In Corrie LaVelle Ebel’s Life and Art, Vulnerability and Surrender are Recurring Themes

Although Corrie LaVelle Ebel has been passionate about art, design and style her entire life, she struggled with the idea of calling herself an artist.

“Never once in my life did I entertain the thought that I was an artist, let alone a full-time artist with a blossoming career,” Corrie says.

“Once you say you’re an artist, you become vulnerable, and that’s a scary thing.” 

Taking one glance at her work, however, quickly reveals there is indeed an extremely talented artist behind it. 

Corrie’s main form of art is through encaustic painting, and she uses this method as an expression of her personality along with emotional healing. Encaustic is a wax-based paint that is complied of beeswax, resin and pigment. 

“At the start of each piece, I see nothing but a blank canvas. Stroke by stroke, bits of my life begin to appear. Emotions, experiences, thoughts—one by one they start to collect onto the panel until a story is created,” she says. “When I’m working on a piece, the exterior of my life blurs and my soul moves into focus. I see myself in every painting. When I finally add heat to the wax, the edges soften, layers are revealed, and I am constantly reminded how beautifully complex life is.”

Ironically, her first experience in painting abstract encaustics was a “mistake” that led her on a new path. 

“I’d spent hours in my garage and basement pouring my emotions over a wood canvas. I was working on a gift for my sister, and I made a mistake,” she says. “To salvage the encaustic wax, I heated it high enough to melt it off the board. When I started this process of reverting my work, I began to see the wax and pigments blending in an unexpected expression of deep beauty and emotional communication.” 

This moment directly correlates with two reoccurring themes in her own life and art: vulnerability and surrender. 

“I wish that I would have been confident with what I know. In the beginning, I was constantly questioning the validity of my work. In the past five years, I’ve grown into my own metaphorical skin as an artist.”

She encourages young artists to know their mission, connect with other artists and to never say no to any opportunity, large or small.