the seed is hope

 |  April 8, 2009

The Seed is Hope
encaustic on clayboard, 8×8 inches

I put this encaustic painting up on my flickr page on Sunday and Angela noticed that my recent paintings had more earthtones and wondered if it has to do with me living in the prairies now. Well, I would say that definitely I am using more earthtones in my work and I do think it is an influence of my environment. When I was in Seattle I painted with a more blue/gray palette, reflecting the moody water environment that I lived in. But the funny thing is, I don’t live in prairie lands now! I live in a pretty concrete world called Chicago.

But the colors here are different, for sure. This weekend we trekked out to Middlefork Savannah Forest Preserve in Lake Forest on our “family day”. We try to have one day during the weekend dedicated to family activities since I work all day on Sunday. We had a lot of fun running along the trail, listening to frogs and birds, and just being out in the open air. It’s been a long winter.

golden pods?

From these photos, the earthy browns and ochres are apparent. So different from the deep greens and gray blues of the Puget Sound area of Western Washington. Anyone know what these beautiful golden pods are? I’ve never seen anything like that before.

running away from mama
it’s so flat here!

crazy how my baby is not a baby anymore


  1. by Amber on April 8, 2009  4:48 pm Reply

    I really love that piece. And it is fascinating how your art has changed. It feels less "cloudy" ;)

  2. by Wild Somerset Child on April 8, 2009  4:54 pm Reply

    As ever, your wonderful art focuses me on what is valuable in life. Thankyou Bridgette for your soulful paintings; they make me feel whole again. (Ann from UK).

    And it is strange how place and time and the 'seasonality of things' - can't remember where I came across that phrase - so affect what we paint or write.

    And little ones demonstrate their individuality, and yet focus on home again as they grow older. Much older - mine do!

  3. by Regina on April 8, 2009  6:05 pm Reply

    Beautiful art & photos.
    The pods are from Milkweed.
    Here's an image of the plant in bloom.
    The pods are the most lovely milky green. They are filled with downy fluffs that carry the seeds for miles in the fall.
    The plant is an important food source for Monarch butterflies.

  4. by Angela Wales Rockett on April 8, 2009  6:15 pm Reply

    Funny how much the nature of our environments influence our art. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest, it takes a real effort to use colors other than blue and gray, but when I lived in California, I painted more reds and ochres.

    Love the painting, and the photos. I haven't seen milkweeds since I lived on the prairie when I was in elementary school.

    Your baby's gotten so big!

  5. by tangled sky studio on April 8, 2009  8:15 pm Reply

    yep...that a milkweed pod. monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the back of the leaves of this plant (and the wasps try to eat them). i make tiny woolen babies and these half pods become their beds.

  6. by Mary Buek on April 9, 2009  10:21 am Reply

    Love the painting; really love the pod picture. Cool about the Monarch butterflies laying eggs on them.

  7. by Jeane on April 9, 2009  12:33 pm Reply

    I think it is a totally unconscious act that we paint from our environment, don't you - if I am in a warm colorful climate, my color palette reflects that and here at home, the blues, grays, this piece Bridgette and also the last photo on this post - Happy Easter...

  8. by Morgaine on April 9, 2009  3:48 pm Reply

    wonderful painting , great post. just my cup of tea with the earth colours :-)

  9. by Karin on April 9, 2009  5:15 pm Reply

    I'm loving these rich earthy tones Bridgette - for what ever reason they are appearing :) Though I can see them in the city, too - the rusts, and patinas of metals.
    I used to find and collect milkweed as a kid. The monarch eggs would hatch and I'd feed those tiny caterpillars the milk weed leaves until they were quite big and would form their chrysalis, Then I'd keep it safe until it would hatch into a monarch butterfly, at which point I'd release it. Might be a fun nature project for you and your son :)

  10. by Cynjon on April 9, 2009  5:53 pm Reply

    Well, other folks have already filled you in, those are milkweed...they smell LOVELY when they bloom, and are filled with lovely seed pods.

  11. by bridgette on April 10, 2009  2:49 pm Reply

    Thanks everyone for the info. Now I am really curious to see these milkweeds with the silk in them as the dried pods are so beautiful.

    Beth- I want to see your tiny woolen babies!

  12. by Seth on April 10, 2009  9:20 pm Reply

    Lovely piece. Wonderfully rich and deep colored "strips" at the bottom.

  13. by holly - uk on April 12, 2009  7:42 pm Reply

    Oh i LOVE that copper brown strip at the bottom! Ohhh im in utter LOVE with your earth paintings - soooo beautiful!! x

  14. by City.Girl.Em on April 13, 2009  1:21 am Reply

    Your work is beautiful! I'm in Tinley Park and enjoy mixed media and collage. Do you know of any classes for encaustic or collage/mixed media in the city? I'd love to find one and learn some new techniques.


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.