where memory resides

 |  May 4, 2009

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. by Michelle on May 4, 2009  9:39 pm Reply

    Bridgette, beautiful! I love the colors, what a great shift for you!

  2. by bridgette on May 4, 2009  9:53 pm Reply

    Thank you michelle! My palette has shifted since my move, I think.

  3. by Mixed Media Martyr on May 4, 2009  9:59 pm Reply

    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!

  4. by bridgette on May 4, 2009  10:03 pm Reply

    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...

  5. by MLC on May 4, 2009  10:34 pm Reply

    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.

  6. by smith kaich jones on May 4, 2009  11:53 pm Reply

    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.


  7. by Kim Hambric on May 5, 2009  8:48 am Reply

    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.

  8. by Leslie Avon Miller on May 5, 2009  10:00 am Reply

    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.

  9. by Jen on May 5, 2009  10:56 am Reply

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

  10. by Meri Arnett-Kremian on May 5, 2009  10:59 am Reply

    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.

  11. by Miki Willa on May 5, 2009  11:23 am Reply

    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.

  12. by Jeane on May 5, 2009  12:29 pm Reply

    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....

  13. by rivergardenstudio on May 5, 2009  1:44 pm Reply

    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

  14. by tangled sky studio on May 5, 2009  2:38 pm Reply

    i love the red side of this piece bridgette....
    for me painting feeds my soul and feeds a spark that is vital and energizing.

  15. by Morgaine on May 5, 2009  2:59 pm Reply

    Beautiful ! I really enjoy your gallery, great work !

  16. by MLC on May 5, 2009  5:39 pm Reply

    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.

  17. by Fuzzy Brush on May 5, 2009  7:22 pm Reply

    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

  18. by Compost Studios on May 5, 2009  9:31 pm Reply

    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....

  19. by Poetic Artist on May 5, 2009  11:30 pm Reply

    Lovely work,
    Yes I think when I work, it is a peaceful place..We find our true self. Katelen

  20. by Seth on May 6, 2009  12:28 am Reply

    Love the richness of this piece...and it's depth. And I too love the process of creating!

  21. by Karin on May 6, 2009  11:00 am Reply

    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.

  22. by Shelly on May 7, 2009  1:15 am Reply

    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.

  23. by Regina on May 11, 2009  5:52 pm Reply

    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.

  24. by Wild Somerset Child on May 13, 2009  4:38 am Reply

    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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