Texture adds depth to new exhibit

Turner Valley: Calgary artist featuring mixed media at the Sheep River Library gallery

By: Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014 12:08 pm

Calgary artist Judy Evans paints near her cabin at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park west of Pincher Creek. Evans’ art will be displayed at the Sheep River Library art gallery in Turner Valley throughout August.
Calgary artist Judy Evans paints near her cabin at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park west of Pincher Creek. Evans’ art will be displayed at the Sheep River Library art gallery in Turner Valley throughout August.
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Diamond Valley residents who can’t get enough of abstract art are in for a treat this summer.

The Sheep River Library in Turner Valley is introducing Calgary abstract artist Judy Evans, who will exhibit her paintings, an artistic mixture of realism and abstraction, in the library’s art gallery throughout August.

“It’s abstracted with interesting textures and colours,” Evans said of her work. “I do a mixed media background first, usually using all sorts of techniques – whatever comes to mind such as printmaking, sometimes it’s watercolours, sometimes it’s loose acrylic colour and soemtimes a collage. Then I use a photograph that I’ve taken on a holiday or of my granddaughter or flowers and work that image into it so that it has a bit more of a contemporary look rather than being just a straight copy of somebody.”

Evans adds texture to her paintings using a variety of materials including stamping, rug underlay, paper and plastic.

“It gives really interesting textural effects in the background and in the forground,” she said. “It’s a more contemporary approach.”

Evans is well versed in numerous art mediums, having taken several workshops, classes and university courses over the years. Over the last 10 years she has focused on mixed media. Evans loves the medium for its ability to allow artists to express themselves, rather than simply reproducing an image with paints.

“My work tends to be pretty uninhibited with lots of mark making and brush strokes,” she said. “It allows me to use the subject matter that inspires me. It gives me a chance to be creative.”

Mixed media is becoming the art form of choice for many artists, said Evans.

“It’s definitley a popular thing to do right now,” she said. “I think people relax the old rules that watercolours had to be this and you couldn’t put anything else with it. Now people are using all media together. You can combine all sorts of things creatively.”

Recently, Evans, a retired Calgary school teacher, created a series of small paintings inspired by wildflowers at Beauvais Lake Provincial Park west of Pincher Creek, where she and her husband have a cottage.

“I’ve taken a lot of close-up photos of wildflowers at our cabin and decided to do those in this mixed media approach,” she said. “At my 50th anniversary I had them as table centres. Everyone thought it was terrific. I decided that would be the thing to put in the show along with some of the bigger pieces I have been doing.”

Evans’ work has been displayed in numerous galleries and exhibitions through the years, starting with her first solo exhibition at Calgary’s Centennial Art Gallery in 1985.

That is not the case anymore since she retired from her teaching job.

“We’ve been doing so much traveling and snowbirding,” she said. “I’m at the point in my life where I’m not worried about selling so much, but I still do it because I love it.”

Evans learned about the opportunity to exhibit her mixed media pieces at the Sheep River Library’s art gallery through a family member who lives in Turner Valley and decided to give it a try.

“I feel like I’ve got something going now with mixed media,” she said. “All of the things that I’ve done before were good and I sold pieces – watercolours and that sort of thing. This is sort of like, wow it works, it’s fun and I like to share it.”

While Evans doesn’t plan to keep her art stored away in her basement where no one will see it, she also struggles with letting some of her pieces go.

“I’m at the point where I don’t like to sell my best pieces because then I don’t have them,” she said. “I’m more interested in having people see my work and appreciate what it is.”

Evans’ mixed medium pieces will be showcased at the Sheep River Library’s art gallery throughout August.

An artists reception will be held on Aug. 7 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. where the public can meet Evans and talk to her about her art.

The Sheep River Library is located in Turner Valley and is open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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