By Rhiannon Leigh
South Natick, Mass. – Boston-based painter John Evans incorporates art into all aspects of his life. His Natick home is adorned with work, old and new, by both himself and his wife, Carolyn. Although his studio only had two current pieces, both works-in-progress, there was an abundant quantity of drafts of many of his works, emphasizing the amount of time and effort he spends on one piece.
In 1987, a young Evans was motivated by pleasing everyone else rather than pleasing himself — as well as a fear of failure, which in turn led to his rejection from a potential show in New York. Although this was disappointing at the time, Evans also acknowledges that he felt a sense of freedom. He continued to paint, and because he was now only painting for himself rather than for others, “there was no sense of failure, just an adventure,” Evans said. He also speaks of the Buddhist mantra of “not wanting,” and because of this, Evans became much more free and playful with his work, landing him a show with the same gallery a year after the initial rejection.
His process is playful yet deliberate, creating an initial piece of work and then taking photographs and working from those in order to create an aesthetic composition and describing the final work as serendipitous, “a wonderful surprise.” He continues to mention that his work, many of which are landscapes, “are about mood, and you don’t get that until all of the other problems are solved. Whatever the paintings evoke is totally secondary — I’m not 100 percent conscious of it.” Although Evans has become much more free with his work throughout his life, he works extremely hard in order to create the final piece and evoke an emotion, even if he is unsure of what that emotion is, and it is clear how important he views his work, whether you step into his home, his studio, or the galleries in which his work is displayed.
(John Evans’ work can be seen in the “Water Scenes” group along with Todd Kenyon, Chris Armstrong & Eric Zener from September 10 through October 3 at Gallery Henoch at 555 West 25th Street, New York, New York. For more information, call (917) 305-0003. To learn more about Evans, visit johnevansartstudio.com.)