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All Things Ampersand

Featured Artist: Jessie Benson

Waiting to Be, 6″ x 6″

“Encaustic is the culmination of all my loves — drawing, painting, and sculpture.  It also has the surprise element of printmaking and developing black and white photography in which the final piece is never exactly like you expected, which I really like.  It is this all-in-one characteristic that keeps me returning to my studio again and again.” ~Jessie Benson

Lowfields Farm, 8″ x 10″

North Carolina artist, Jessie Benson creates encaustic work that encompasses not just her love of many art mediums, but also her deep respect and passion for nature.  She finds constant inspiration in the trees, leaves and birds around her.  “Birds are a favorite subject matter as well and I am fortunate to have a yard full of birds of many species.  They are constantly inspiring me,” she explains.  “I love to paint trees, birds, nests, flowers, really any part of nature I find beautiful.”  However, Jessie also likes the challenge of commissions, because the subjects aren’t normally what she would choose, such as a recent ship triptych.

Becoming the Moon, 6″ x 12″

Jessie has always been an art lover and began her path into painting with acrylic, ink, printmaking and even sculpture.  But it was encaustic that she was drawn to through seeing another artist’s work at a local art fair.  She explains, “after reading about encaustic painting, I went to Jerry’s to assemble the supplies including Ampersand Encausticbord™.  I loved the professional look of the cradled panels and the various sizes.  I also liked the way the final painting could be hung without needing framing.   I use all 1.5″ cradled boards because I like the way the painting depth is uniform when hanging multiple pieces for a show.  I also like knowing that when someone buys my painting they are getting quality materials.”  Jessie prepares around thirty of her boards at a time, in all different styles, ready to take on a painting at a moment’s notice.   “This variety in panel size allows me to create the piece as I have dreamed it up and having many panels on hand ready to go allows my creativity to flow freely.”  

Faith,  24″ x 18″

Jessie has new work opening tonight at the Visual Art Exchange’s MOVE show  including her favorite painting ‘Becoming The Moon.’  Come out to the opening reception with Raleigh’s First Friday events March 7 from 6-9 pm 309 W. Martin St. downtown Raleigh, NC.  Next week, Jessie will be in Woodstock, Illinois for the 27th Annual Women’s Works Show to display her work Faith, opening on March 13thTo see more of Jessie’s encaustic work, or her other art, tune in to her website at: starfruitworks.com.  As an extension of Jessie’s  love of nature, she gives a portion of her proceeds to the North Carolina nonprofit Center or Human-Earth Restoration that serves to reconnect adults and children with the natural world.

All things Ampersand,

Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Artist & Social Media Specialist
Ampersand Art Supply

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