Bridges set up her own studio in
Bridges turned entirely to watercolor at this time. Her work varied little in subject matter throughout her career: close-ups of small fragments of nature such as flowers, grasses, and birds, focusing on minute details in vibrant colors. She was elected as an associate at the National Academy of Design in 1874. She also received many commissions for lithographic prints from Louis Prang and Company, a rival of Currier and Ives.
By the 1870s, Bridges had moved away from the all-over detail of her Pre-Raphaelite-inspired style, at times moving toward almost Asian simplification of the subject. This piece is typical of her work from the 1870s with its dramatic emphasis of positive and negative space between the flower and the neutral background. The Asian influence is also seen in the asymmetrical arrangement of the flower in the composition. Despite the simplification in the work, Bridges has managed to produce a work with an amazing amount of detail of natural light. Works such as this compare favorably with the “Flowers and Birds” series woodcuts of Hiroshige (1797-1858), although it is not known if Bridges ever saw such work. She was primarily influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite emphasis of focus on details of nature.