from Wool Artist Bridget Brown, owner of Headsprings Farm and Fiber Mill in Summit Point WV and a member of The Over the Mountain Studio Tour. Can you count all the roles she plays in her life? Yet guess who always says "Yes" when asked if she will help.
Visit her website at www.fiberflock.com.
“Wow! I didn’t know you could paint” exclaimed my Facebook friends.
Well, it seems that most of my Facebook friends are my sheep loving fiber friends, and they’ve seen my fiber art, my wool paintings and all of my wool things, but they’ve never actually seen a real painting from me. That’s because since I started raising sheep, which has been about 10 years now, I haven’t produced any real paintings!
I attended art school and majored in Fine Art many years ago. I painted on and off for years, mostly watercolor and a little acrylic, as a hobby, never making a career out of it. I painted Plein Air with artist friends, and enjoyed many hours painting outside where I lived in the mountains in Maryland. After my husband passed away in 2008, I painted intensely for a while to help ease the loss. Then along came the farm.
I met Tim in 2011 and fell in love with farm life. Farm life gets so hectic, it’s hard to find time for leisure activities. Soon after I met him, we got some sheep and I fully immersed myself in the sheep and fiber world, leaving absolutely no time for painting, and frankly I didn’t give painting much thought. I was busy discovering new creative outlets with wool.
It wasn’t Covid that brought about my reemergence in painting. I spent most of my free Covid time knitting wool hats. It was a couple of things. 1), I lost my full-time publication contracting work in January 2021, and while we do spend many hours in our fiber mill, I have a little more time on my hands, and 2), a cicada. My sister had brought some plaster cicadas to my house for us to paint and I retrieved all of my very old acrylic paints out of storage. After our cicada painting party, I looked at my paints scattered all over my dining room table and thought, “hey, I’m all set up, I should paint a sheep painting!” I had a plethora of beautiful sheep photos on my phone that I use for my wool paintings, and once I began painting with the acrylics, I just couldn’t stop painting…sheep! The sheep have added a vibrancy to my landscape paintings that was missing before, and have connected me to my landscape in a very personal way. The sheep paintings have instilled a motivating factor for me to paint more.
Acrylics were never my preferred medium in the past, but I feel I have a much better handle on them now. Creating my wool paintings has made me more conscious of depth, lights and darks and composition. It has helped me more than I was even aware. I’m really trying to push myself to be aware of all of these key elements that make a painting a good painting, and I think I’ve had some success.
I’ve discovered that while the paintings are not made of wool, they do capture the beauty and tranquility of my sheep life, and they are a way to share that serenity with others. While most of my products that I offer for sale in my Wool Shop are wool, this is something a bit different that visitors can take away with them as a memento of their visit.