When I first saw the sketches of Chris Evitts, it felt like finding an abandoned building full of rooms to explore--exciting, but intimidating as well. Of course, after checking them out, I scrambled for the chance to view more, and also found his paintings. They are different than his sketches, but I can't say which I like more.
No problem, because they're all remarkable! Works that seem ancient, but totally fresh--sinister, yet darkly humorous.
I admit to visiting his works over and over, on a regular basis. They dig themselves into the brain, and push me to question the stories, analyze the technique, and envy the mastery.
Little figures, creepy birds, peculiar visages with unique expressions--works that startle me every time!
Sometimes they are pleasingly violent, sometimes funny--and they are always haunting.
Chris talks about the sketches and paintings separately: The sketches, he says, start with a mark on the paper. In his own words: "Each piece is intended to be a spontaneous, unpremeditated, finished entity."
He draws constantly, always having 6 or 7 sketchbooks in progress.
As far as tools, he isn't fussy--any pen that writes will do, with the exception of Sharpies, which he finds clumsy. Evitts will use a variety of implements, from Conte to ink. For him, sketches don't directly end in paintings, but he says they help his paintings evolve more quickly.
Chris paints almost exclusively in oils, and in his own words: "Painting is a completely different experience for me. Each painting lives a hundred lives until it is complete and put to rest. They can take 15 years until I am really happy with them: the hope is that they have a strange beauty,
...have depth of colour, and most importantly have a reality of their own. I paint mostly smallish, occasionally I produce large works, but I find it very taxing due to my process of re-attacking the painting."
"I'd rather produce 20 small works with a certain resonance, than a few large, less successful paintings."
When asked about influences, he said: "I am pretty prolific, so (influences) can be as grand as Goya and as mundane as the pause button on my pvr. Every figurative artist should own a pvr."
One example of Evitts' recent explorations with gesso and india ink--
and his latest sketches on ceramics--mugs being the best sellers. From this pic, it's pretty easy to see why.
Trust you find this art as fantastic as I do. Enjoy more of Chris Evitts' work at:
And as always, thanks for reading.