The Pulse

 |  March 1, 2012


31-Artists-Icon

I am really excited to share that I was invited to be a featured artist in Seth Apter’s new book The Pulse of Mixed Media: Secrets and Passions of 100 Artists Revealed which is now available in bookstores and online. My excitement doesn’t come just from the fact that my work is in it, but that I have been witness to Seth’s growth as an artist and the creative genius of this thing called The Pulse. I am so happy for him and cannot wait to see the book.

He started The Pulse back in 2008 on his blog, The Altered Page and he had invited me to be a part of the Pulse then……who knew that it would have blossomed into an actual book. I have participated in all the Pulse editions except for one. I think I was busy having a baby at the time or moving across the country! All I know is I was really swamped, otherwise I would have participated. It really is just so wonderful to see someone that I respect as an artist and as a fellow human to have created something like this. I think of Seth as a facilitator,a collaborator, a person who shares and who inspires others to step out and show their creative selves to the world. We have known each other since 2007 through our blogs and then worked on a collaboration together on artist books that spanned 2 years. We finally met in person about a little over a year ago in Chicago and it was like meeting up with an old friend. We could have talked for hours! And well, actually we did. It was fun.

In trying to remember my experience with The Pulse, I actually found the original email Seth sent out in 2008:

To me, the blogging community is as much about connection and communication as it is about exhibiting art. To that end, I thought it might be interesting to take the pulse of this community by asking a number of artists a few questions that I think might inspire my readers.

Well, I guess it was interesting because now there is a book out! As one of the 31 artists who are spotlighted for the book, we had to answer some funny, some tough and some probing questions about our inspiration, our creative process, and our work. We also had to create two pieces specifically for the book. One was a self portrait and the other was a response to a creative prompt he challenged each of us with.

This is one of the pieces that I made for the book. I am showing just a part of it here:


bgmills_spirits_sometimes

This is an artist book called “Spirits” that I made out of encaustic, plaster, paper and thread. Since I created it for Seth’s book it has been hanging from one of the rafters in my studio. But now that The Pulse is out, I have brought it out of my studio and it is now hanging in my show that opens this weekend.

The other piece I made is an encaustic sculpture that is a self portrait…but I’m going to keep that underwraps for a little bit longer. But here is a sneak peak:


bgmills_pulse

As I mentioned, Seth has a talent for encouraging us to spill our creative guts online and in his book, but he, however, is mysteriously silent….hmmmmm….perhaps he just wants to be an even more enigmatic figure for us to wonder about. Hmmmm. Just teasing Seth! Anyway, we thought it would be fun to turn the tables on him.

1. Why artist books? Of all formats and media, why do you choose this one? As a fellow book artist, I would love to know!

2. Do people look at you funny to see you picking up rusted objects and scraps of paper off the streets? Do you come up with some funny story if they ask?

3. What is the one tool you cannot live without?

And as Michelle Ward did on her blog yesterday, I invite anyone who is reading this to answer the questions that I posed for Seth as well!


41 Comments

  1. by Kathryn Dyche Dechairo on March 2, 2012  9:48 am Reply

    I love that you say Seth is a facilitator, collaborator and an inspiration because I couldn't agree more. I can't wait to receive my copy of the book. Your work is incredible.

  2. by ArtPropelled on March 2, 2012  10:02 am Reply

    Really loving the sneak peek Bridgette and wondering how on earth I'm going to contain myself until my copy of The Pulse is in my hot little hands. Smiling at the question about people looking at artists who pick up scrap off the streets ..... Even if they don't find it odd I think they are thinking I'm odd for the first few minutes and then I forget the rest of the world as I discover more and more treasure.

  3. by Cathy on March 2, 2012  10:08 am Reply

    2. Do people look at you funny to see you picking up rusted objects and scraps of paper off the streets? Do you come up with some funny story if they ask?...I always say that our son likes building robots out of found objects...which is true, but the objects don't always make it to him. :)

  4. by Seth on March 2, 2012  10:10 am Reply

    Thank you so much for being in the book Bridgette and for this wonderful post. People will be blown away when they see the work you contributed in the full pics.

    Hmmmm....I am sensing a theme here. Maybe instead of 31/31, I should have called this 'Let's make Seth answer questions for a change." Okay...here are the answers:

    1. To me, art tells a story. And it carries with it the complete history of the artist. What better format for telling a story then the artist book. You can see the history unfold page by page.

    2. When I first started to pick up my street finds, I was very self conscious and would sometimes even pass them by. But I got over that pretty quickly. And truth is, in NYC you can get away with quite a lot without people even noticing.

    3.Stretching the definition of the word 'tool' just a bit, I would have to say gesso. I use it in pretty much everything I make and for me, it is my secret sauce.

  5. by michelle ward on March 2, 2012  10:22 am Reply

    Bridgette, I'm such a fan of your work, and your style. Love hearing your story in connection with the Pulse. And I'm cracking up at your questions for the survey man, especially #2! I have no shame when it comes to picking up debris from the road, or anywhere else. I love that my kids not only do not flinch when they see me scoop up stuff, they even scout for cool stuff for me :)

  6. by Leslie on March 2, 2012  11:01 am Reply

    Bridgette, I can't wait to see your work in Seth's book. I have been a fan of yours for some time. Seth is an inspiration; not only in his work, but also in the way he draws the community together.
    I love your questions as well, especially the second one. I have been known to gather all sorts of odd things from the street, and have enlisted the eyes of friends and family to discover treasures. Even a friend's cat is in the hunt, bringing me butterflies and cicadas.

  7. by Melva on March 2, 2012  11:11 am Reply

    Cannot wait to see your work in the book. It seems like you had great fun with the collaboration.....

  8. by Lisa H on March 2, 2012  11:28 am Reply

    Fantastic Blog!.....your work is stunning, Bridgette.
    I head-over-heels over your son Noah's
    art as well!
    You know I'll be back.

  9. by jinxxxygirl on March 2, 2012  11:39 am Reply

    Hello Bridgette! So nice to meet you thru Seth. Your work is amazing!

  10. by Karen Cole on March 2, 2012  12:32 pm Reply

    Such a pleasure to meet you Bridgette.
    Seth has a penchant for finding the most amazing people. I am honored to share space in what I am certain will be the most amazing of books.

    Your work is beautiful in it's simplicity.

    I try to teach those that ask, that beauty can be found in just about anything.

    I suppose copper sheeting would be my "can't do without" right now. A drawing pencil would be up there as well.

  11. by Parabolic Muse on March 2, 2012  2:16 pm Reply

    Your book! So lovely! I so admire the strength you show in bringing out such variety of textures. Texture is one of the most important parts of a work, along with color, for me. That is stunning.

    You are so right about Seth being inspirational and a facilitator.

    As for question one, the book is such a wonderful format because so many pieces can be included in one package, and it also allows for multiple treatments of a theme or element. One of the best qualities of the book format is that it is (usually) portable. And isn't is also really cool that the very construction of a book is to keep the next page a secret...until it's turned?

  12. by bridgette on March 2, 2012  2:32 pm Reply

    Kathryn- He really is all that! It's pretty amazing what he has created these past 4 years. Thank you for your kind words.

    Robyn- I was so happy to see you included in the list! I can't wait either to see what everyone has created and written for the book. Yes, I agree- i think that we think people are staring at us when they really aren't! :)

    Cathy- I love that! haha!

  13. by bridgette on March 2, 2012  2:35 pm Reply

    Seth- haha! we got you! It was Michelle's idea and I thought it was a great. Thanks for answering my question. I actually figured that since you live in NYC no one would care or even notice! But I can imagine tha it might raise a curious eyebrow or two.
    What you say about the book is so true- history and process unfolding page by page.

    Thanks again Seth and congratulations!

  14. by bridgette on March 2, 2012  2:41 pm Reply

    Michelle-thanks for visiting and answering one of my questions! That's great about your kids being part of it too. When my son was only 2 he was so used to me having my camera in hand and taking photos of rusty and worn out things that he would point them out for me excitedly "mama, picture of broken!" :)

    Leslie- thanks so much and that's funny that even the cat participates!

    Thanks Melva, Lisa and jinxxxygirl!

    Karen- me too and thank you. Copper sheeting...hmmm...I'm intrigued.

    Parabolic muse- thanks so much! I am a texture person too. I love what you said about the book form and it being a secret until the page is turned. It does allow one to really delve into a theme. That's what I love about it too. Thanks for playing along!

  15. by TheFairyyellowbugQueen on March 2, 2012  4:21 pm Reply

    Hi Bridgette. I truly look forward to following you, now that I have discovered you through Seth! Thank you Seth!
    There wasn't even a shadow of a hesitation to answer #3. My tool of choice is a mapping pen (stick pen holder with the tiniest metal nib possible). But part two of course would be the india ink to dip the pen in to.*smiles* Norma

  16. by Carol on March 2, 2012  4:45 pm Reply

    Seth and I like the same artists and following his blog has led me to so many different mediums. I have long admired your work and may give encaustics a try some day. Friends will give me little rusty things and say "I thought of you when I saw this". I think of it as a compliment. Good luck with your show.

  17. by Carol on March 2, 2012  5:43 pm Reply

    Bridgette, your work is really beautiful. So glad to find you via Seth. I am always collecting rusty things on the street and yes, people do give mr funny looks but I know I'm finding treasures so I don't mind.

  18. by rivergardenstudio on March 2, 2012  7:51 pm Reply

    Bridgette, your work is thoughtful and mysterious, you have inspired me continuously and I love what you have shared here and Seth's post about you. And what great questions you ask, (love everyones answers too!)
    What I love about the artist book is the way it tells a story, sometimes one that is unknown to the artist until it is finished.
    roxanne

  19. by layers on March 2, 2012  7:59 pm Reply

    I remember a visit once to visit my son who is an artist living in NYC.. that as we walked to and from the subways I often stopped to pick up some rusty thing on the sidewalk or tear off part of a poster off of a post.. and I do know my son looked at me very oddly!

  20. by Jill Zaheer on March 2, 2012  8:38 pm Reply

    Bridgette, love learning how you and Seth first met and seeing those beautiful images of your work!
    I always pick things up from the streets in NYC and no one blinks an eye. I think it’s because 9 out of 10 people are on some type of electronic device. They have a hard enough time just maneuvering to cross the street, let alone picking their head up to look at anyone else! Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. So glad that my work will be in the book with yours!

  21. by windrock studio on March 2, 2012  9:46 pm Reply

    Hey Bridgette, thanks for sharing about Seth and this book and for your sneak peek ~ your work is always so wonderful!

  22. by Lynn on March 2, 2012  10:04 pm Reply

    How fun to start meeting other artists in Seth's book (isn't it OUR book too?) I love that you are asking HIM to answer questions!
    I am quite taken by your waxed fabric frames around interesting drawings...so beautiful. Excited to see them in the actual book (when it finally arrives)!!!! We've been waiting so long it feels.
    Love having yet another wonderful blog to follow too. Your personal meet up was fun to read about!

  23. by liberal sprinkles on March 3, 2012  1:24 am Reply

    Hi Bridgette, I'm so happy to be introduced to your works. Amazing! I love Spirits, and the wonderful way the book is displayed in the photo!
    Grace

  24. by iamrushmore on March 3, 2012  8:00 am Reply

    so glad to have discovered your site from Seth's page. Your work is so beautiful and inspiring! I'm a devoted ground-picker and now my young son comes home with things for me - "maybe you could use this in your art".

  25. by CERULEAN on March 3, 2012  10:25 am Reply

    I love the small preview!

  26. by Freenie Belle on March 3, 2012  11:49 am Reply

    Hi Birdgette,

    Opened to your blog and saw the title, Contemplating the Moon" and I knew I was in for a treat. I love the noble silence in your work and yet the energy and movement talks to me too.

    I go as far as looking in the backs of people's trucks and asking for items. I've seen trucks full of great items going to the scrap yard. Not shy about getting found objects.

    I have to list two items I couldn't do without: Golden fluid acrylics and Caran D'ache oil pastels.

    Thank you for the inspiration. I'll certainly return to your blog. Happy I found you thru 31 Artists....

  27. by Freenie Belle on March 3, 2012  11:49 am Reply

    Hi Birdgette,

    Opened to your blog and saw the title, Contemplating the Moon" and I knew I was in for a treat. I love the noble silence in your work and yet the energy and movement talks to me too.

    I go as far as looking in the backs of people's trucks and asking for items. I've seen trucks full of great items going to the scrap yard. Not shy about getting found objects.

    I have to list two items I couldn't do without: Golden fluid acrylics and Caran D'ache oil pastels.

    Thank you for the inspiration. I'll certainly return to your blog. Happy I found you thru 31 Artists....

  28. by Melody on March 3, 2012  1:34 pm Reply

    I'm so glad to have found your work and website through Seth, and look forward to future posts. Your work is LOVELY. I'll be participating in Seth's blog tour on April 10th, and will look for you in the book - I just received my advance copy the other day. :)

  29. by druga szesnaście on March 3, 2012  2:23 pm Reply

    this book is definitely a must-have.
    but I have a confession to make - the whole 31/31 project made me finally find my courage and actually comment on blogs of artists I've always admired from afar.
    I check out your blog regularly but somehow I felt too shy to say anything confronted with so much breathtaking beauty.
    I love your writing, too. you have no idea how many things I noted down from your blog.
    thank you for all the inspiration!

    as for the questions:
    #2 - very often! nobody comments though. I visit a local flea market and I discovered that you can find a.m.a.z.i.n.g things lying down on the ground next to trash bins... I always check this spot and this is when I get the weirdest looks. ;)
    #3 - watercolor crayons. I'm totally addicted. vintage papers and photos - but it's not really a tool, is it?

  30. by Altered Bits on March 3, 2012  3:45 pm Reply

    seth is a facilitator, collaborator and and inspiration indeed! perfect summation!

    i absolutely adore your seek peeks and cannot wait to have seth's book in my hands. i laughed when reading the question about picking bits up off the streets -- i do that often and get crazy looks all the time. "why are you picking up trash?" i loved your questions and seth's answers, thank you!

    and as for you, miss bridgette, i am in love with your art! i was excited to see you were part of the book and 31 days as i felt very drawn to your work with seth posted two years worth of progress photos when you had your book collaboration. wonderful stuff!

  31. by nancy neva gagliano on March 3, 2012  10:25 pm Reply

    celebrating the collaborations and connections that seth has brought into my world through his blog and projects.....and it continues as i'm introduced to you using some of my favorite "stuff" like wax, and things like birds...and color like ...subtle!

  32. by LizzieA on March 4, 2012  12:40 am Reply

    I am really pleased that Seth has pointed me in your direction! I will follow your blog with interest from now on.

  33. by Tammie Lee on March 4, 2012  12:46 pm Reply

    I have enjoyed a stroll about your blog and it is wonderful to see your art. Congratulations in being part of this wonderful book.

  34. by elle on March 4, 2012  7:26 pm Reply

    The Pulse has made a difference in my life, opened it up, so to speak.

  35. by merci33 on March 8, 2012  9:17 am Reply

    Congratulations on all of the wonder and joy that the Art/Life is filled with FOR YOU!!!
    Yes...Seth is a rock star and you are shining even more brightly as a result of your collaborations with him and the 31.
    Bravo!
    I'm smiling ear to ear for YOU!

  36. by JonesMoore Studio Art on March 8, 2012  6:48 pm Reply

    Congratulations Bridgette! I can't wait to see this collaborative book, of which I am also a part of.

  37. by Susana Tavares on March 11, 2012  1:48 pm Reply

    Congratulations!!!! Love your art piece :)

  38. by bridgette on March 12, 2012  4:00 pm Reply

    Thanks so much everyone for your very kind comments! You all are so generous and I truly appreciate the visits!

  39. by city on March 15, 2012  11:19 pm Reply

    nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....

  40. by Barbara I. on March 24, 2012  7:29 am Reply

    I am intrigued by encaustic paintings. Saw an artist in Asheville, NC working on her encaustic pieces and enjoyed watching the process. I love all your layers. Thanks for sharing your art with us. Congrats on being included in Seth's book!

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