I recently came across the work of Suffolk artist Paul Evans at the Lavenham Contemporary Gallery. I was drawn into the gallery because I glimpsed several large, detailed ink drawings and I don’t come across much ‘pure drawing’ in local galleries. Frustratingly, I can’t find the images online to link to and there wasn’t a postcard I could buy either, but the drawings were made with pen and ink applied with a brush and the variety of marks achieved was interesting. The artist also uses a lot of white space which enables the drawing itself to sing out. I’ve a tendency not to know when to stop so this was a good reminder of how effective white space is.
Once inside the gallery I found myself also looking at striking water colour and ink paintings of Suffolk scenes that are very familiar to me – simple views of tree lined roads, views across fields and meadows, the beach at Aldburgh…
It struck me quite forcibly that it is not necessary to seek out a dramatic landscape in order to create a painting that resonates with the viewer. Here are some examples from Paul Evans current work that illustrate this point.
I was intrigued by how the combination of ink and watercolour creates such vibrant colours.
To my eye all the views are slightly flattened as though looking through the lens of a camera rather than with the naked eye. I find I don’t mind this, it makes the views gentle, not too busy, the ‘canvas’ is not too full. The use of big skies or big foregrounds also seems to create this same gentle feeling of stillness and tranquility.
That’s it, a short post to remind me to take my camera and sketchbook everywhere and not to shun the Suffolk landscape on my doorstep as there is great potential in it. I wish in a way that I had taken this lesson on board before starting on Assignment 5…
Biography (taken from the artist’s own website)
Paul Evans is regarded as one of the leading landscape painters working today. He is widely known for his highly individual watercolours, acrylics and etchings inspired by East Anglia’s landscape and coast, Sussex Downland, the Kent Weald, Cornwall’s rugged coast and moorland. His painting explores only a few locations in detail through all times of the year to convey a deep sense of place. He constantly experiments with techniques and materials – finding new ways to reflect the changing light and seasons in his work.
Paul studied illustration and printmaking between 1972 and 1976 at Eastbourne College of Art and Design, with tutors Robert Tavener and Trevor Kemp, and has been fortunate to make his living solely from his painting since graduating. He started to show his work at the Ralph Lewis Gallery in Brighton’s Lanes, and immediately started to sell everything that he could paint.
Since 1976 Paul has had some 65 solo Exhibitions and numerous group shows, usually attended by large numbers of collectors, quite often selling out within hours of the opening.
Some 500 images have been used for greetings cards, calendars and limited edition prints with several large publishers including Aquarelle, Kingsmead Publications, Royle Publications and Royal Doulton.
Work has been bought by collectors and buyers worldwide – America, Japan, Australia and Europe – as well as by a large and loyal following closer to home.