A couple of days ago, I awoke to a dream I was having. In mood, it was just like the worst first day of school dreams I used to have when I was younger. This dream took place where I have been teaching workshops over the past year. I have a drawing class scheduled for next Wednesday, but in the dream I hadn’t let the students know what to bring for supplies. Since I have an unusual project planned (I’ll tell you more later, if it works!), I needed to let them know. But I had, in the dream, forgotten. So I needed to wing it. It was very awkward, to say the least.
Meanwhile I have been spending a few days sorting through my thoughts about painting and want to push the work further. At this point, I have nine canvases ready, stretched up, primed with three layers of gesso, collage elements applied and images silkscreened onto them. It’s been backbreaking work and it is done! Now I am ready to dig in. Beginning something new, like the first day of school.
I had an interesting experience while working this morning. I started talking to myself about my painting experience, why I work the way I do, what works, what I want to work on, change, expand, and such.
I’ve been obsessing a bit recently about the painting hanging over my piano now for about three years. I didn’t want to sell it for a long time; now I do. I’m ready to let it go. Especially after this morning. I realize what it is I needed to learn from it: first, it has a dramatic edge I have been avoiding recently. Not just avoiding, but actually unable to allow to stay even when I was able to make it happen.
So, I was thinking: “Leya, you have mastered the art of subtlety. Now maybe you can let it go, be more dramatic.” No, I thought, I don’t want to let the subtleties go. So maybe I can combine the two: drama and subtlety. Much more satisfying. Of course, I have to wait and see how I feel about what I did today when I go back at it tomorrow.
Sometimes it feels useful, even necessary, to stay away from my studio. Give myself enough time to feel that overwhelming need to paint, to fill up with a big need so that when the balloon bursts onto the canvases, it will feel like a blissful release.
But mostly, really, I’m running out of supplies! Need more paint, more canvas. The realities of painting so much!
Posted in Art
Tagged Art, Painting
VISUAL VIEWPOINTS: Leya Evelyn’s thoughtful, entrancing abstracts yield layers of meaning
ELISSA BARNARD ARTS REPORTER | VISUAL VIEWPOINTS
Published October 16, 2014 – 5:31pm
It Happens There 5, by Leya Evelyn, is in her exhibit, Impossible Possibilities, at Secord Gallery, Halifax.
It’s a tonic for the fast-paced, careless interactions of the world to stand alone in a room with Leya Evelyn’s beautiful, sonorous paintings.
These fine abstract paintings exist unto themselves. They don’t need you, but you need them.
Evelyn’s exhibit, Impossible Possibilities, at Secord Gallery, 6301 Quinpool Rd., Halifax, to next Friday, is a major show in quantity and quality.
These intelligent, deeply worked abstracts in reds, blues, oranges, yellows and snowy white feature Evelyn’s hallmark saturated colours, scrawls, geometric shapes, spinning lines and textures.
However, there is more subtlety, more elegance and a dramatic vertical movement that opens up the world.
You are drawn to the edges, which are little masterpieces in themselves of colour, collage and shape. You are led to the interiors. You are called upon to stop and listen.
A purple base is shattered by a deep cherry-red vertical gash. A snowy
Evelyn was born in Washington, D.C., educated at Brown and Yale universities and moved to Nova Scotia in the early 1980s. She has exhibited extensively in Canada, the United States and Europe.
A few photos from my current exhibit at the Secord Gallery in Halifax.
The past few months have seemed like years: time has been elongated without Lila. At first I didn’t know what to do with all those hours I had spent with her every day, walking, playing, cooking, caring. She was never a healthy dog, yet very high spirited and challenging, both of which I enjoyed.
I soon realized I could paint all day. I had trained Lila to be alone in the morning while I was in my studio. But now I had all my hours to do anything but be with her. So I worked twice as much for a few months. Then, of course, I got sick. Just the flu or a bad cold, but I lay on the couch for two weeks, read, slept, coughed, watched (very) old movies and slept some more. It took another week to recover completely.
At the end of my three week horizontal stint, I had an exhibit at the Secord Gallery here in Halifax (opened October 3). By then I was fine, stood for three hours and talked to the many people at the show. But mostly, now, I feel more at peace, have become more comfortable with Lila being gone. I will always miss her, I know. But I also know I can never have her warm body here again, and, sadly, that’s the irony of falling in love with a dog.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged dog, Lila
Born November 10, 2005; Died June 23, 2014
She was such an important part of my life for the past eight years. I miss her strong-willed intelligence, her playful nature, her curiosity and constant need for something new to discover. It is quiet around her now.