Alternately serene and dramatic, John Evans's radiant representations of the Cape Cod coast and upstate New York's Mohawk Valley are always thoughfully composed. His landscapes depict clouds scudding over empty shorelines and silhouetted piers, and vivid little boats and the reflecitons they cast. Seen at a distance, the works' interlocking triangles and generally rectilinear organization appear arranged but altogether natural. Up close, much of the brushwork looks like small blocks that buttress the banded overview.
Like one of the motifs that he favors, Evans's working method involves the calm that follows the storm. His luminous paint surface is initially built up with brush and palette knife. After the thick oil paint dries, it's smoothed down with a mechanical sander. Repeated additions and subtractions yield a thin, multilayered surface that lets light pass through translucent color to strike a white gesso ground and reflect back toward us.
Sometimes the atmosphere is quiet. Seemingly effortless works like The Beach and Two Boats evoke the sparse elegance of chamber music. In these images, a few bright dinghies and mooring posts punctuate vast areas of still, pewter-colored water and economically define space. The whole ensemble is at play in The Links, which represents sandy bluffs and scrubby hills rolling beneath a cobalt blue sky. This ambitious canvas captures a sense of place and something more: the sensation of wrestling nature onto the canvas, and enterprise that's difficult and delightful in equal measure.
– Gerard Haggerty, New York Reviews, Summer 2003, ARTnews