When Carolyn Evans comments on the role of color in her paintings she speaks as if getting dressed for an evening out. As she considers her palette she wants to know "what will go with this outfit." She'll point out an accent of green here and another of purple there that pull her composition together. Evans believes that "color is personal" adding that she "paints like I dress", and she is a well-dressed woman who enjoys the look and feel of good clothing. Fashion can be trivial or at least frivolous but clothing is another matter. How someone presents herself in the world can be frivolous, but it is never trivial. It was Oscar Wilde who pointed out the folly of failing to judge by appearances.
" Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist after he grows up. Pablo Picasso
That Carolyn Evans has solved the problem to which Picasso refers is abundantly clear in this exhibition of her recent large, luminous canvases. These whimsical vistas not only relate to the art of several 20th century masters but also clearly evoke the unselfconscious creation of a child's mind. The paintings are, at once, both deceptively sophisticated and disarmingly simple. Moreover, they are not the work of a naive or untutored creator, but of one trained in a traditional course of fine arts instruction.
"Carolyn Evans combines monumental form with whimsical freedom, an unusually tricky proposition that she pulls off brilliantly. Her works are powerful, sophisticated statements that are simultaneously witty and wonderfully evocative of a childhood's fresh vision of the world."
"'It's the act of painting I like, the surprise I get. I'm not concerned with reality at all," she says. She paints with anything that's handy: brushes, knife, sticks, fingers, a printmaker's roller. She scrapes and overpaints; she sometimes turns a painting sideways or upside down. 'Design, color, composition - they still have to work."'
Marty Carlock, The Boston Sunday Globe, Boston, MA
In the early ‘90s, as a lark, Evans began experimenting with oils. Initially, she took a knife and dug into the gobs of paint on her husband’s palette and applied it to plywood. “I’d build a painting like I would build a sculpture,” she says. Evans played with the paint. “I had nothing to lose,” she explains. “In my mind, I was a sculptor.” But encouraged by Stone, she soon began to view herself as a painter.
Colorful and expressive paintings explore memories of fishing the Louisiana Gulf coast with her father, or wandering the port of New Orleans to view the small boats and large container ships that filled the Mississippi. Houses sit perched at the edge of these watery vistas-- reoccurring symbols of a safe place where children can be nurtured and grow.
The Great Wall of Post-Its hangs in a corner of Carolyn Rosenberg Evans’ studio, each with one or two words, phrases with double meanings, quotes from Thoreau, wordplay; each in search of a painting. With titles like Drama Queen, Daddy Throw Me A Line, Two Stories, and Day at the Breach you know Rose is a storyteller whose paintings are as much about characters and atmosphere as they are about color and composition. I knew Carolyn Rosenberg growing up in New Orleans so I knew she talked a lot. After spending 3 days with her in the studio I realized how very much she had to say.
"Evans exercises her imagination on the canvas. A directness is evident in her work where brilliant washes of color are sometimes confined to a corner and others are set free across the canvas. Images emerge as the paint is applied and scraped away. Familiar shapes, perhaps those of barns and boats stimulate the viewers' curiosity and offer accommodations in an imaginary world, brilliant with color. Paintings of almost childlike and playful fish, boats and houses are invented and remembered places translated in Evans' unique expression."
Melissa Wertman, Provincetown Magazine, Provincetown, MA
Stepping into Carolyn Evans’ house is like stepping into a gallery. Every corner of her Natick home is filled with artwork, hers and her husband's, recent and from years past. It contains her journey as an artist, from sculptor to painter, within its walls.