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He was 86.
The trek to Jack Ellis’ studio led through his Lakewood Estates backyard, which might have felt like a jungle to visitors, with the plants and trees he and his wife left to grow wild. Once inside, the artist often scattered peanuts on the back porch and left the door open to the blue jays, squirrels, a woodpecker, a crow and several generations of raccoons who’d visit throughout the day.
It was a sacred space where he’d work for hours building intricate new worlds out of canvas, crow quill pen and ink.
“He always used to say that his head was full of images,” said Ellis’ wife, Judy Ellis. “He used to say, ‘I don’t think I’ll live long enough to execute all that I have in my head.’”