How Art Began”, written and produced by the British sculptor Antony Gormley. Gormley goes deep into ancient caves to see the drawings on the wall. Some were created as much as 80 million years ago.
His point is, in other words, there is always art. We need it. Art is intrinsic to being human. It’s our mark. We need it not just as a personal record of being here but as a connection to all that we cannot know. To what makes us bigger than what we can see and touch. Or speakin
I like the rawness of the beginning process, but it is not enough. Nevertheless, I still long for it as I continue.But if I were to stop trying to “fix” or “improve” on the initial impulse, it would not be, simply put, as much fun. A while back I had a dream wherein a minor, background figure was a photographer who was lurking in a hallway. When I thought about what he might have to tell me, I heard “leave the mess.” I still think about this when my paintings become too tidy.
Last weekend, July 14, 15, 16 that is, I was part of the Peggy’s Cove Festival of the Arts. That meant I had Open Studio Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Long hours; lots of people passing through. The best part was my studio hadn’t been that clean since I moved in! It isn’t so clean anymore, but that’s fine. The visitors and the conversations and seeing my work in a more or less clean space was very inspiring. So my studio is getting messy again. And it feels good. It did take m
Came home Tuesday from a week in beautiful Baddeck, Cape Breton. I was teaching a four-day workshop on abstract painting. There were seventeen students, presenting a full spectrum of art experience and age. I brought along my teaching assistant — my four-month old puppy, Romeo. He was very helpful and, except for some occasional puppy outbursts, extremely good. Having had such a long career focusing mainly on abstraction (never wanted to paint anything else, although I could
There has been so much talk lately about minimalism, paring down, purging, simplifying. I too bought a book on decluttering, organizing. When first reading it, I felt enormous anxiety. Get rid of my precious memories: photos, books, clothes! No way. But then I did some purging, cleaned up my closet a bit. I must admit, I enjoy having a tidy closet and a tidy kitchen. I haven’t continued as I prefer to spend the time painting when I can. And otherwise I am with my puppy or rea
(“Because of the Duck, no. 13″; 12″ x 12”; oil & collage on canvas) Because of the puppy and the fact that I will be teaching in Baddeck, Cape Breton for a week in September, I had to move my upcoming exhibit at the Secord Gallery in Halifax from October to November. The pressure of creating a new body of work for the show was too much. I like to work under pressure; I like to work without pressure; I like to paint. But . . . . My painting is going well. I’m very excited abou
According to Proust, “Artists are people who strip habit away and return life to its deserved glory.” I’ll go along with that! Definitely I’m very familiar with the stripping habit away part. When a painting feel too “easy”, too “good”, I know I need to go further. Not let habitual means of solving painting issues take over, try something else. And if that doesn’t work, try something else yet again. The one thought dominating my mind this morning when working was how so much
You’ve heard of sound bites, right. Tidbits of sound. Well, I’m into painting bites. Tidbits of time to paint. It’s working though, doing some good work in the very tight time limitations I have now. Concentrated time; concentrating mind. When I go into my studio I may think I will work on one thing, but end up doing something entirely different. A different idea, color, energy pulls me. Having so little time and so much desire to paint, I just let it happen. It is very fasci
Three of my paintings have recently traveled to beautiful Watch Hill, RI. On the walls now at the Lily Pad Gallery, they represent a new expansion to abstract painting for this gallery. The gallery will also be opening a new space in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I will be sending some larger pieces there. Right now, I don’t have any photographs, but I’ll keep you posted. The gallery was established thirty years ago by Wivi-Anne Weber, Ph.D. It has now moved into the recently rest
The Peggy’s Cove Area Festival of the Arts Studio Tour is on for the next three days. Studio Tour invitation. It’s from 10 am to 5 pm. My studio is somewhat clean with fresh paper on the floor and some new work finished or almost finished. My attention for the past week has been on puppy care: getting ready, getting him, and the 24 hour attention a eight week old puppy needs. So, besides touring my studio and the artwork, do come by and play with Romeo! #ArtsandEntertainment
Yesterday, when painting, I had a major insight about how to work with the color field. I have been working on some blue paintings, not my easiest color choice. But I like the challenge and when they work, at least in the past, they are very strong. These were giving me a hard time. I was about to throw in the towel. I had been thinking I needed to limit the marks I make in order to get closer to the impact I created with the more limited palette (for the exhibit at Saint Mar
I’ve often heard it is hard to work when you have an exhibit on. I’ve not experienced that before now. Usually when I have work up in a gallery, I am very critical of what I have done, see what needs to be done next, where to go, and am directed by that. This time, with the exhibit at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery (up for one more week), I have had a very different experience. Possibly because I created most of the work specifically for this exhibit and was so focused o
On April 30, Jacinte Armstrong, dancer, Sageev Oore, composer and pianist and Nick Halley, percussion, danced and made music in dialogue with my paintings. It was amazing! Hardly a dry eye in the audience. It felt like they were inside the paintings, inside me, expressing everything the paintings want people to know. After the performance, it was days before I stopped hearing the music and feeling the dance. Looking at the photographs now brings it all back. Amazing. #Nonverb
Novels are usually about people’s lives. They take me into what other people experiences, feel, how they think and solve problems. When I paint, I want to stay away from stories that can be interpreted literally, but similar to the stories in novels that I enjoy the most, I want to go into a personal space, solve problems, create a painting that will resonate with someone else’s life. Make it, ultimately, not about me, have it stand on its own feet, be itself. #Nonverbalcommu
Last Sunday I gave my “Artist’s Talk” at Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery. It went well, lots of good questions. Actually, I opened it up to questions almost immediately as it was more interesting for me and seemed so to the audience as well. One of the questions that is still lingering in my mind was about my literary interests. The question was, more or less, do those interests influence my painting. I was a lit major as an undergrad, before going to art school, was very
Yesterday morning, Steve Reich was talking about his music on CBC radio program q. One powerful comment he made, loosely quoted, was that you, as the maker, need to be sure you have that emotional investment in what you do or it doesn’t mean a thing. That just about sums it up. Note: The photos above are from my exhibit at the Orange Gallery in Ottawa. #Nonverbalcommunication #ArtsandEntertainment #Creativity #Art #Music #arts
The reception was great, well attended, enjoyable. Several people I hadn’t seen in a while were there, some old students, old friends, new friends. Very satisfying. I don’t have good installation photos yet. They will come. The weather was something else last night. It was a very heavy rain day, flooding on the roads and bitter winds. After the opening reception, I stepped out into what must have been a wind tunnel and was picked up like I was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Blo
The Saint Mary’s University crew picked up the work Tuesday morning. I went into the gallery in the afternoon to talk about the placement of the paintings. Everyone easily agreed on where each painting needed to be. There is a big window on the end wall and I am leaving it uncovered. The view is of bare trees right now, but over the course of the two months my work will be there, the trees will bud and leaf out. With the large paintings on the long walls, the window fits in w
This interview of me talking about my work is short, well done, beautifully edited and to the point. Mary Ann Archibald did it recently for an on-line magazine she has about the arts in Halifax. Do check this one out: http://artshalifax.com/studio-interview-with-leya-evelyn/ #Communication #Abstractart #Creativity #arts #EasternCanada
I’ve been obsessing a bit recently about the painting hanging over my piano now for about three years. I didn’t want to sell it for a long time; now I do. I’m ready to let it go. Especially after this morning. I realize what it is I needed to learn from it: first, it has a dramatic edge I have been avoiding recently. Not just avoiding, but actually unable to allow to stay even when I was able to make it happen. So, I was thinking: “Leya, you have mastered the art of subtlety.