Carolyn Evans is both an artist and a sculptor. Her art appeals to both the child amongst us as well as the thinker. To me her art has been an acquired taste. When I first saw her painting of houses with fish floating in the air, I did not know what to make of it. But over time it is exactly those paintings that have stuck in my mind’s eye. Many of her paintings have an ambiguity that keeps the viewer’s mind active considerably beyond the time the visual pleasures have subsided.
Many of her paintings of houses have stories behind them. The house or home in these paintings is a place surrounded by memories, filled with laughter, joy and sadness, with an overwhelming feeling of what it means to be alive. These “homes” are places we want to visit, to remember and reflect upon. Sometimes the houses take on a persona and speak more of an individual or of a couple and their relationship with each other. Often the house is a place to go to find shelter or solace or make a political statement, or have a laugh. She blends her Southern sensibilities with those of New England where she ended up spending most of her life.
Carolyn Evans is a mature artist who has the ability to remind us of what is important in life. She disarms us with provocative and yet simple subject matter that is familiar. Her paintings are infused with levity and sophistication using color, form and images, telling stories that excite our senses. Evans’ paintings are filled with wonder and discovery in the many layers of paint and story.
“Evans” compositions are simple-looking, but far from simplistic, and the cockeyed geometry of both natural and man-made forms within them are carefully considered. She has the uncanny ability to suggest much and manipulate the viewer’s perceptions by adroitly refining nuances of shape, color and paint application.”‘
When all is said, it is the viewer who brings new interpretations to the stories of the work. Carolyn Evans leaves enough space to include in her paintings, our own past, our memories and our dreams.
As a former teacher, Carolyn Evans has long focused on symbolic shapes that recall childhood. Bronze landscapes display a simplified version of the flowers and trees that grew in her mother’s garden. Colorful and expressive paintings explore memories of’ fishing the Louisiana Gulf coast with her father, or wandering the port of’ New Orleans to view the small boats and large container ships that filled the Mississippi.
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist after he grows up.” Pablo Picasso
That Carolyn Evans has solved the problem to which Picasso refers is abundantly clear. These whimsical vistas not only relate to the art of several 20th century masters but also clearly evoke the unselfconscious creations of a child’s mind. The paintings are, at once, both deceptively sophisticated and disarmingly simple. Moreover, they are not the work of a naive or untutored creator, but of one trained in a traditional course of fine arts instruction.