John Evans is a Boston based painter of seascapes and landscapes; his subjects range from the coast of Cape Cod and the North Shore of Massachusetts to the meadows of central France. Painting in oil, often on large canvases, Evans offers what seem to be requiems for less frantic, more easygoing times, and viewers may well have mixed feelings on seeing such grand vistas of shoreline and sea in a time of damaging ecological change. The isolated objects in his paintings - boats and docks - are stand-ins for human presences that cannot compete with the visual grandeur of his spacious views. Study of the works ultimately shows Evans to be not so much elegiac as romantic, favoring habitats that allow him to fallow his penchant for epic naturalism.

Part of the paintings' splendor stems from their generous dimensions: Beach on Moody Day (2007) is 8 by 6 feet. More than half the canvas is devoted to the sky, which looms above a light brown beach punctuated by a few walkers, boats and shallow pools. The sky is dark gray and somewhat menacing in the upper region to the right; elsewhere, a milder blue is interrupted by a few cumulus clouds hanging over a distance shore. The sky again dominates in the slightly smaller Maine with Goodman's Dock (2006). Thick clouds float in a light-blue haze above a spit of land ending in a pier. Here the sea is idyllic; the foreground shallows are dark, perhaps moody, but the open water reflects the glorious sky.

Wide River (2006), still smaller, offers a thick band of evergreens on the edge of a river. The various greens exquisitely represent trees and shrubs that come to the very edge of the water, which reflects the overall patterns of the vegetation. In the middle of the river there are some patches of yellow and red leaves that enliven the mellow scene.

 Jonathan Goodman