Things That Kill- Evelyn Woods


Things That Kill curated by Norman Lundin

“Consider, for example, such varied assassins as leaded water, pills, red meat, too much sun…. Consider, for a moment more, that of the many things that kill, countless are appealingly beautiful as well as lethal, seducing artist and viewer. How to handle these “killers” in such a way that the intended expressive implications are conveyed, is as formidable an artistic challenge as engaging the more overt content implied by the show’s title.” -Norman Lundin

Including work by: Fred Birchman, Brian Blackham, Marsha Burns, Joe Crookes, John Fadeff, Ellen Garvens, Jim Holl, Michael Howard, Amy Huddleston, Caroline Kapp, Dianne Kornberg, Riva Lehrer, Brian Murphy, Elizabeth Ockwell, Anne Petty, Glenn Rudolph, Graham Shutt, Kathy Vargas and Evelyn Woods

September 1 – October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, September 1, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #9 part 3: Evelyn Woods

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1. In what way is your work a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill”? Is your work for this show in line with or an exception to your usual way of working?
The self portrait “Silence” is a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill” in that if one cannot speak their truth and is forced to stay silent, then that very silence has the ability to kill their spirit which eventually can kill the essence of that individual. Throughout history we have been witness to individuals, groups of people, cultures and even countries who die as a result of forced silence. One has only to remember the Holocaust as an example.

I have done self portraits in the past as an exercise in painting from direct observation never intending them for a show. What better source than your own face. What is revealed in the process of painting can be a surprise even to oneself.

The painting “Twisted #2” was nearly completed before hearing of this show and was in continuation with a series using similar subject material. Its Medusa-­like quality has the effect of something that could kill due to the feelings evoked when looking at the image. After exploring the myth of Medusa, I discovered how she was forced into having a head of writhing snakes as punishment for being a victim of rape. Another example of what happens if one has the courage to speak the truth.

2. How did you approach the subject matter?
In approaching the theme I could not help but think of all the ways things could kill with some obvious ones such as cars, cancer, natural disasters etc… But I decided to take a risk using my own personal history in the form of a self portrait. My dilemma was in painting a visually successful image while within a heavily loaded context.

3. Are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight to a new viewer about your work in “Things that Kill”?
Whether my subject material takes the form of a still life as in previous drawings, or the painting of tree forms as in my latest work, the approach is the same. To paint or draw is a personal exploration of selected subject material. In the end, if successful,the inherent meaning is revealed.

“Observing Observing (a white cup): Fred Birchman, Kimberly Clark, & Evelyn Woods”


With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Observing Observing (a white cup)” opens September 12th and continues through October 31, 2015

Curated by Eric Elliott, Michael Howard & Norman Lundin. More than twenty artists (both gallery artists and not) accepted the invitation to submit work.

Reception for the artists, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #30: Fred Birchman, Kimberly Clark & Evelyn Woods

Fred, Kimberly & Evelyn have each participated in our interview series in conjunction with earlier exhibitions.  We posed the following question to each:

How did you respond to the idea of the white cup?

Fred Birchman:

When I was told of the idea, my main thought was how can I make it interesting? I immediately thought of it falling, not only did it give me the opportunity to view it from different sides, but also I got to draw it three times! It is also difficult for me to separate most forms from their context. So rather than doing so, I decided to write out the running dialogue that usually occupies my brain whilst I’m making something. That way it becomes MY drawing and MY white cup. Thanks for including me in the show. Now I’m going to go get some coffee….

Kimberly Clark

This was a real challenge for me.  I procrastinated as long as I possibly could.  Though my work is rooted in observation, the idea of setting up a white cup seemed very far removed from where the inspiration from my work comes. In the end, I became interested in how I would, and if I could, make a painting of a white cup that had space and air around it.  Of the two paintings that are included in the exhibition, I had a difficult time letting go of the oil painting.  I painted it again and again, sanding it down and painting it again.  I kept getting pulled back into the painting, because something was missing.  I’m not sure if I ever found what that was, perhaps that needs to be answered in another painting…

Evelyn Woods

I got pretty excited when I first heard of the white cup invitational show.  It got my brain to working up ideas for how I could paint a simple white cup but make it visually interesting. So much so that there are still around 20 more paintings waiting to be explored.  This challenge also propelled me into doing something different with my work.  So that’s a good thing.  I also went back to using the camera to create the cup compositions, which not only freed up time but allowed me to edit before starting the painting.  In my previous drawings I worked directly from a composed still life set up in the studio.

“Canopies: Evelyn Woods”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Canopies” opens June 27th and continues through August 22, 2015

The exhibitions includes the work of Kimberly Clark, Eric Elliott, Tamblyn Gawley & Evelyn Woods.

Reception for the artists, June 27th, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #9: Evelyn Woods

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1. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

Unfortunately not… I mainly support myself as an artist as an LMP (licensed
massage practitioner). In addition, I do some window display design which
includes the construction and installation of props and some interior retail
merchandising. Being self-employed allows me to create big chunks of time
that I can spend in the studio.

2. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I found this to be an interesting question. So, I thought about what defines an
artist. So, I googled it. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition. “An artist​ is a person
engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to
creating art, practicing the arts, and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage
in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual
arts only.” Simple enough. So I questioned when I felt I was a “serious” artist
and can say that that process started after having completed graduate school
and continues as I question myself constantly. External validation is a wonderful
thing but certainly not always forthcoming. So what’s important to me is knowing
internally that I am a serious artist.

3. What are your influences?

In the past when I was mainly working in charcoal I was influenced by the works
of Louise Nevelson. Loved all that going in and out of those dark spaces she
created with found scraps. Currently my focus has been on painting the natural
world. Trees, scrubby brush, brambles and reeds etc. What draws me to these
images is not the literal image so much as how I feel about them and what my
experience has been when in nature which reaches back into my childhood.
Again my work is about going inside.

4. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

I previously had a studio that was 600sq. ft. in size. For lighting I installed full
spectrum daylight fluorescents. Then I sold my home and studio. I currently have
the good fortune to be able to work in 100 year old boathouse with a wonderful
view of Puget Sound. The lighting is a bit makeshift in that it is a combination of
halogen and your basic hardware store clip­on lights. The next studio I build may
not be a large as the first but will have the same lighting.

5. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I like to start the day slowly. Have a pot of tea and think about the day followed
by a brisk walk just to clear the brain. I used to listen to music but found that
listening to audiobooks helps me to be less self­conscious about painting. I have
found that listening to a story and painting at the same time really engages my
brain and I don’t feel bad about not reading as much as I would like to.

6. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

Pretty straightforward stuff. Oil paints,charcoal,gesso and graphite. I usually
work on one piece at a time although I will put one aside if I feel stuck or unsure
about my direction. At that time I will start a new work and pull out the previous
work later to see if it can be saved. I usually have about three pieces in my mind
that I can’t wait to get started on.

7. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

Yes and no. My charcoal drawings are all drawn using a subtractive technique.
Not unusual but the way I adhere the charcoal to the primed paper via a solvent
might be. After the solvent dries I am left with this very rich and warm black
surface. I paint with oils using standard painting techniques.

8. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

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I always feel in my element when taking long walks, usually solitary walks. Doing
my yoga practice is a must both physically and mentally. Love digging in the dirt
and growing a garden which produces some wonderful stuff to cook with.
Another of my passions, cooking and eating. Spending time with my loved ones
and a few very good friends is a high priority. I have a two and a half year old
grandson who I get to spend one day a week with since he was three months old.
That time with him keeps me both active and young in spirit!