling in. This is gorgeous & calming. It's just beautiful.


  9. by karen on January 16, 2009  12:27 am Reply

    love love love, this is stunning!

  10. by Shayla on January 16, 2009  10:09 am Reply

    Beautiful piece. I love the bright blue line, the sewing and what I think of as three seeds in the earth. Meditative.

  11. by MB Shaw on January 16, 2009  10:17 am Reply

    Your piece is stunning. Beautiful composition, colors, values, etc. I especially love the fact you made the tree so small within the large circle.

  12. by Jeane on January 16, 2009  1:59 pm Reply

    no words here, except my usual, gorgeous, just gorgeous!

  13. by Lost Aussie on January 16, 2009  3:02 pm Reply

    This is just lovely. The colours are so rich and wonderful. I'm glad you are settling into life in Chicago and happy birthday to your little man.

  14. by Anonymous on January 16, 2009  3:33 pm Reply

    Hi Bridgette,

    This is BEAUTIFULLL!!!! I love it because it reminds me of the moon but intwined with trees/seeds/nature.

  15. by Seth Apter on January 16, 2009  9:59 pm Reply

    What a wonderful and inspiring piece!

  16. by Tina on January 17, 2009  11:40 am Reply

    This is fabulous. It's amazing how where you are changes what you're doing. This piece is so clearly you, yet different than what has come before. Lovely.

  17. by Meri Arnett-Kremian on January 17, 2009  11:44 am Reply

    I keep forgetting to mention that there's a fascinating psychic in your neck of the woods -- Susan Bova. She lives in the south end. If you're into that, check her out.

  18. by bridgette on January 18, 2009  10:57 am Reply

    Thank you all for your comments you left me about this piece. I really appreciate it!

    Haley- I'm not so sure about the best coffee in the USA, you're talking to someone who just lived in Seattle for 6 years. :)

  19. by Small Boat Sails into Big Mystery on January 18, 2009  12:28 pm Reply

    Hi there, i am just following the threads on blogspot. Deb Holien (think that's the spelling) came to my attention through my wife who sells jewelry and portable altars on Etsy. Your blog was one that Deb follows and I thought the name was cool so here i am. Your work is very good, very centering. What kind of words do you write in those journals? I was wondering where you moved to Chicago from and found the answer (Seattle) on your comments. We live in Portland. I am "self-publishing" a novel by posting it a chapter at a time on my blog. Check it out if you are inclined. Also look at my wife's blogs-
    Heartspace and Salt Light Tomatoes. Glad to be part of the cyber-community
    Jim Nail

  20. by Shelly on January 19, 2009  1:22 am Reply

    This is fabulous. Like a portal into the heartland.
    Great colors and atmosphere.

    Glad to hear Chicago is feeling more like home.


  21. by Joy Logan on January 19, 2009  5:22 pm Reply

    What a fabulous piece and interesting technique!

  22. by Maggie Neale on January 21, 2009  1:06 am Reply

    So glad to have found my way to your wonderful blog through Sylvie's blogspot and that through flickr. I love the record sleeves, sewing and encastic mixed and want to venture more about your site, but must sleep in the next moment.

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