Bursting with colour, texture and light, these stunning works of art are truly unique.

Artists Anne Berendt and Lyn Kirkland are passionate about sharing their love of the rare medium known as encaustic wax, an ancient Egyptian process which also led the pair down the path of a special friendship.

The ladies met three years ago when Anne enquired about a workshop being run by Lyn and they "clicked straight away".

Despite using the same method of application, which is relatively unknown in the UK, painting with beeswax and pigments is so versatile that Anne and Lyn can showcase a wide variety of work, while never overlapping ideas.

In fact, the ladies have just enjoyed their first joint exhibition at The Gallery Upstairs at Upton Country Park in Poole – an idea which was sparked upon their first meeting.

As well as paintings, Anne has produced a range of coasters, while Lyn likes to embed items in her pieces, including fossils inspired by the Portland coastline, where she lives, and vintage photographs.

But the pair are equally as passionate about introducing the medium to a new audience.

Painting with encaustic wax was used by the Egyptians to decorate their Pharaohs' sarcophagi. The wax is mixed with a resin which, in turn, is mixed with coloured pigments. The wax is applied to a painting surface in a molten state and 'fused' in layers, using a heat gun or gas burner.

"It does lend itself to bling," adds Lyn. "It's not just beeswax, it's got a tree resin in it that makes it hard and durable. If you just paint with candle wax it would crack up.

"It's flexible and versatile. I've painted porcelain bowls with wax, I've embedded photographs, there's no limit, once you understand the medium."

Anne and Lyn were art lovers growing up, but were both guided away from following a creative career by the parents.

Lyn ended up working in PR and marketing, while Anne studied languages in her native Paris. But they continued to pursue artistic hobbies.

It wasn't until Lyn's son became very ill that she decided "life's too short", and went on to pursue her dream, completing a Foundation course at Weymouth College before discovering encaustic wax when researching her final project.

Anne moved to England with her husband in 1993, putting her art on hold while she raised her children. She has since completed a Foundation course at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art and Design and taught herself about using encaustic wax after being intrigued by a box of supplies she came across at college.

"Obviously, we would like to sell some work," says Lyn, "but also it's about education.

"Because, once people understand it, they are intrigued by it."

Anne adds: "I come from Paris and it's not well known at all. There's always more to explore - I'm a bit obsessive like that. I see everything in shapes and colours and it gives me ideas.

"Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but you learn even when it doesn't.

"I use workshops to get me started, then I go in my own direction."

Lyn and Anne now both run local workshops and take commissions while Lyn is also a director of Art Wey, a community of artists in the Weymouth and Portland area who work to promote visual arts in the neighbourhood.

"With the way things are with the economy, people are all about experience rather than purchasing a piece of art, they want to learn how to do it themselves," explains Lyn, who also runs workshops for those with cancer and their carers.

"It's very therapeutic. You have to slow yourself down – you can't rush it."

Having both exhibited solo in the past, Anne and Lyn are now hoping to put on more joint displays of their work, while continuing to educate and inspire people about the medium.

"If I make some money out of it, great," says Lyn, "but I do it for my soul."

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