June 20, 2018

JUNE ARTIST SPOTLIGHT - Meet Eveline Wallace

This month's
shines on artist,
Eveline Wallace
interviewed by EC's contributing editor, A.M. Offenwanger.
I first met Eveline Wallace when my local library had a show of her art.
I was taking a poetry class, and spend a long time staring at a large painting of a three-masted ship sailing across sky-blue waves on the top half of an arch-shaped canvas. It was only after I had written my poem about the ship that I realized that what I had taken for vaguely abstract rocks along the right side of the painting was, in fact, a map of the California coastline.

That blend of abstract and concrete, of perfectly obvious and delightfully unexpected, is what characterizes Eveline’s work—even characterizes Eveline herself. At a “Meet the Artist” day I got to know her in person—a small lady with snow-white hair that sported one vibrant purple streak. Lately, that streak was pink, and when I went over to her house to interview her for Enchanted Conversation Magazine, her hair had gone all dark. Unexpected—just like her art.

“I like anything that’s different,” Eveline said.

“What inspired you to become an artist?” I asked, and she had to think about it for a while.

“It’s an inner urge,” she said then, “a desire to create. I had it from when I was little. We used to play in the hawthorn tree in the rain, and the red blossoms would fall in the puddle, and I would make them into little boats—they were all little Ophelias going down the river…”
We laughed at that, because over her mantelpiece hangs a copy of Waterhouse’s “The Lady of Shalott,” drifting down the river.

But when I asked her about her favourite artists, her answer brought up someone closer to our own times. Kay Nielsen, she said, and when I admitted I was unfamiliar with his work, she brought out some books to show me.
“Illustrations from fairy story and children’s books—illustrations really, that’s what inspired me,” she says. “Artists that are metaphysical, art that has people in it. People—people are the big thing. The deeper meanings of life, work that has a mood that pulls you in. Anything that’s different, like Kandinsky.”

“Do you have a favorite medium to work in?” I asked.
She does: egg tempera. The real egg tempera, the one you mix yourself with raw pigments and  egg yolk. Different indeed.
Eveline also likes to work in coloured inks, and sometimes acrylic, on top of modelling paste. But not oils—they take too long to dry. “I work fast as it’s happening; it changes as I’m doing it. It sort of creates itself; I see things and I start to paint something, then I see some people in there and put them in.”

I wondered if she uses models for her figures.
“I do it out of my head. It’s imagination.” Sometimes she paints a portrait of a specific person, and she will use existing images to copy for that, but she prefers working from what she sees in her mind. “It gives you a different dimension or a different feeling when it’s from your imagination.”

Her painted stories show the unexpected, yet familiar. A Thumbelina-like fairy floats asleep in a bubble amidst rose buds, guarded by a peacock; a turban-clad charioteer steers his invisible equipage through the night; a Civil War soldier dreams on a park bench, serenaded by ghostly musicians. There are elves and dwarfs and spirits; and a masked Death in velvet and lace leads a bridal maiden to a new life.

“You are actually painting your inner self,” she says. “I like the mysterious, the spiritual—”
“Like an inner world,” I suggested.
“Yes, that’s it! I like the inner world, the inner sensorium, as they call it. I can get that from painting. Whatever comes, comes, and it feels always good.”

Check out Eveline's enchanting art

Death and the Maiden

The Charioteer

Sprite in a Bubble

Ghostly Mazurka

The Soldier

Eveline Wallace lives in Oyama, British Columbia, Canada.
You can find her on Facebook,
at her blog at Sentire Eveline,
or email her at ewallace30@LIVE.CA

Interview and photos of Eveline's art by A.M. Offenwanger



Guy S. Ricketts said...

Great interview, Angelika! I felt I were in that room, witnessing it for myself. And the questions were strong, leading to meaningful responses by Eveline. I really identified with her, as I feel I would have essentially answered the same. My favorite of those pictured is the one Amanda chose as the cover, Death and the Maiden, I love Death pictured as an attractive being in a dark mysterious mask.
I really enjoyed this interview.

Lissa Sloan said...

Beautiful artwork! I can see the Nielsen influence, but I like these better. Death and the Maiden is my favorite too. (I also have Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott over my mantlepiece:)