evelyn leavens painter

Retrospective of a Living Artist
By Layli Susan Whyte

At 82 years of age, the artist for whom this web site is, not only a tool but a tribute, continues to explore extreme and unusual levels of diversification.

Evelyn Leavens, whose paintings and sketches span such a wide range of technique and exhibit such an all encompassing talent, has a whimsy and self-mocking humor that only comes from a life-time of following one’s own ideas and ideals.evelyn

Living proof that age does not blemish the mind, the artist continues to find new ways to express her self through work that ranges from formal oils to caricature to creative ventures. She is as apt to create abstraction and non-representation, as serene landscapes clearly portraying her ideal sanctuary: farmland.

This artist has always been inspired by pastoral scenes, finding the landscape nostalgic and is disturbed to see more raising of “McMansions” today than corn in the fields.

The rhythm of life is not lost on her, as her pencil dances across the page in her sketches and her brush strokes catch the eye the way a trumpet catches the ear. She welcomes her students to bring music from home to listen to during a lesson, and finds herself bopping along to artists spanning from the screaming guitar of Hendrix to the hip-hop stylings of Missy Elliot.

All in all, this artist is not your average senior (in fact, she may be more likened to a high school senior than a senior citizen). She is not your average artist, as she is able to make use of any technique she desires, yet unwilling to see the world through only one means of expression.

Her inspirations include such artists as Raymond Mintz, Milton Avery, Wolf Kahn, Jean-Michael Basquiat, Henri Matisse, Arthur Dove, Charles Burchfield and Karel Appel. She also draws inspiration from actors such as Sir Lawrence Oliver, Alec Guinness, Jeremy Irons, Forrest Whitaker, Peter O’Toole, Vanessa Redgrave, Hugh Laurie, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Hillary Swank, and Emma Thompson.

She says that creating art was the only thing she ever wanted to do.

The artist sends these words out into cyberspace with her first journey onto the web:

“I find that seeing my art together on this website gives me an insight into something I now realize is more important that I gave attention to, and that is drawing. I have not stressed that enough in my work."

“My figure studies, for example, have a freedom and power that I regret not having done more: the design, the color, the action and the rhythm of the drawings, playing pencil to pad like the riffs of a musical improvisation."

“I feel I have done something throughout my life that, looking at the sum of this retrospective, might qualify my work for more serious consideration. Out there, someone might see the potential for further recognition of my work."

“Right now is the most productive time in my life.”




EVELYN LEAVENS by Chuck Scarborough