April 2018 Feature Artist - Marissa Bridge

P.O. Box 1434, East Quogue, NY 11942
155 West 29th Street, NY, NY 10001
Cell:  212-945-8733
www.marissabridge.com e-mail: marissabridge@gmail.com Instagram: @marissabridge

Large Paper Centers #1, Mixed Media on panel

It is with great pleasure that the Fat Canary Journal celebrates April with the ever-evolving work of Marissa Bridge.  Spiritual and philosophical in nature, Marissa sheds light on the natural inspirations for this complex body of work, which poetically embraces the organic cycle of life, death, and Mother Nature.


Elements of Surprise at the White Room Gallery
2415 Main Street, Bridgehampton NY 11932
Exhibit runs April 13-29, 2018
Opening Reception on Saturday, April 15th, 5-7 pm.

Seed Pod, Mixed Media on Panel

Marissa Bridge is an artist whose work has always been inspired by nature, as a study in spirit, form, and pattern.  She works in series, as a method of investigation, and as a meditative process.  In addition to painting in oil and acrylic, she creates 3-D mixed media pieces out of recycled paper using papier mache techniques, modeling paste, plaster, and other re-purposed materials such as fabric, thread, nails, pins, beads, seeds and stones.

Present, Oil on Panel

Her current work explores the structure of flowers and plants in relation to their function in the ongoing process of renewal.  Marissa’s artwork evokes the meaning inherent in the structure of plant life; the distinctive color and form of each piece give the viewer an awareness of the means and spirit through which life continues.  It is hoped that these constructions give the viewer a sense of wonder at nature’s cleverness and variety.

Each of the multi-media artworks called Centers is a unique design, based on a real flower, but transformed into something new.  They are related to mandalas and other spiritual art forms.  Each one exists as a single artwork and represents an individual, but they are all part of one idea, and look well hung in groups. 

The Mummers series of paintings embody Bridge’s ideas on community, relationship, and time. Each of these artworks is distinctive in its overall patterning, whether on a canvas, sculpture, or paper.  These artworks show how various states of being come together as a unified whole, with some buds just forming, some blossoms beginning to open, others hanging low in preparation for death.  Certain life forms relate well to those near them, while others are more isolated. 

Bridge’s body of work represents an ongoing artistic investigation, with the flower as metaphor being central to her practice for many years.  In developing these ideas further, she has explored both her personal history as an artist and as a female, as well as the broader tradition of women’s work, art, crafts, sewing, and all other women’s work that’s been done since time immemorial.  Using her memories, following her curiosity, and keeping open to the art being made today, is what gives Bridge the insight and energy to create new ideas for art projects attuned to our current times.

Ms. Bridge has been an exhibiting artist for three decades, and has show in museums and galleries.  Her work is in collections in the U.S., the Caribbean, and Europe.  She is an environmental activist, and spends most of her time practicing art and organic gardening at her home in the Hampton's area of Long Island, NY.  She also maintains an art studio in New York City.


I have been painting aspects of the natural world all my life, nature provides the inspiration, and I follow it.  All of my work is done in series, as a way to study a subject in depth.  I am interested in reducing images into their most iconic forms, and repetition is one way to achieve this outcome. 

Mummers Buds, oil on panel

When I returned to making art with a commitment, in 2008, after several years of only making art sporadically, I began with very austere, detailed paintings of individual flowers. I consider them portraits, and the works have a studied feeling.  These paintings were created using traditional oil painting techniques, sketched in oil directly onto the canvas, the layers of color built up with glaze.  My practice was to paint from life, soak up as much as I could from the actual flower, then augment my experience by photographing it for later reference, if needed.

From there I moved on to a series of 36 paintings of one phalaenopsis orchid, from the beginning of its budding process to the end of its life.  Titled, “Silent Journey”, it represented a watershed moment for me, when I began to come to terms with life and its different phases, from birth to death. 

As the Silent Journey series came to a close, I felt a renewed sense of confidence in myself and my abilities.  Completing a 36-piece series was quite an achievement for me, and I felt strong as a woman and an artist

The next work I made was a series of daylily paintings called the Lilith Series. 
The Lilith Series is about the visual power of the centered flower, in this case, a daylily.  Open flowers suggest the sensual, yielding nature of the female, their beauty an enticement to the bees that pollinate them and the humans who cultivate them.  

Silent Journey Orchid, Series #20, Oil on Canvas

The biblical term "Lilith" translates into "night creature", and is said to have been Adam's first wife, before Eve, who was created by God at the same time as Adam, not from his rib.  Lilith refused to be subservient to Adam, and fled the Garden of Eden for darker realms*.  Her name embodies the “wild feminine”*, and I felt her eternal presence arise in these paintings, created from the transient beauty seen in this short-lived flower.  The dark background is in contrast to the daylily's bright, bold colors, and symbolizes the light in the darkness of so much strife.  These paintings are full of hope, strength and beauty, in the face of the reality that, “Life is short and then we die”.  Maybe so, but let’s live wondrously!

My interest in the shape of flowers continued with an awareness of the geometry involved in their design.   Grid paintings, especially those by Agnes Martin and Kes Zapkus, have entranced me, and I wanted to paint the experience of seeing lots of flowers at once, relating to and communicating with each other.  My vision was inspired by the crowded mum blossoms one sees in the autumn, and I call this series, “Mummers”.   

Big L’il, Lilith Number Two, oil on canvas

Working with an organic grid design made me long for an actual, sculptural experience.  I had a basic understanding of materials, so I started some new pieces as a combination of two and 3 dimensions.  The idea is to create a unique design, based on a real flower, but transform it into something new, by interpreting and emphasizing its reproductive area.   By making the center of the flower stand proud, then painting the flower petals flat on the panel surrounding it, the configuration of desire is made prominent.  

Sunflower #2, Mixed Media on Panel

This exploration of creating art from repurposed materials coincided with my renewed interest and appreciation of traditional women's work, childhood play, crafts, sewing, all handwork that women have done from time immemorial. There is evidence in my work of a collective history - the story of women's work that goes back to the beginning of time.  We are makers, whether we have given birth to children or not.  Women are tireless creators.  Our history does not hang in the walls of museums, with a few brilliant exceptions.  We embody our history in our hearts, minds, and hands.

Large Paper Centers #3, Mixed Media on panel

However much I enjoyed making these, and still do, I wanted to challenge myself further by making the flower centers and petals entirely in three dimensions.  The paper scraps I cut and used for some of the centers gave me a direction to go in, and I began to make pieces in which the centers were made out of various materials, and the petals were made entirely out of cut and rolled paper.  Quickly, I realized that these pieces were evocative in ways I did not expect.   

Center Series 2017 #2, Mixed Media on panel

There is a structural integrity that evokes the cellular structure of plants, although it is not literal.  And somehow decades of living in NYC come through, as the rolled pieces of paper evoke the skyscrapers of my beloved city, in the way the different heights of paper fill the space.

This is What I Heard, Mixed Media on panel

The newest work is another step into a new area, and it is strongly connected to the earlier work.  These pieces evolved from William Blake’s words,

“To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”  

Cosmic Splotch, Mixed Media on panel

Somehow, by continuing to use the dark indigo as a base for my work, I can see the pieces as celestial.  There are similarities between flowers and stars, they both share a round center that has elements radiating out from it.  And I find that there is much to explore in this new realm. 

Centers Series 2016, #4, Mixed Media on panel

My work has evolved in the last 18 months, and more changes are coming in the near future.  I have always believed that art is a journey, a pathway towards enlightenment.  Making anything can be done as a spiritual practice, whether food, clothing, shelter, or art, if the intention is pure.  The act of creating something where there was nothing is how growth happens. 

*Lilith, Healing the Wild, by Tom Jacobs, 2014

Center Series 2016, Number One, Mixed Media on panel


Zeiger Arts, LLC, 917-239-0493. www.ZeigerArts.com

William Ris Gallery, 1291 Main Road, Jamesport, NY 11947


January 9-February 7, 2016.

“Bridge in Conversation”, curated by Kathy Zeiger, Kathryn Markel Gallery, 2418 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, NY

April 12-June 16, 2015.

“Silent Journey”, curated by Kathy Zeiger, Dodds and Eder HOME, 11 Bridge Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

December 8, 1991-February 23, 1992.

“Underseascapes and the Figure Underwater”, Hammond Museum, North Salem, NY

October 27 - November 25, 1990. “Underseascapes”, Cleaver Callahan Gallery, New York, NY


Dec. 2, 2017-January 15, 2018, “Ille Arts Holiday Show”, Ille Arts, 171 Main St. Amagansett, NY

December 9th -31st, 2017, “Small Works”, William Ris Gallery, 1291 Main Road, Jamesport, NY

December 9th-December 17th, 2017, “Artful Holiday Show and Sale”, pop-up gallery, 155 West 29th St, 3rd, Floor, NY, NY

Oct. 5th-Nov. 18th, 2017, “Me, My Selfie and I”’ Contemporary Self-Portraits, Hudson Guild, 441 West 26th Street, NY, NY

Sept. 5th-Oct, 7th, 2017, “Drawing Set”’, Little Underground Gallery, Jefferson Market Library, NY, NY

April 22-May 22, 2017, “Open Garden”’ artwork with floral motifs, Sara Nightingale Gallery, Sag Harbor

February 10-12, 2017, “Love Mart”. Popup Gallery hosted by Shwick, 79 Greene Street, New York, NY

November 25-January 15, 2017, “Holiday Invitational”, Romany Kramoris Gallery, 41 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

November 11-December 30, 2016, “Spaces, Places and Faces”, The Gallery at Eisenbergs, 174 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10010

June 11-July 9, 2016.  "Print Parade Exhibition", Dan Welden Studio, 1649 Millstone Rd, Sag Harbor, NY.

March 29, 2016, "No Longer Empty" Benefit Auction.  Live auction on Paddle8 from March 17-March 29, 2016.

April 12-September 22, 2015. Installation of flower paintings in salon of Dodds and Eder HOME, 11 Bridge Street, Sag Harbor, NY 11963

March 2-March 31, 2015. “Between the Bridges-Works by Quogue and East Quogue Artists”, Quogue Library, Quogue, NY

Sept. 9-Oct. 4, 2014 Group Exhibition, Southampton Cultural Center, Southampton, NY 11968

July, 2012-August, 2014 Mark Humphrey Gallery, 95 Main Street, Southampton, NY

May 29-June 19, 2013 “Less is More”, Mitchell Museum, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD

April 21 - May 27, 2012. “Spring Fling”, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Brooklyn, NY

May 1-May 28, 2010. “Of A Botanical Nature”, curated by Wendy Hollender, Smithtown Township Arts Council, Mills Pond House Gallery, St. James, NY

For a  printable copy of our April Feature artist with complete resume
please click  Here

Contact Information

P.O. Box 1434, East Quogue, NY 11942
155 West 29th Street, NY, NY 10001      Cell:  212-945-8733                             
www.marissabridge.com e-mail: marissabridge@gmail.com

Instagram: @marissabridge


Anonymous said…
What a collection and bouquet of talent-truly a site for sore eyes! Keep it coming!


  • "Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing - and keeping the unknown always beyond you." Georgia O'Keeffe