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Evelyn McLean

Artist Statement

      My work is born of an intense curiosity of the tenacious, peculiar forms found in the rugged landscapes of the West. My formative years in Texas and later in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado have provided infinite inspiration from the unpretentious beauties that abound in nature. The curious forms of seedpods, cacti, fungi, lichen and other stubborn structures entice a deeper gaze, magnified on canvas. By zooming in on these curiosities, an unseen world of color, shape, line and form is revealed and explained in oil on canvas, board or paper. Fine art printmaking, including etchings and lithography, are other mediums used to describe my discoveries. The images, collected with a digital camera and macro lens, invite viewers to explore often seen but unnoticed miracles of evolution. With each image capture, the metamorphosis of subject is constant, with changing light, camera angle and focus. The intimate view captured in these vessels and my work speaks to the indomitable spirit of all who thrive in the beautifully harsh, hopeful landscape of the American West.

      The pieces chosen for the exhibition, Organic, are all fine art prints. The two large thistles are monotypes  and the smaller piece is a reduction block print . The two stages of the thistle, (there is a third in a private collection), were painted with oil-based intaglio inks on Plexi glass and printed on BFK Reeves 100% cotton fiber paper. The monotypes were then taken to the studio and refined with oil paint, creating the large monotypes mounted on archival board.  The reduction block print, “Thistles,” is a four-color, limited edition print from a series of twenty-three. After one color is rolled onto the plate and printed onto all 30 sheets, more of the linoleum block is carved away and the next color is printed on top of the previous prints, with tight registration. When completed, the plate has been reduced to a state that is no longer viable. Seven artists proofs and 23 limited edition prints were created from the plate.

CCA Gallery Manager Carolyn Hopkins interviews Evelyn McLean