1.) What am I working on/writing?
I am currently working on a series of 15-20 paintings. I’m looking forward to developing a cohesive body of work with such scale and importance to my life, and I am ready to dive in. My goal is to prepare these works for my first two person exhibit with FUSEDChicago artist Ahavani Mullen, at the Brickton Art Center in Park Ridge, Illinois in June 2015. I'm honored to have the opportunity to exhibit my work along side such a talented artist and in front of a large audience.
I am also working on several commissioned works on both a large and small scale. I’ve been enjoying the process and nothing is more satisfying that seeing the finished piece hanging in someone’s home or office!
2.) How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
Encaustic is a unique medium but I’ve seen it applied in many different ways. No one method is better than another. What makes my work unique is the meaning behind each piece - the raw emotion that inspires it - so the outcome is never the same. I am inspired by my personal experiences and memories, importance of family, and my love of nature. I like to incorporate my own photography, materials, and objects with significance or use them as a basis for a concept. My goal is to reveal the light within each piece, by use of color, texture, and layers that achieve an overall sense of peace.
3.) Why do I do what I do?
Because it is what I am meant to do. As I sit on my front porch reflecting on this question, that thought immediately popped in my head. At that exact moment, I looked up to find two bright red cardinals singing loudly in the tree. That is not a coincidence! My past two blog posts refer to the special meaning of cardinals, you can find that post here and here. It’s my sign that what I’m doing is right. A little glimpse of hope and reassurance amidst the uncertainty and risk that comes with being an artist. Without my art, my painting, and my faith, I would not be living the life I was destined to live. I paint because it’s what I was meant to do.
4.) How does my writing/working process work?
My process begins a lot like this blog post. Writing in my notebook, journaling, writing my “morning pages”, making sketches, writing key words and ideas to help the painting come to life. I usually have a clear focus when I begin a piece, whether based on a feeling, a time or place, I am able to translate those emotions into an image in my head and then eventually to the surface. When I am immersed in the many layers of wax, I am taken to a place where it flows from within. There are happy mistakes that allow me to react to each mark, groove or imperfection, and it leads me to the next layer. I usually build up to 40-50 layers on each piece. I know the painting is done when it’s done. I may let it sit for a few days to let it settle in my mind but usually it's just a matter of finishing the edges.
Thank you Bridgette for inviting me to participate in this project. It was an honor to be featured on your blog! It was a rewarding experience to think about and answer these questions about my work. I especially loved reading her answers posted on her blog last week. Read it here.
BRIDGETTE GUERZON MILLS