Vancouver artist Jamie Evrard goes in-depth on two works from her new exhibition From Coast to Garden: Shannon Falls March (58 x 36 inches, left) and Midsummer Shades of Blue and Green (56 x 56 inches, right).


I can’t remember what exactly triggered my interest in waterfalls, but sometime during the winter I decided to try and visit various nearby falls with the hope of painting them. The first I visited was Cypress Falls, which is small, nearby and very dramatic. The lower falls - just water running over boulders through the forest under the big falls - are lovely and evocative too. The main Shannon Falls was a real thrill, its thundering torrent falling over 1000 feet. I visited on a cold, crisp, March morning and the sun was just coming over the top of the falls, highlighting the glorious cascade. The last vestiges of snowy patches were just disappearing, and there was a clear view to the falls as the nearby deciduous trees had not yet leafed out. 

Looking at my photos back at the studio, I liked the way the waterfall was framed by trees, the way it rushed right down the middle of the composition through the green forest. Somehow, Ultramarine Blue, although not exactly realistic, seemed right to describe the deep, dramatic shadows that shrouded the stream. Ochre and Sienna seemed apt for where the sun was beginning to hit the rocks, and I used a generous sprinkle of purples for good measure. The setting for the Falls slowly deepened as I added colours. Then the water: some tentative pale blues, then more, but the Falls were so powerful and noisy too, which led me to white!  I used white even where there wasn’t actually white - it seemed like I couldn’t get enough white. Painting that rushing water felt like an adrenaline-injected miracle. Sometimes painting the exact visual truth is not the most accurate way to impart what a subject makes you feel.


Ultramarine Blue also plays a big part in Midsummer Shades of Blue and Green. I did this painting after visiting the delphinium patch at VanDusen Gardens and then going to see Five Easy Pieces, and old Jack Nicholson movie. That movie title inspired me to do five easy pieces having to do with the delphiniums - loose pieces that would come easily and that I would not fuss over. And I so enjoyed making them as they got bigger and bigger. This one is almost a size you could walk into, and in fact, I did feel that I was entering into it as I painted. Seeing the light on the leaves and the flowers, and the dark shadows, I was pulled right into the garden as I tried to visually describe its bits of light and colour.

Ultramarine is such a deep, warm blue that it imparts a magical quality to paintings - this summer was blue in the most joyous and extravagant of ways as I used up my precious Ultramarine.   -Jamie Evrard 2022

Jamie Evrard's new exhibition From Coast To Garden runs from September 10-24 at Bau-Xi Vancouver. 


Above: Jamie in her Vancouver studio.

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