Although Jen Evenhus paints a variety of subjects, it’s her bold pastel flowers through which her artistic strengths are clear. Bright color is delivered with direct, decisive handling. Her flowers exploit the saturated hues of blooms, amplifying them to achieve color-drenched images. Evenhus responds to shape and form with dynamic mark-making and lively drawing. The resulting paintings pack an unforgettable punch of raw, joyous energy.
“Flowers are really just a great excuse to push some pastel around—who can resist them?” she asks. What draws her to paint flowers is the same thing that attracts her to any subject—light. The light creates shapes and patterns, color and value, or abstract design. “When I see sunlight caught by a blossom creating a dynamic abstract design,” she says, “I want to explore the possibilities of capturing my response and sharing that with others.
“My work shows much of the journey I take as I create it,” Evenhus says. “You can see my mark-making, you can see my underpainting, you can see my individual strokes—and I’ve learned when to stop.”
Like most artists, it took Evenhus some time to develop the style for which she’s known, with its color and handling. “I’ve always been known for dynamic composition and bold color, but I’d struggled with my own signature style,” she says. “I’ve read that you can’t create your style—that it will eventually emerge. I believe that now. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It was a transition over many years that brought me to my current aesthetic.”
Learn more about Evenhus, including her thoughts on the beauty of imperfection and her 10-minute painting approach, in the August 2016 issue of Pastel Journal. Available in print or as a download at northlightshop.com. Available on newsstands July 12.
Learn more about painting with pastels with this FREE download: Pastel Painting: 5 Articles on Pastel Basics for Artists.