Local encaustic artist finds ‘The Moments Between’ with her work
Meinhold’s new exhibit opens at Gallery MAR
For the past decade, local visual artist Bridgette Meinhold has created encaustic landscapes depicting mountains, forests and meadows.
Her latest collection of wax, resin and pigment paintings will be showcased in her “The Moments in Between” exhibit that opens at 6 p.m. on Friday at Gallery MAR during the Park City Gallery Association’s Black Friday gallery stroll.
“I created 22 new works for the show,” Meinhold said. “Many are standalone works and there is one diptych.”
Meinhold began creating diptychs and triptychs to facilitate her imagination and studio dimensions.
“I do these because I’m limited in the size of works that my studio space allows,” she said. “I work mostly horizontally, and my studio is only so big.”
The other reason Meinhold creates diptychs is all physical.
“My arms can only reach so far,” she said with a laugh.
As Meinhold began churning out more and more diptychs and triptychs, she noticed how much they represented windows.
“I felt like I was creating a multipanel surface that looked through the frame to the outdoors,” she said.
In addition to exploring the different ways she could present a scene, Meinhold has also enjoyed the skills she has developed working with the encaustic medium.
“When I first started, I was more focused on the process and materials, and how would I recreate something I saw in my head,” she said. “I tried to really work on developing that technique, but lately, I’ve been able to focus on what I can do with the medium.”
Lately, Meinhold has been trying to use the medium to capture depth and paint her perception of air.
“Air is nebulous,” she said. “You can see through it. It has zero form, but it has such a big impact on everything — especially in how we view a landscape. That is what’s driving me, now, and I look forward to exploring that as I go further into my career.”
While Meinhold examines the different possibilities of encaustic paintings, she has also found ways to depict more detailed and representative scenes.
“As I’ve gained mastery of the materials, I’ve been able to go further with what I can do with them,” she said. “More detail comes with more skill, but I also suspect further down in my career when I develop more skill, I will probably look to the abstract, which is more of a mastery of a feeling. That, to me, is the natural evolution of how artists master their work. They move throughout different modes as they become interested and curious about different aspects.”
Meinhold usually isn’t inspired by one big thing to start a painting. She, instead, finds the push to create her art through different types of proddings.
“Sometimes I can be intrigued by mistakes I make while I’m painting and seeing how interesting it looks,” she said. “Then I start to wonder how I did it and if I can do it again.”
Color also inspires Meinhold in different ways.
“There was a time in 2016 when I was going full, bright colors,” she said. “While it was an exploration of color, and people liked what I was doing, I didn’t like it as much for some reason.”
So Meinhold began working with a muted, soft-color palette for a couple of years before finding a balance she liked.
“I think I gained more confidence and skill to go back and do more color, but not in a way that I did before,” she said. “The works now are colorful, but also maybe a little more of the colors we find in nature.”
While encaustic paintings are what Meinhold is mostly known for, she also creates large snow labyrinths where she uses her legs, feet and snowshoes to create designs on large patches of untouched snow.
Meinhold’s process in creating these labyrinths was the subject of a short film, “Reveries,” by local filmmaker Claire Wiley.
The film, which received the Spirit Award this past September at the Bozeman International Film Festival in Montana, will screen at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Friday at Gallery MAR.
The idea for “Reveries” stems from Meinhold and Wiley’s friendship.
“Claire and I have always discussed our different creative pursuits,” Meinhold said. “I had started making snow labyrinths during the winter, and I thought I should have her come up and do some filming.”
The two scheduled a day in the winter of 2019.
“I found a great location and the weather was phenomenal,” Meinhold said. “Claire brought up a drone videographer and we filmed the making of the labyrinth.”
After the initial filming was complete, Wiley and Meinhold scheduled additional shots in 2020.
“I do these labyrinths because they are another way for me to make art,” Meinhold said. “My main goals in life are wanting to make cool things and be outside as much as possible. And they were an avenue to do both. I could do them in my backyard, and I didn’t have to go anywhere and spend any money.”
Meinhold is grateful to Gallery MAR owner Maren Mullin for supporting her in the different artistic endeavors.
“Without Maren and Gallery MAR I would not be the artist I am, because she has allowed me to evolve as an artist,” Meinhold said. “Some artists take years and years to come up with a style before they even get to sell their first painting, and I have been fortunate that Maren has allowed me to evolve while selling my works. Many artists don’t get that option.”
Saturday morning nature walks are held at 8:30 a.m. every Saturday at the Swaner EcoCenter. The cost is $10 per person and $5 for local residents.
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