Lewis Evans

French Creek resident starting life drawing classes

The class will run Wednesdays at the McMillan Art Centre starting mid-November

Lewis Evans said one of his interests is helping to empower people in terms of their perceived abilities and their own self-worth around art.

Evans, who recently moved to French Creek, said he wanted to take this opportunity to bring his brand of life drawing classes to Parksville.

Evans said he’s been working with the McMillan Arts Centre to start some life drawing classes, which he said will be running Wednesdays at the MAC (133 McMillan St., Parksville), starting Nov. 16.

For more information, or to register, visit www.lewisevans.net/life-drawing-in-parksville.

Evans said that these life drawing classes are for artists and non-artists, but would be geared more toward people who have never done life drawing before.

He said these classes would be a personal journey for people.

“Life drawing can impact your life in many ways,” Evans said. “It can actually provide you with lots of benefits that you wouldn’t think of in terms of how you perceive things, how you feel about yourself even.”

Evans said at one point, he had a man attending his class “who was bullied into coming by his wife” after he had been aged out of his job as a high-level systems analyst. Evans said initially, the man was very resistant and angry during Evans creativity courses.

“Everything I suggested he criticized, but eventually, he found a way to express himself in art that was actually based on systems analysis,” Evans said. “He started doing all of these amazing and complicated drawings about his life and himself all based on systems analysis. He was basically merging the two.”

Because of this, Evans said people can look at art in many ways.

“You could look at it as wonderful decoration, you can judge a piece on it’s technical work, you can do all sorts of things, but it’s all kind of second hand for people,” he said.

“But by doing it yourself, and really sort of finding your own way to express yourself, can be very exciting and change how you look at other people’s work.”

Evans said he has a different way of looking at art.

“I don’t see it as a kind of production process, it’s a discovery and a journey, and ultimately, everybody I believe has some amazing art in them but are afraid to bring it out,” he said.

Every time he starts a new canvas, Evans said he reminds himself there are not any rules.

“There’s no instruction, nobody can tell me that what I’m doing is really bad,” he said. “Not that what I’m doing is good or bad. Everyone will have different opinions. Some people will love my pictures, some people will think they’re rubbish, some people will criticize them technically.”

Evans said it’s his personal journey and that’s what’s important.

“If you think about it, Picasso never asked if it was OK to do two eyes on one side of the face,” Evans said. “It’s about finding your own expression and not trying to emulate others.”

Evans said he started with a career in engineering before turning to graphic design, but art has always been a part of him.

“The idea was you get a blue collar job that’s nice and safe and it will take you through to retirement — I didn’t do that,” he said of his career now. “Art has always really been part of me. Even now, later on in life, I’m really coming back to it with a vengeance.”

He said that when he’s not challenging himself with art, it’s like painting by numbers.

“While I don’t want people to feel these life drawing classes are necessarily going to be hugely challenging, I do want them to feel that it will take them somewhere beyond where they are.”

Evans said with each lesson, there will be something different to think about.

“It’s a multi-dimensional process. You’re looking at shapes, you’re looking at light, you’re looking at things under the surface in the body, you’re also looking at personality and things like that. It’s quite remarkable,” he said.

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