With hope and a prayer; This is how Piper Bridwell picked up a paintbrush in 2011. After praying for a way to earn money and stay home with her toddler and newborn, Bridwell says she heard God: “Paint and I will take care of you.” So she started painting … furniture.
“I felt the need to create, and I followed what I was hearing in my heart,” Bridwell said. She gravitated toward cheery colors (picture a bright orange vintage dresser or hot pink piano), and her social media posts garnered attention and steady work. “It just took off from there.”
Then, in 2015, her art medium shifted.
“I was pregnant, I was huge and I was tired of lifting and moving furniture,” Bridwell said. “I bought a canvas, because I wanted something for the nursery, and it clicked immediately. I knew that this is what I was meant to do, because it just felt so good.”
Today, Bridwell’s bold and abstract works are sold in galleries in Austria and the United Kingdom. Locals can find her art on Instagram (@PiperBstudio), in OKC at the Jones Plastic Surgery office and in Edmond at Piper B. and J. Tigert Studio — a gallery and workspace she and her mother Janie Tigert have shared for three years.
Though Bridwell’s success has soared, she stays grounded in her faith, which continues to play a major role in her artwork. Each painting features three crosses, often hidden among softly blended backgrounds or a group of her signature textural dabs. Some paintings include phrases from scripture or personal prayers.
“It’s a very spirit-led process because my heart is set on the Lord from the get-go,” Bridwell said. “I walk into the studio with this heart of ‘Thank you for allowing me to do this.’ Still after this long [time] of painting, I can’t believe this is what I get to do every day, and I am so thankful. It’s all about gratitude, and I want that to come out in my work, so people see something positive.”
Bridwell says she loves when someone who purchased a painting sends her a photo of it hanging in the home.
“I collect art myself, and I know that feeling when you connect with a painting. You get to look at it every day, and you don’t tire of it,” she said. “The fact that I can bring a spark of joy to someone’s home is exciting to me.”