October 11th, 2019

Bridgette Meinhold, “Morning Study,” encaustic, 10″ x 10″

By Veronica Vale

From immersive collector experiences in her studio up in Guardsman’s pass to her plein air watercolor workshops to her social media presence, Bridgette Meinhold doesn’t shy away from revealing her artistic process.

Meinhold believes in the value of showing her collectors the unique and spontaneous process of creation, and in “sharing knowledge and sharing what’s possible in terms of creativity.” She explains: “A huge part of the story of the art is the process, both the physical act and how I got there and how I’m doing it, [to show how this work was] made by a human being who makes mistakes and has thought processes.”

As inspiring as witnessing her process may be, Meinhold’s objective in sharing this side of her work extends further than that. She wants viewers to not only feel included in her artistic process, but in the story of her experience as an artist and an adventurer as a whole.

“Not everybody gets to live in a place like I do and experience the things that I get to experience, so sharing that with the world is interesting. After all, stories are what make the world go round.”  

“I don’t expect to inspire anybody to quit their job and become an artist,” she explains, “but not everybody gets to live in a place like I do and experience the things that I get to experience, so sharing that with the world is interesting. After all, stories are what make the world go round.”

Meinhold‘s sketchbook page of a plein air painting from The Grand Tetons

A watercolor drawing of the Big Cottonwood Canyon from Bridgette Meinhold‘s sketchbook

Meinhold combines pen and ink drawings with washes of watercolor to create her plein air sketchbook paintings

Although she keeps several sketchbooks at a time, she categorizes her sketchbooks into two main categories: “work” and “play.” Her “work” sketchbooks stay in her studio, where she plans out her encaustic pieces for galleries and commissions. This sketchbook acts as her “recipe” for future paintings, filled with watercolor and pencil sketches with notes about what each painting will be.

Watercolor studies of future encaustic paintings out of Bridgette Meinhold‘s “work” sketchbook

Her “play” sketchbooks, on the other hand, allow her greater creativity and freedom. As a professional artist, this distinction between work and play helps to keep her passion for art alive and enables her greater room for experimentation.

These sketchbooks differ quite dramatically from her rather utilitarian “work” sketchbooks. They’re filled with fun travel sketches, drawings, recordings of her dreams, journaling of her day, painting ideas, plein air pieces, glued in tickets and more.

A page from Bridgette Meinhold‘s “play” sketchbook

Meinhold carries one of her “play” sketchbooks with her wherever she goes with the aim of painting in some capacity every day. She compares her sketching habit to playing a musical instrument: “If you play piano, you have to practice your scales. Sketching is kind of like an artists’ scales.”

These daily sketches are “another form of making art” for Meinhold, but one in which there’s “less pressure and greater chance to experiment. They don’t have to be finished pieces, they don’t have to be masterpieces, and they don’t have to be perfect.”

“They don’t have to be finished pieces, they don’t have to be masterpieces, and they don’t have to be perfect.”

Meinhold believes that sketchbooks should not be treated as precious objects, but as opportunities to explore, to experiment, and to create without inhibition. It is because of her sketchbooks’ ability to fuel her passion for pure creation that we have her most beloved encaustic creations. Stop by Gallery MAR today to see the latest results of this pure creation.

Bridgette Meinhold, “Hold Tight,” encaustic, 25″ x 40″

Bridgette Meinhold, “Empire of the Sun,” encaustic, 25″ x 25″