Meaning what

Since the invitations for my upcoming exhibit went out, I have had a few exchanges around the title:  There Is No Hidden Meaning Here. One friend and  former student wrote me asking:  “I am curious about the title.  Are you telling  the viewers who are always looking for meaning to stop and just enjoy.”

I replied:  “The title means both stop thinking and also, it’s a little the opposite:  there’s lots of meaning, but only if you stop thinking.”

Her response:  “I think I get it now….a more spiritually deep meaning comes when you let the color etc speak directly to you.”

Definitely.  And then I got an email from David Greenhaven in New Mexico, with whom I’ve corresponded occasionally on-line.  He had very graciously mentioned my work on his  art review blog: (to see what he wrote, go to

To quote him:

Leya Evelyn’s paintings are chock full of passion for form and color.  The swing back and forth between thoughtful composition and wild abandon is very compelling.  She clearly gives a lot of attention and effort into the application of paint and other materials on the canvas and on top of other paint and yet the pieces don’t come off as overly studied, perhaps due to the scrumbling and the fast stroked oil stick on the eventual surface.

Thank you, David.  He also suggests that the title for the exhibit might “want the viewer to believe that her work is all about design and no deep thoughts.”  He does, however (thankfully), have “an emotional response to Evelyn’s work and the magic of  her palate.  Her work makes me believe there is the chance of hope and peace and new possibilities ahead without forgetting the history we’ve lived in order to get to this place.”

Because of the many layers of collage, words, drawing and paint in my paintings, there is, naturally, hidden aspects–meanings, it you care to put it that way.  Interpretation is very personal.  What you see is, usually, relative to your experience.  What I want is for the painting to be able to  transport the viewer beyond that relative knowledge, the everyday experience, to discover what is without reference.  Forget words and meaning:  just experience what you see.  A tall order for a piece of art, to be sure, but if I don’t try, it can’t happen.


About leyaevelyn

About thirty years ago, I moved from New York City to rural Nova Scotia. For an artist, it is a good place to live. Spacious and quiet. Despite the beautiful scenery and frequently grey skies, my abstract paintings focus on color, its expressive qualities and how it creates form and space.
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One Response to Meaning what

  1. David Hinske says:

    Nice insights, Leya.

    In my opinion, it’s impossible for an artist not to put meaning in their work. I’ve seen pieces that have obstensibly been made to ‘match the couch’, but then that speaks volumes as well.

    Some artists are quoted as saying they try to completely eliminate themselves from their art in an act of attempting to communicate the universal zen to their medium. To which I reply, “Hahahahahahahaha!”

    Have a great show!

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