E Kendra Denny
E n c a u s t i c s
I have been a painter for much of my life, however I only started working with encaustics after taking a workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in 2011. Both the history of the medium and the wonderful versatility of working with wax had an immediate appeal to me. Having grown up in the Midcoast region of Maine, my art has always been influenced by the rich tradition of craft in this area. I have often dabbled with themes of history and cultural heritage, while always remaining tied to the sheer physical beauty of the region I call home. Almost from the first, encaustics felt like a perfect complement to this. Not only is the medium itself an ancient one, Greeks used the technique as far back as 400 B.C. to decorate and seal their ships, but the whole process of application is steeped in tradition and centuries of refined technique. Indeed, the tools I use for encaustics today, do not differ greatly from those used thousands of years ago. Though the materials they are made from may have changed, the overall process remains very much the same.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, encaustics were largely forgotten, and have only recently seen a resurgence in the contemporary art world. This juxtaposition of old and new, ancient and modern is something that appeals to me as well. Like a modern day shipwright, I am a contemporary artist trained in a classical technique. Therefore it is natural that both of these influences should present themselves in my work. In my series of coastal landscapes, I seek to embrace traditional and modern influences to create a voice that is uniquely my own. My paintings are a celebration of the region I come from, the rich heritage of coastal life, and an expression of the deep emotional ties I feel for the coast of Maine.
Kendra Denny studied sculpture and painting at Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She has received several awards for her work including a grant from the Reger Arts Foundation and two partial fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center. Her paintings have been exhibited in galleries throughout Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Washington DC. In 2008 and 2010 The Smithsonian Institution commissioned her to paint two murals for their annual Folklife Festival. Additionally in 2010, her painting “The Model School” was featured on the cover of The New Guard Review (a literary review published in Portland, Maine). Kendra began working in encaustics after attending a workshop at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle. Recently Kendra returned to her hometown of Camden and has found inspiration in the scenery of Mid Coast Maine.
E Kendra Denny Encaustics