Bridgette Meinhold: Nature Through An Encaustic Lens

by - Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Sundance is pleased to introduce the stunning encaustic paintings of Bridgette Meinhold. 

From her studio in a converted shipping container high in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, Bridgette chronicles the majesty and mystery of her surroundings. Every day she is inspired by nature, especially the foggy landscapes and varied cloudscapes that frequent her remote home.

“My favorite thing in the world is to be out in nature, observing, experiencing and moving,” she says.

Bridgette lives with her husband and dog in a small A-frame cabin nestled in an aspen grove outside of Park City. From her front porch, she has access to backcountry skiing, hiking, biking and a whole world of inspiration. In winter, her studio and cabin can be snowed in for days or weeks at a time, which means running errands or delivering her artwork (very carefully!) by snowmobile.

A Unique Path to Artist

Bridgette’s journey to become an artist is as unique as her paintings. Originally from Oklahoma, she has spent time living on both coasts and in Germany. In between her travels, she earned two engineering degrees, including a master’s in environmental engineering from Stanford University.

Once out of school, she served as the first director of sustainability at our very own Sundance Resort. She also wrote extensively about green design and architecture, including a book about urgent housing solutions after natural disasters. Upon moving to Park City, initially to become a ski bum, she fell in love with the shape of the mountains and the magnificent groves of fir and aspen.

Eager to express her artistic talents, she quickly taught herself several art mediums, including what became her personal favorite: encaustic painting.

The Process of Encaustic

For anyone unfamiliar with encaustic, it is an ancient medium that is made from heated beeswax, damar resin and pigments. Because the hot wax dries quickly, it captures brush strokes and drips and allows rich layers and textures. Sometimes known as hot wax painting, it is recognizable in Bridgette’s works by its hazy, saturated appearance.

“Encaustic acts the part of the atmosphere,” she explains, “creating depth, space and even time in which to create my ethereal landscapes.”

Bridgette works from memory, her own photographs and en plein air to capture the way the atmosphere interacts with landscapes. She even uses Instagram to compose potential paintings on the fly.

“My goal is not to create picture-perfect landscapes,” she notes. “I am far more interested in capturing a fleeting moment – clouds pinned to the sky, the wind as it blows snow off a tree, the light as it hits the earth.”

Her art, as she likes to say, is equal parts adventure, experiment, release and retrospection.

Care of Encaustic Paintings

Encaustic paintings have been found that date back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Thus when properly taken care of – like you would with any fine artwork – encaustic paintings can last for a long, long time.

Such care is not difficult. Encaustic likes conditions that we humans like – not too hot and not too cold. By avoiding temperature extremes, direct UV light and excessive handling, an encaustic painting will not degrade over time.

Bridgette Meinhold's indoor studio

Her studio buried in the winter. 

Bridgette Meinhold delivering her paintings on a snowmobile. 

A Sundance Collection

Several of Bridgette’s works are now available through the Sundance website. We invite you to enjoy her collection and mentally put yourself high in the mountains with clouds rolling in and the wind at your back. Heavenly!

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