Bill Evans

Bill Evans — Painter

I got hooked on painting when I was at school, under the influence of two inspiring teachers. They gave me a lifelong belief in painting as a serious activity, but in the end I did not go to art college and had a busy career as a working forester, farmer and estate manager in Whitbourne. When I retired in 2013 I made a small attic studio space in the house, and started painting every day. I have just moved from that to a much bigger studio space, in a converted barn, which I share with my daughter Megan, also an artist.
Considering how much time I spend on it I find it surprisingly hard to put into words what I am up to when painting. Perhaps the difficulty arises out of two uses of the same word: I can be painting a tree – something in the everyday world, but at the same time I am painting a picture – creating something entirely new, that has never existed before.
For me both these aspects are important. I am moved to start a painting in response to something I have seen – an object, a colour combination, a sense of space – something that cries out to be painted, though often it’s more like – ‘That looks interesting – I could do something with that’.
When I then start painting the marks I make take me to a parallel world. I manipulate them, react to them, and I get interested in shapes and colours and textures for their own sake. I seek to resolve all these elements to create a coherent image that has a life of its own. The finished picture does not set out to be a faithful representation of what I saw in the real world, but the impetus to make the painting in the first place is what drives the whole enterprise and I hope that the finished painting reflects that.
That’s about as much as I can say. Each painting is a new challenge. My subject is often but not always bits of the wonderful countryside where I live. Some days painting will go well, on others not so much. It’s always utterly absorbing.