Portraying What Cannot Be Seen

A Profile of Contributing Artist and Amateur Pianist Leya Evelyn

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“Random Consequences, no. 2,” oil and collage on canvas, by Contributing Artist Leya Evelyn.
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Abstract painter Leya Evelyn.

For Leya Evelyn, practicing the piano and painting are meditative experiences, each nourishing the other. Throughout 2013, Leya, a practicing amateur pianist and a professional abstract painter whose works have been exhibited in galleries throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, has served as a a Contributing Artist for GRAND PIANO PASSION™.

Leya prefers to listen to Baroque music while she paints, rather than music that tells a certain story. Similarly, her paintings are always abstract, rather than representational. Images of her canvases, rich with color and ribbed with texture, have accompanied Grand Piano Passion™ articles about loss, hope, gratitude, and strength, themes difficult to portray with conventional images.

For our articles on hearing health affirmations, by a pianist, a violist, and a singer, all with hearing loss, we matched paintings from Leya’s “Divine Fragments and Diverse Changes” series. One of the pieces from her “It Happens To Be There” series graced a letter from a cancer survivor who finds hope and inspiration in classical piano music.

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“And, no. 8,” oil and collage on canvas, by Contributing Artist Leya Evelyn.

The bright pops, solid swaths, and dark veins of color in this artist’s works are enough to set off the viewer’s imagination and emotions. Leya, currently based in Nova Scotia, after over two decades of living in New York, has always been compelled to create abstract art. “I feel by removing the focus on imagery, it is possible to portray what cannot generally be seen, to explore the deepest, most profound qualities of the human experience,” she says.

Leya’s paintings don’t arise from observable objects but rather from “from the painting process itself,” she says. In this painting process, as she describes it, “I make marks, erase them, remake them, and new things appear, surprises. And that can lead to more changes, more possibilities.”

The same organic, intuitive approach applies to the naming of her paintings. She groups together works that are the same size and that were made within a close time period, and titles them “similar to how I want a painting to be received: without specific reference. They are often fanciful, elusive, suggestive, but never attached to an idea or the content of a painting.”

See more of Leya’s paintings at leyaevelyn.com and follow her on her blog, Use My Sky.

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Copyright © 2017 Nancy M. Williams. All Rights Reserved.

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