March 8th, 2013

By Bridgette Meinhold, re-posted from Ette Studios

I have a small studio – it’s only 150 sq ft. This last week I completed the biggest painting I’ve ever done – a 60 x 40 inch megalith called Space In Between. The painting was completed in advance for my upcoming show at Gallery MAR, “Atmospheric Intentions” in conjunction with my mentor’s work, Shawna Moore. The painting itself is 16 sq ft, meaning while I was working on it, it took up 10% of my studio. I am thrilled with how it came out, but am also happy to see it hanging on the wall in the gallery ready for the show and out of my studio.

cutting the top board requires a special set of skills

Building the frame was a two person job which required lots of space, ladders and being careful. I had to clear all my working spaces in order to make room. Once we started on this painting, there was no more space for anything else.

the reclaimed wood frame waiting for the top board

Working on the painting in the studio was it’s own special experience. As an encaustic painter, I work with my paintings flat on a table. This is so my wax doesn’t drip when I heat it and so my painting layers dry flat. So when an encaustic painter works big, it’s a really BIG deal. Moving, scraping, and painting become more complicated and often involve acrobatic maneuvers, feats of strength and delicate balance.

mixing colors to create the sky
half way done

Getting it out of the studio and into the gallery is an entirely different affair. As our home is snowed in during the winter, paintings are often taken out in the back of a toboggan that is pulled behind our snowmobile. This painting was a bit too big to fit in the toboggan though, so I enlisted the help of my husband and pro frame builder to help me carry it out to the car. It’s not a super long walk – but it’s long enough to feel the burn from carrying it.

carrying the painting out through the snow

Once to the car, we loaded it flat into the bed of our truck and drove very carefully down the mountain and into Old Town Park City. After unwrapping, it took 2 people to hang on the wall. It was a relief to see it in the gallery and be able to stand back and enjoy it from a distance.

hanging Space in Between at Gallery MAR

Space in Between will be hanging throughout March (or until it sells) as part of my shared show “Atmospheric Intentions” at Gallery MAR. The show opens on March 29th in a public reception from 7-9 pm. If you’re around, please stop by and say hi. Shawna Moore will also be there to show off her new work.