Hi Guys! Welcome to a series we run on the blog called: Tea & Cake with Gracie :) My awesome friend and colleague Gracie Howle interviews inspiring artists and posts the interviews (including some free offers not published elsewhere before) here on the blog every 2 months or so. I love to create art and bring amazing artists & people together in my classes, in person and on social media. As part of this drive, I want to help bring more exposure to some of the amazing artists out there! Today Gracie’s interviewing Wendy Brightbill. Make sure you check out Wendy’s giveaway, free video tutorial and downloadable print! Tam xoxo
If you love Artist Interviews make sure you read the previous Tea and Cake with Gracie ones – click on artist’s name to go to their interview: Whitney Freya / Violette Clark / Melissa Dinwiddie / Tascha Parkinson / Susana Tavares / Lynn Whipple / Karine Bossé / Jenny Grant / France Papillon / Jenny Wentworth / Kristin Dudish / Rachael Rice / Angela Kennedy (Pennystamper) / Andrea Gomoll
Hi Guys! Gracie here :) Take this moment now for some self care, if you can, get comfortable, relax and be inspired by this months interview with the lovely Wendy Brightbill. I am sending you love and peaceful thoughts <3 Enjoy! :)
1. Welcome Wendy! Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Wendy Brightbill and I am somewhat of a creative wanderer, an artist who enjoys exploring a multitude of mediums and styles. I love messy child-like play especially when it involves paint. I picked up a paintbrush after a car accident rearranged my brain from a closed head injury. I believe that there is healing to be found in art making and getting lost in the process. I try not to treat my art as being too precious, and yet, I am deeply committed to my daily creative practice. Art making is a little like breathing air for me. I can’t live without it. I am also a mother to three beautiful girls and a wife of 17 years to my biggest cheerleader. I have lived in Colorado for all of my life. All I ever needed to know, I learned from being a kindergarten teacher for four years. I just turned forty and I am finding this new found super power of saying no to the things that don’t bring me joy or peace.
Wendy’s giving away this beautiful 9 x 12 original painting to one lucky reader!
*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED * GIVEAWAY WINNER ANNOUNCED:
Thank you to everyone for joining in the giveaway, we loved reading your lovely comments! The randomly drawn winner is:
You can watch Wendy creating this original painting in the video ‘Still Life Painting’ below.
Watch Wendy create ‘Still Life Painting’ in this, brand new and just for us, art video:
(Click the ‘play button’ to watch this video or click on the review link here: Review Link)
Wendy’s also offering you the gorgeous downloadable print below: ‘Miracles Happen’ :) (Pls note this print is to use and share for personal use only and, if you’re reposting online or on social media, we’d appreciate it if you include a reference link to Wendy’s site: www.agirlandherbrush.com. Thanks for understanding!)
Download and print out the high resolution version of this print by right-clicking on the image above and choose ‘save target as’ / ‘download linked file as’ or downloading from this link: MiraclesHappenPrintWendyBrightbill.JPG
Learn more about Wendy by reading the following interview:
2. You had a car accident 6 years ago that resulted in a brain injury, I’m so sorry that happened to you Wendy! If it’s okay for you, can you tell us a little about that and the process and why it was art, specifically, that you turned to?
I would be happy to tell you more about my car accident and brain injury. It has become so much a part of my creative journey. My car accident happened in 2004, which will actually make it 13 years ago this summer. I can’t believe that it has been so long. I suffered a traumatic brain injury, which is more common I think than people realize. Many times, I think these type of injuries are not even diagnosed because symptoms are subtle and don’t even show themselves right away. In the years following my car accident, I struggled with chronic pain, depression, ptsd, and personality changes. The only way I can describe the feeling, is like my entire brain was simply rewired. There are varying degrees of brain injuries and they all affect people in different ways. For me, I went from being a more left brained person to being forced to use my right brain more. I had always been somewhat creative. Before my brain injury, I could draw detailed pencil sketches but not sit down and paint something out of my head like I do now. Some years after my car accident, I began experimenting with collage and mixed media art. And for the first time in my life, I actually made art simply for the joy of making art. This daily creative practice became a huge part of my healing. I love my life today and I am actually grateful for the gifts that this trauma brought into my life. I can’t imagine not being an artist.
3. I am totally in awe of your beautiful embroidery and sewing in your artwork. Why do you think you are drawn to adding sewing in your art and when did that start for you?
My mother is an accomplished seamstress. Some of my earliest memories include falling asleep to the sewing machine whirring away in the next room. When I was a young child, I remember being mesmerized by all of the colors of thread at the fabric store. I even put several of my favorite colors into my pockets trying to take them home with me. So my obsession for color drove me to shoplift. I think the exposure to sewing from such a young age allowed for this to become such a natural progression in my creative wanderings. So in some ways, I suppose it was just meant to be. I love the texture that stitching gives to my work and the fact that it forces me to slow down in my creative process.
4. I love both your illustrations AND abstract art. Are you drawn to creating abstract more than illustration or vice versa?
I wouldn’t say that I am drawn to one over the other. I feel like I go through stages in my art making. I like to explore different mediums for a period of time. I am a true mixed media artist, in that when I get bored with one medium, I move onto another. Each stage that I go through as an artist, I feel builds upon the other ones. Currently, I am into making still life paintings that also incorporate elements of my abstract art. Ask me again in a year, and I am quite certain I will be onto the next thing. This used to frustrate me to no end. But now I have simply learned to embrace it because I feel like it makes me a more versatile artist.
5. What is on your art table right now?
Right now I have been teaching myself how to paint with oil paints. It’s something that I have wanted to try for a very long time, but was always terrified to do so. I learned how to paint with acrylics, so learning to paint with oils has required for me to change how I approach painting. I really love the richness of oils and the things that I can do with them. I love that as an artist I get to keep learning and growing. Who knows where my creative path will lead me? But I am sure going to enjoy the journey as I go.
Thank you for chatting with us Wendy! You can find out more about Wendy on her website: www.agirlandherbrush.com or through the links below. Keep creating, whatever it might be, see you all soon! Love Gracie x
Embroidery course: jeanneoliver.ning.com/group/stitchery-school-a-mini-course
Tam (and Maddie, Andy, the wonderful Life Book Teachers and I) have been super busy, preparing and adding glitter and sparkles to Life Book 2018!!! IT. IS. SO. EXCITING! This year is Life Book’s 7th year (wowza!). Life Book started in 2011 and in that time Life Book and the wonderful teachers and students have brought to it love, growth, healing, glitter, community, connection, tears, triumph, ART and so much more! <3 This year Tam has expanded the Life Book vision and included many more varied and juicy lessons and offerings <3 Come and JOIN US! – it’s over here: Life Book 2018 FUN and remember to use the 20% early bird discount code LOVEBOMB2018 before 31st Dec 2017 for your discount! :)