ARTIST Q & A : JAMIE EVRARD
1) How would you describe your work ?
Messy, drippy, oozy, sketchy, colourful, full.
2) What are you most excited about in this current body of work and what are you striving to achieve that would set it apart from previous ones ?
I love working big and loose. These are my wildest paintings yet and I'm enjoying using big house painting brushes. I want to convey the feeling of being inside a lush, unkempt garden. From up close I hope the paintings just look like paint marks and from far away I want them to create a depth people can climb into.
3) Most adored colour in your tool box ? Most hated ? Most challenging ?
Currently Perylene Red, a transparent hue somewhere between cherry tomato and the inside of a pomegranate is my favourite colour. Powerful and even harsh, staining colours like Thalo Blue and Green and Quinacridone Violet can take over and ruin a painting or, with a little of their compliment added can create exquisite blacks and greys.
4) As an artist who is also a writer, how do you feel your writing informs your painting and vice versa ?
I'd say writing and painting are about being moved by an experience and conveying that sensation to the viewer/reader in a unique and personal way. Both mediums teach me that if I don’t have a clue how to start, I just have to do something - Anything.
5) Besides living in Vancouver you also live part of the year in Umbria. Is there a difference in approach, materials, or subject matter when painting while immersed in these 2 distinctly different cultures and climates?
The light in Italy is so beautiful and warm and so many gorgeous still life objects are available in the countryside and the markets. Artichokes come with their leaves on them and I can pick branches of pomegranates.
I paint in my bedroom and pretty much have to make work that will fit under my arm and through the luggage scanner unless I want to get into the whole shipping thing. I don't actually mind those constraints since they make it possible for me to concentrate on smaller works and think more about the craft of painting. I used to figure skate and skaters would spend hours doing what was called "school figures" or various permutations on the figure eight. Italy is where I do my school figures.
I enjoy having lots of quiet time over there to think and get recharged to return to my busy city life and get to work in my big, well lit studio.
6) What would be a surprising fact for someone to discover about you ?
That I just invested in a Cyr Wheel and plan to learn to use it.
7) Which artists have had the most profound influence on your work ?
Artists whose work I admire and look at lot are Matisse, Joan Mitchell, Manet, and Cy Twombly to name a few.
Just saw some wonderful paintings in New York by Elise Ansel, Katharina Grosse and Atta Kwami Thami all of whom use colours which will inspire me for a long time.
8) Given the current political climate, what role do you think artists can play ?
Since my work is not at all political I try to do what I think every thinking person should be doing right now which is stick up for what I believe in. Make noise.
9) What word of advice would you give to an aspiring artist just starting out ? Or what piece of advice would you have wished you could have given to your younger artist self knowing what you know now?
Being an artist is a scary and unpredictable career. I would tell an aspiring artist to surround herself with other aspiring artists who believe making art is an important and worthy job.
10) What are you plans after this show ?
I already have an idea for some big new works which I hope will tide me though the postpartum time of having hung a show. In April I’ll return to Italy.