Location: Campbell River

Mixed Media Artist Evelyn M

Mixed Media Artist Evelyn M

Our first impression of mixed media artist Evelyn M happened two weeks before we had even met her! We had sent out a call to artists for interviews to the Campbell River Arts Council; they had put it in their newsletter and Evelyn had responded to us on April 8th. On April 9th she had posted a very thoughtful and detailed account of our journey and her upcoming interview with us in her Local Home Spot.com Blog. We were quite impressed by her take-charge attitude and could see that she is a proactive contributor in the art world and likes to make things happen. It is no wonder then that in addition to her fine art endeavours Evelyn also contributes to multiple blogs as well as working with her husband Bruce in their interior design and renovation business, Design House.

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As we arrived at Evelyn`s home we were greeted outside by Evelyn and Bruce and the exuberant canine greeters Xena and Dax, their Golden Retrievers. Entering the house we were also greeted by the mouth-watering smells of fresh homemade cinnamon buns. Yummm! Evelyn said that when we had mentioned on Facebook the wonderful homemade bread and muffins we received from Terry Phillips, she thought that to keep in the spirit of things some of Bruce`s to-die-for cinnamon buns were in order. Corinne and I emphatically agreed! Could this be a pattern? We’re thinking that we could be on to yet another perk to the myriad of benefits we have realized in this joyous adventure; and grateful for every one of them!

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Evelyn started off as an artist painting in watercolour and acrylic but in time yearned for another level of creativity and individuality within her art. From a trip to Mexico in the mid ’80s she was inspired to create a unique, raised sketch technique that she uses in her paintings and it has literally given her art-work another dimension. (Watch her video interview to better glimpse this distinct perspective)

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Unlike some artists, Evelyn’s artistic process is a solitary one; preferring to be alone within her creative moments. She also uses whichever venue around her house that will deliver her artistic needs; be it using the dining room table for her sketches, seeking artistic direction within her “muse” room with all her stuff, or finishing her painting from behind a locked door in the bathroom with the right counter height, lighting and sink close at hand.

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Evelyn notes that there is a collaboration of ideas and inspirations between her art-work and her home interior design business; sometimes the new home project with it’s colours and layout inspires her art, and other times it’s her art that inspires a new feature in the home. Evelyn says, “I consider interior design a three dimensional installation of art; the room is just a large art piece that we live inside.” So from her earliest years drawing as a young girl, to her adult (and still young) years creating dream homes for other people, Evelyn’s lifelong passion for creativity has created the perfect marriage between her essential need for personal expression and a business that can reap success from that.

Welcome to Evelyn M’s interview! Please feel free to comment below and share with social media!

Behold Rocks Bejewelled

Behold Rocks Bejewelled

The day we were to head to Campbell River to meet Darlene Ngo and Barb Akelaitis was marginal at best. Our earth mother decided to serve up a little snow that day and although Arty was wearing his winter boots we just weren’t sure what his reaction to the slushy stuff was going to be. We set out anyway on the island highway along the east coastal side of Vancouver Island hoping to catch a glimpse of some picturesque vistas, but it wasn’t to be as a blanket of grey hung all around. We did run into the best gas price this side of Alberta at $1.14/l and were happy to squeeze in every last drop that Arty would take.

Queen Charlotte Agate

Epidote in Quartz

It was dark by the time we landed at Barb’s house and Darlene hadn’t quite arrived so in the mean time we chatted with Barb and her husband Anthony. Barb and Darlene have been working together, along with Keenan, Darlene’s son, for several years and formed a business called Rocks Bejewelled after they each gained their own fervent interest in rock hounding and lapidary work. I love it when people are so passionate about their creativity whatever it may be. It means when you make a personal connection with someone’s art form you can be sure their life energy, love and care went into making it and it really becomes long lasting and meaningful for the person who takes it home.

Red Jasper Cabachon

Shortly after we arrived, Darlene came in and we got down to our interview. This was the first interview that was planned on the part of the artist before our arrival. Barb had systematically laid out a story for us starting with some examples of the local geology and then leading through the step by step process after the rock has been plucked from its resting place on the beach or river bed and turned into a beautiful adornment that can accentuate someone’s neck or ears. They introduced us to some glorious examples of what nature has created and how, through their desire to learn, they gave themselves the skills to transform a plain unsuspecting rock into brilliant and awe inspiring jewellery. Barb even went so far as to incorporate some of her favorite stones into the tiled work around her kitchen counters. We could easily see Barb and Darlene’s appreciation for the rocks and the enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge with others. It was a fascinating journey they took us on and Gary and I thank them for taking the time.

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Please be sure to watch their instructional “Journey of a Rock” video interview and we welcome any comments you may have.