Voice and Vision

One Woman's WORDS AND WORKS •grapple •inspire •liberate

55: No One Can Find Me

My painting, Ukraine: Above Fear, has not sold yet. Mainly because so few have come to my gallery in months; only five people have viewed this special painting in person. This makes me sad. As one of my RISD professors said:  “It isn’t art until its seen.”

If being seen is requisite, I have a lot of “It-isn’t-art-yet” filling every wall, every room (even in closets and bathrooms)–350 paintings in my living space and studio/gallery, representing about 9,000 hours of work and over a hundred awards. I love many mediums:  pencil, pastel, watercolor, oil, and mixed media. Most works are custom framed, many are over three feet wide, others barely smaller. There are landscapes, seascapes, abstracts, nudes, portraits, local scenes, works from my travels, and inspired works that come to be obeyed, as the Ukraine piece was. I would love to share all of them with you.

But I wonder if you can find me.

Our home and my studio/gallery is in the woods next to an ocean estuary known as the Damariscotta River where spectacular sunsets come most nights. The tiny bit of beach and rocky shore at the foot of our property is picturesque; I’ve painted there several times. But despite the good things about moving to Maine 3 years ago, the hardest thing continues to be:

No one can find me.

I pay for highway signage on the main road but am not allowed signage where one turns in to our road. So I pay for ads and do my best to attract visitors, clients, and students (Covid has not helped). It makes me sad that:

 No one can find me.

All I want is my art to be seen. I want people to roam throughout my home and gallery, to discover the wide variety of work, to hear the stories behind each piece, to leave here taking with them the energy, inspiration, and meaning these creations emit. But:

No one can find me.

I know it is unusual for an artist to do so many different kinds of art. I love them all! Each medium has its own particular characteristics, each calls me for a particular purpose or form of expression. I listen and obey. A lot of quiet communication begins each piece. When thoughts and ideas flow, I pay attention.  They push themselves into being, telling me what I must do, what strokes to make, what hues to use. The hard work of making line, colors, values, shapes happen is maintained by high standards of craftsmanship–that’s where a background of nearly 70 years of making art comes into play, along with superior art education at RISD and Principia, painting abroad, and teaching art to others. In its own time, a painting comes together. Sometimes it is near agony to get things right. Other times it is a gift, things percolate while I watch. People say: “It must be fun to paint every day.” Fun is not the word I would choose. But it is satisfying to work hard at something and get it right. That’s why after all this work it saddens me that:

No one can find me.

Since early childhood, my scribblings and drawings filled hundreds of pages. Making art has been my way to know myself and to understand life. My way to make sense of things. My way to call attention to issues that matter in this world. My way to feel real joy at the end of a struggle or to see something amazing become on paper or canvas what I never knew before. Creating is giving birth. It is grasping the new, reverencing the old, conquering the difficult, discovering beauty, expressing truth. Like any accomplishment, it demands intense effort, but effort that one is more than willing to give for what is revealed. It must be shared. It must be seen. That’s why it saddens me that:

No one can find me.

 

Damariscotta Sunset Through the Pines, watercolor, custom framed, 27" x 22", $875 by Gwendolyn Evans

Damariscotta Sunset Through the Pines, watercolor, custom framed, 27″ x 22″, $875 by Gwendolyn Evans

This is one of the first pieces I painted when we moved to Maine, showing our view down to the estuary. Two old Adirondack chairs invite the viewer to take a seat and enjoy the beginning sunset.

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