Photographs of Ellen Paquette creating in her studio, which can be found in Warren County.
In a home studio bathed in light and bold color, with her trusty dog Bailey at her feet, Ellen Paquette makes her art.
She works across multiple mediums, creating simplistic but expressive plushes and portraits of animals in high Renaissance style.
Her work is a way for her to combine the things she loves, while pushing buttons. “I love Renaissance art and love how the portraiture of Renaissance was very serious and normal but humanistic. You get the essence of a person in them.....There’s so much information and symbolism and everything means something,” Ellen said. “And I love animals.”
Among her favorite animals is the hellbender, a gigantic salamander native to Pennsylvania. Not only does she memorialize the docile and near threatened species in plush, but she is also a fierce advocate.
In her hallway closet, dubbed "the cabinet of curiosities," she enshrines things that inspire her — a mud puppy (which was rumored to be a hellbender) which was bottled in formaldehyde by a local funeral director, pinned butterfly wings, a mini statue of David, as well as other treasures from her adventures.
The only places on the globe Ellen hasn’t shipped her work to are Antarctica and South America — and she says that with a big “YET” at the end.
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.