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Jennell Ellis

After living for over 30 years in Whitehorse, Jennell returned to her West Coast roots when she moved to Courtenay in 2015.

It was in the Yukon that she was first introduced to working with encaustics by a friend. Encaustic comes from the Greek word enkaustikos, meaning “to heat” or “to burn”. It’s an ancient art form using wax and was most famously used in the Fayum mummy portraits from 100-300 AD.

Encaustic is typically made from a blend of beeswax and damar resin, a tree sap which makes the wax harder and increases its melting temperature. Pigments are added to create different colours. The waxes are melted and then painted on a rigid surface. Heat is applied, usually with a torch, heat gun or iron, to fuse new layers to the ones below.

Jennell is drawn to encaustic because of its ability to create translucent and luminous layers as well as interesting textures and depth. After years of learning about the medium from a wide diversity of instructors and exploring what one can create, she is now putting her unique encaustic work into the public realm.


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