Vermillion watercolor artist hits the big timeFor Andy Evansen of Vermillion, painting outside on location brings with it a sense of adventure. He never quite knows how the painting is going to turn out, or how his day is going to go. That was definitely the case late last year when he set out on Goodwin Avenue to paint a farm house.
By: Chad Richardson, The Hastings Star-Gazette
For Andy Evansen of Vermillion, painting outside on location brings with it a sense of adventure. He never quite knows how the painting is going to turn out, or how his day is going to go.
That was definitely the case late last year when he set out on Goodwin Avenue to paint a farm house.
“I’ve passed that farmhouse a hundred times,” he said. “I’ve always thought it was a neat scene, but I had never gotten around to painting it.”
Finally, he decided, he’d paint it, so he set up his easel, grabbed his watercolors and got to work.
Not long after, a truck pulled up along the road.
The occupants were confused and asked Evansen what he was doing.
He explained his art to them, and they understood. A voice then called out from the truck:
“My dad grew up here,” the woman told Evansen.
The woman returned a short while later and was emotional.
She had just returned home from the funeral for her aunt, who had grown up in the house.
“What a coincidence,” Evansen said. “On the day I decide to paint it, they’re coming back from the funeral of a gal that grew up there. People that paint outdoors, it’s amazing the stories you get. Just the people you meet. It really is a neat way to approach it.”
The woman ended up purchasing the painting from Evansen to give to her father.
Evansen was actually on assignment that day, working on a painting demonstration for Plein Air magazine. En plein air is a French term meaning “in the open air,” essentially meaning he paints outdoors on location. Evansen will be featured in an upcoming issue of the magazine.
The feature in the upcoming magazine isn’t the only piece of good news Evansen has received lately, either. This winter he learned that one of his paintings was accepted into the American Watercolor Society exhibition in New York. It’s a very difficult show to get into, he said, and it is known as the top exhibition of watercolor painters from around the world.
“That’s the big show: I really wanted to get into it,” Evansen said.
In addition, he was recently including the Plein Air Painters of America exhibition in California. He had three paintings exhibited, and two sold, including one that was purchased by another artist.
“It was really a big honor to be asked to exhibit with these guys,” Evansen said.
Since he was last profiled here in November 2009, Evansen has certainly stayed busy. He plans a return trip to China this November to paint with seven artists.
He taught in France last year and will be there again in September. He was recently contacted by two institutions in Italy about teaching there in 2013, too.
“I’ve been traveling a lot, and painting a lot,” he said. “Things have been good.”
Evansen, who grew up in Neenah, Wis., has lived in Vermillion for the past 15 years with his wife Laura.
He has three children: 22-year-old Makenzie, Taylor (a senior at HHS), and Wes (a sophomore).