Jessica Vogel began her love affair with compelling images as a commercial photographer. It all began at the University of Florida’s Photojournalism School. Later, while interning with a noted Texas photographer, she immersed herself in the technique of making Polaroid transfers, separating the color layers of the film and putting them back together to create images that resemble paintings. When Kodak went out of business and Polaroid film was no longer available, she returned to the 35mm camera and her paints and brushes. For several years, she operated as Jess Vogel Photography, her work appearing in such publications as Outside Magazine, Skiing, Transworld Snowboarding and Surfer Magazine. Yet, she sought expression more personal and elastic than what she could achieve with the camera.
Although she spent a large part of her time painting in the studio and out in nature, she was never satisfied with the limitations imposed by canvas. She began experimenting with painting on glass, and was amazed at the vivid colors obtained by painting on the reverse side. Today, her glass paintings hang in nearly every one of the United States and at least twelve countries around the world.
More recently, she has remembered the encaustic art she had seen in European galleries and museums. The luminous colors, the range of emotions the images evoked, led her to study this nearly-forgotten art form in the studio of noted encaustic artist Clare O’Neill.
Once she had learned the slow, involved technical aspects of the process, she began to reflect the images she carried in her mind onto panels and then to enhance these images with layers, upon layers of melted beeswax.