where memory resides

Where Memory Resides
encaustic on clayboard
8×8 inches

Got to work on Sunday and had the wax going almost all day. Still working on my prairie/seeds pieces and now I have this one to add to the group. I have really been working on layering my colors, then scraping back. Fusing can bring surprises. A color I had forgotten, long buried, peeks through.


I was looking through my file of art quotes and came across this:

“I think most artists create out of despair. The very nature of creation is not a performing glory on the outside, it’s a painful, difficult search within.” ~ Louise Nevelson

I do agree with her statement that creating is a search within. And it does seem like a lot of creative types have been through the fires of life. I think that it is often the experience of hardship- mental, spirital, physical that hones the spirit, attuning it to feel more, to see more, express more. Perhaps. Everyone’s story is different. I think that my experiences have made me more sensitive to what is around me.

For me, I create to find my peace. Maybe it is the same.

I find peace in my son’s laughter, in the solitude of nature, and in my art. Not the final product, but in the act of creating. I find that the chatter that goes on in my head, quiets itself. I need that.

How about you?


  1. Art quiets the chatter in my head as well! Although creativity may be borne out of despair, I feel that the actual act of creating is the joyous release of that despair. You search, you discover, and you release!

  2. Beautifully put, mixed media martyr! That reminds me, I meant to send you an additional email about encaustics. will email you soon before i forget…

  3. I need the process of creating art not the outcome. Although a nice outcome is a bonus.

    There is a lovely lecture on You Tube with the author of Eat Pray Love on art/creative practice…really worth listening to.

  4. This is gorgeous & just glows.

    And I agree with everyone – it’s the act of creating that is the most fulfilling, the most . . . well, words fail me. But those hours that go by & you know them not; you know only this piece in front of you, your hands, your brush, your pencil. There is never enough time.


  5. This is a beautiful piece.

    I have created art out of pain and despair. I don’t think I have sold any of this art, and very little is displayed in my home.

    I feel my best work is created from joy. I find great joy in color and find that colors placed side my side create energy. I’m at my happiest when creating to music.

    My work my not be peaceful, but I do not feel it is painful.

  6. My work is telling the story, mainly from a place of gratitude. I don’t create well from a place of despair. I do love this piece, and the title. Where Memory Resides sounds like a story told as well.

  7. I love the graphic placing of the seeds juxtaposed with the organic elements. It creates such wonderful tension. And the earth colours. Yum! xoxo

  8. I know precisely what you mean about the chatter being silenced. I have thought about that phenomenon a lot and believe it’s because the chatter/editor/critic is a left brain function and creating a piece of art is a right brain activity. When the right brain is totally in control, the chatter stops because it’s been sidelined. I often wonder if it continues to chat away, totally oblivious that I can’t hear it.

  9. Beautiful piece.
    When I am creating art, be it pastel painting or collage, all chatter, time, and pain ceases. I am totally in the act of creation. I find that I create during times of joy way more often than during times of grief. This has not always been the case, but I have to admit that I like my creations much better now.

  10. another wonderful piece, Bridgette – these colors are so rich – each day is different for me in the studio because I’m in a different place each day….

  11. These colors are earthy and rich with reds. So lovely! I love the quote, and always have such a hard time with this question… why do I create? I agree with you about the quest of seeing more, expressing more. But creating for me is like this urge I can’t deney … thanks, Roxanne

  12. I’m really enjoying your blog and encaustic. I have been working with clay and raku firings for a year or so now. Encaustic has all the qualities I like about clay and my art work – texture, layers. And of course hot wax is a bit like a raku firing in that it is not entirely under one’s control.

  13. I love this piece. The more I look at your work, the more I want to get into encaustic…let me at that wax! It has a look like no other medium! Best thoughts from the brush…doris

  14. This reminds me of waking in a room in Italy, the shadow of a climbing vine beyond the window shade…

    I’m still a newbie, somewhat of a latecomer to visual arts after a career in writing. I find the expressing myself visually pulls material from an entirely different place than my writing does. It’s interesting. Like writing one must let go and yet gain control. Like guiding a horse in full gallop….

  15. I just love that pattern/texture you created in the lower left corner of this piece – these rich reds, golds and rusts are so appealing to me 🙂
    While my work taps into the painful aspects of my life, and I use crating to help work through pain, despair is not a great creative motivator for me. I’m more likely to curl up in a ball and sleep through despair! I believe that my best work has been inspired by the challenges of my pains and strengths of my triumphs- bridging my joys and sorrows. I love other’s art that touches both sides within me, as well.

  16. Very well put, Bridgette. The process, the rhythm of creating definitely soothes the mind.

    The “fires of life”. Would make a good title for one of your pieces.

    I absolutely am in love with your new color work. It is fascinating to see the hints and shadows of the underlayers . . . the character and personality of the piece itself.

    BTW, I start my workshop next Wednesday !! Very excited.

  17. The color & richness of this piece are glorious. You really tempt me towards encaustic, but I have plenty of adventures ahead of me with acrylic.
    Painting is often a retreat for me. I enter my own world and come out revived. Sometimes I discover aspects of myself that I didn’t even know exist.

  18. Bridgette, a belated comment because we have been away. Creating art calms me and stills the voices in my head whilst I am working on a piece, even if they still whisper, “What if …..?” And as my life revolves around creating in words, a little bit of art is true balm, even though I don’t get to the table as often or as much as I would like.

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