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Suffolk People

70-71 High Street, Lavenham Nr. Sudbury Suffolk CO10 9PT

01787 249451

paul evans portraitThis year is a special one for Paul Evans, artist and owner of Lavenham Contemporary Gallery. It’s the 40th anniversary of the start of his studies at an art college in Sussex and a milestone that has given him the opportunity to reflect on his work and career so far.  It’s clear that painting is his passion – his pieces are big and bold, some are full of colour, others are simple and serene. They are all stunning and reflect his love of nature, the English countryside and coastline. We spoke to him about his painting and about what makes Suffolk such a fantastic place  to live and work.

Can you briefly describe your work as an artist and tell us about your Lavenham gallery?

Painting is my full time occupation and passion, and has been since leaving art college where I studied printmaking and illustration. My aim with my work is to record the landscape and coast of Suffolk through the whole year, reflecting the changes of light and weather at all times of day. I have some favourite locations I return to and study in depth, the more I find out about a place the better I can translate that knowledge through my painting. I love the dramatic difference between the snow covered skeleton of the landscape compared to the lushness of summer.

I try to use experimental techniques – splashing, flicking, spraying and sgraffito to give an impression, but then with some tighter detail, possibly a distant Suffolk house, cottage, or church.

My gallery in Lavenham is a showcase for my work – a light space on two floors with paintings hung simply in white contemporary surroundings, with some carefully selected ceramics, carved birds and small sculptures. The gallery sells exclusive cards and limited edition prints taken from a small selection of past paintings, and books about my work are also available.

Paul Evans, Suffolk Artist Paul Evans Aldeburgh Paul Evans Bluebells

You seem to have several counties where you enjoy painting, what gives you inspiration for painting around Suffolk in particular?

Suffolk is rightly famous for it’s light and big skies. I love the many unspoilt places, the coastline, the farming, the exquisite villages, the pace of life…. After starting my painting career near the bustle of Brighton it is a complete (refreshing!) opposite.

How do you decide what your next collection of work will be, do you have a theme in mind from the outset, or do things develop as you start working on the paintings?

A lot of the work I do is spur of the moment as things catch my eye – I always travel with a notebook and sketchbook to capture the immediate light (a lot of my working time is spent walking and drawing). Often, though, I do have a theme running through my mind: I am currently putting together a body of work on churches with the aim of publishing a book collecting these together. This is a long-term 3 year project. There are also several places to which I return on a regular basis to record the changes I see during the year.

Paul Evans Brettenham Paul Evans Marsh Boat Paul Evans Poppies

What are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I am very aware of the landscape around me changing before and after harvest. I love the large round bales left dotted around the fields – a temporary form of stone circle! It’s a great time of year to go out walking very early in the morning in the mists…

You have collectors of your work from around the world. What type of paintings is most popular?

It’s very hard to pin this down as my work is constantly changing and developing, but I think that possibly the paintings of winter and snow in Suffolk are proving most popular…..

What three things do you like most about living and working in Suffolk?

Unspoilt landscape;  Beautiful cottages and churches;  The light and big sky.

Where is your favourite place to eat in Suffolk?

Without question – The Great House in Lavenham.

Paul Evans Gedding Church Paul Evans boats

Favourite place to go for a walk?

Along the coast, anywhere between Orford and Southwold

What is your favourite Suffolk event of the year?

The plant sale at Helmingham Hall Gardens

What’s your favourite Suffolk tipple?

“Moonshine” – the sparkling wine produced by Carla Carlisle at Wyken Vineyards.

Paul Evans’ work can been seen in his gallery in Lavenham.

Opening Times: Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30am to 5pm (sometimes closed for lunch 1-2pm) Closed Monday & Tuesday (open everyday during exhibitions).  To can also visit his website to view his current work.

We welcome contributions to this website from anyone who would like to write about Suffolk or leave comments about places they have visited. All you need to do is register  (just your name and email address) and then you can start writing!

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