“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” - Picasso
Bridgette Martin’s artful journey began the moment she could hold a paintbrush. She remembers swooshing watercolors on the sliding glass doors of her childhood home in the Midwest, always fascinated with the light found in nature. The oldest of four daughters, Bridgette was blessed with a free-spirited mother and photographer father, who both encouraged their daughter’s whimsy. The family spent countless hours road tripping around the country, her father pulling the car over to take photos of scenes that inspired him. Bridgette adopted her father’s habit, gathering bits of culture and color from the landscapes filling the car windows.
From expansive skies in the desert Southwest to river reflections and tree silhouettes in Southeastern woods, Bridgette’s fully tuned into the simplicity of God’s magical creation. She keeps her camera ready and eyes open to everyday surprises, like shadows cast from bicycle spokes on city sidewalks, later expressing these “whispers” as best as she knows how: with paintbrush covered in paints.
“I am a conduit for what needs to be created, forever captivated by the beauty found in nature and moved to translate its message,” says Bridgette.
Bridgette studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati. Later, she interned in New York City and London before earning her master’s in Art Education from Syracuse University. Considering she didn’t receive formal art training in her youth, Bridgette’s spent the last 20 years pouring her soul into art education and art history, teaching hundreds of students each year.
In 2009 following a divorce, Bridgette worked full-time as an art teacher to provide for her two kids, Robby and Clare. But her artist’s heart kept pushing her to be brave, to carve out time for the canvas no matter how busy life got. Voted Teacher of the Year twice, Bridgette managed to balance work with her own art career, selling her pieces in galleries spanning the Carolina coasts and Appalachian Mountains.
She knew “someday” she’d have to take the plunge into embracing art full-time, and it turns out “someday is now.” With both kids out of the nest, Bridgette is boldly embracing this next path in life as unapologetically artistic. She’s currently working out of C3-Lab, a warehouse filled with artists, in Charlotte, North Carolina.
These days, her greatest joy is reconnecting adults with those sparks of creativity that might be untapped since childhood. When she’s not adding value to this world through her art or inspiring others to do the same, Bridgette is probably gardening, exploring a new yoga pose or riding her beloved cruiser bike.