Congratulations to artist Shawn Ellis ... our second lucky winner for December! A self-taught artist based in Vernon, British Columbia, Shawn designs and wood burns intricate mandalas onto wood panels which he seals with a layer of shiny ArtResin.
Shawn designs each mandala, one at a time, outlining them first in pencil onto the wood panel. He says: "My process is pretty natural. I don't like to have anything specific in mind when I start a Mandala; I prefer to let my emotions and inner self take over and guide the design. I often hide numerology throughout my art, for a variety or reasons. The over all piece, is usually like a journal of what's going on in my life whole I work on that piece. I only work on one project at a time, as I like each piece to capture a moment in my life."
On this piece, Shawn placed the design in order to highlight the pattern of the wood grain:
Next, he burned the design into the wood using a wood burning tool:
Finally, Shawn applied a layer of ArtResin to seal his work, providing a glossy finish that enhances both the pyrography and the wood grain.
In Shawn's words: "ArtResin has elevated my art. I was always intimidated to try it for some reason, but seeing how it enhances my paintings and especially my pyrography has made it my favourite part of the process. I love resin day, and even more, I love reveal day! That's when all my hard work pays off, and my piece is completely finished/sealed with its ArtResin finish. I love it, and so do my amazing clients."
Shawn says: "My art is a therapeutic expression for me, that's why I started. Being the father to a special needs child, I needed something I could do for self care, and it all started with painting. After losing my son in 2017, art has been more important than ever to me. I dedicate myself to each piece, and try to take all the grief in my heart, and turn it into something beautiful that both the viewer and I can find comfort in. Expression is such an important part of handling my grief and anxiety, and art has given me an outlet to positively move forward through some difficult life experiences. Every time I finish a piece, I'm blown away by the support I receive from strangers across the globe. It's such a rewarding feeling when people I've never met take the time to comment on my art and have such lovely things to say. It definitely keeps me pushing myself to be a better artist."
Different wood burning tips allow Shawn to create simple line designs to highly detailed pieces with shading and a variety of tonal lines:
Before focusing on pyrography, Shawn painted his mandalas in acrylic on canvas:
Shawn often paints on layers of cured ArtResin with acrylic paint pens to create depth and make the mandala look like it's floating:
Though Shawn will always incorporate art as part of his life and self-care routine, he hopes that his mandala work's current momentum carries him towards a career as a full time artist.
To see more of Shawn's beautiful work:
follow him on Instagram at @ellis.artworks
Don't forget ... tag YOUR ArtResin work with @art_resin on Instagram, and YOU could be our next monthly winner!!!