Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Linear Thinking Run Over by a Truck - An Interview with Eva Folks

Enter Eva Folks' world and you never want to come home. Chickens drive coupes; giraffes rubberneck; well dressed pink poodles cruise in convertibles with one paw on the wheel; homes and offices tilt toward and away from each other in an engineer's fantasy world of gorgeous colors and rule bending.

Eva is good Folks.

Let's chat.

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Q1.  What is your first memory of art?

A1.  Sitting under the dining room table with my crayons and drawing all over the bottom of it. My parents weren’t too happy about it at the time, but they didn’t clean it off. The table was around until a few years ago and my childhood scribbles were still on it.

Urban Forest
(Eva Folks)

Q2.  What is the first work of art you created?

A2.  If I go way back, I’ll say mud pies and sand castles.  I’ve always liked to create things. While I was working full-time in front of a computer screen, I’d stopped drawing and painting almost completely. Not sure why. Left brain, right brain thing? Maybe.

It’s hard to switch back and forth, but I needed to do something more creative, so I enrolled for night school classes at one of the local colleges. I picked a program in interior decorating which really helped kick-start my creativity. When I graduated a few years later, I started a part-time business with a friend. We’d go out and pick paint colours to match client’s fabrics, but soon the decorating turned into painting faux finishes and murals. I was involved in art again.

A few years ago, an artist friend of mine, Judy, told me that it was about time I stopped procrastinating and got my ideas onto canvas. I did and it felt great! The first piece in the Urban Series was created, titled “Urban Vibes”.

Urban Vibes(Eva Folks)
Q3.  Was there a point in your life when you decided to try art, or were you always an artist?

A3.  Always. When I think back to my childhood years, tween years, teen years, I was always drawing something. Mad Magazines were the best to draw from. I’d spend hours copying the characters from its pages. When we went on family vacations, I spent a lot of my time drawing. I wanted to be an artist when I grew up, but life has a way of moving us in different directions. I’ve come around full circle now, back to doing what I’ve always wanted to do, and only recently have I felt comfortable calling myself an artist.

Urban Knight(Eva Folks)
Q4.  Are there specific triggers that cause you to race to a canvas or do you impose a certain discipline on yourself?

A4. Anything can spark the idea for a painting at any time. Something someone says, or driving by a place or event. I always do a quick sketch of the idea so I don’t forget anything. Then, I mull the idea over for a while, making some changes here and there, and figure out the canvas size.

Eventually, I move the idea over to a canvas and start working out the colours. The funny part is, that after all this thinking, I end up changing the image all around again. I’m never completely sure what I’m going to end up with when I start, but each painting evolves, and in the end I always have a new favourite piece.

Rubberneckers
(Eva Folks)
Q5.  When you are working on a piece, is there a point at which you realize you have a masterpiece taking shape?

A5. Never. I always get stuck at one point or another, usually around the mid-point of a painting, when I want to throw my work out in the street and run it over with my truck. [Editor's note: I would pay to see that.] But I step back, work on another painting, or write for a few days. When I head back to the canvas with a clear mind, the painting shows me what to do. Then off I go again to completion.

Urban Crawl
(Eva Folks)
Q6.  I read on your Web site that you have an engineering background and thought simultaneously “that is hilarious” and “that makes sense.”  In your curvy, bendy, wonderful world, does your engineering knowledge come into play?

A6. I’ve always loved perspective drawing and it comes easy to me. At work, I spent many years drawing with the AutoCAD, and working with formulas to calculate bends in metal. Very linear thinking. My paintings do reflect all of that, though I never set forth consciously to create a work of art with any of that background in mind. The buildings in my paintings bend and twist, but just to the point before they would topple over. I’ve had people comment on that, saying that the buildings aren’t right, but they are. Then they smile.

Urban Heights
(Eva Folks)
Q7.  Are there any artists you find particularly inspiring?

A7.  I love art that is colourful and tells a story. That always inspires me. Artist like Martha Markowsky, and Omar Rayyan do just that. And they throw in a bit of whimsy, too. I also find the work of [M.C.] Escher amazing (there’s that engineering background) and Salvador Dali for his adventures into everything surreal.

Dog Days of Summer
(Eva Folks)
Q8.  Are there any non-artists you find particularly inspiring?

A8.  I’d have to say my mom. She’s a dynamo that never stops. She ballroom dances, takes piano lessons, and Jazzercises. A couple of years ago, in her early seventies, she started a sewing business. Yoga mat bags were the first things she was making. She needed something to carry her mat to exercise classes in. Last year she bought herself a show tent, and she spends a lot of summer weekends taking her work to different shows to sell. Now’s she making other bags too, and jewelry pouches that people are snapping up so fast she can hardly keep up. She’s done really well with it all. Her drive and energy amaze me. Go, Mom!

Like Mother, Like Daughter
(Eva Folks)
Q9.  Please answer a question I didn’t ask.

A9. I most appreciate my husband, David. He’s always been so supportive of me; in both my painting and writing. It’s because of him that I’ve had this amazing opportunity to work in my studio, and focus on what I’m creating. I put 100% into everything and never settle for less.

Sometimes I feel like success isn’t coming fast enough, and I do get down about it, but David’s there with his support and understanding. He jokes and says I’m his retirement plan, then tells me to just keep at it. It will come. And he’s right. Each year is more successful than the one before it, even if I don’t always see it.

Chicken Coupe
(Eva Folks)
Q10.  Where can we see (and purchase) your work?

A10.  I’m not doing too many shows in 2014, mostly local events, and the Schomberg Street Gallery in September. I plan to venture out more in the next few years and do some US shows again. Right now, you can find my work in various galleries; The Pennello Gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, The Edge Gallery in Barrie, Ontario, and Gallery Seven in Aurora, Ontario where I live. You can purchase prints of my work on Fine Art America.

Or you can get in touch with me personally to purchase a piece that isn’t at a gallery, a signed and numbered Giclée print, or a commission.

Urban Hang Ups
(Eva Folks)
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Thanks for stopping by, Eva.  There’s always a beagle to pet and a cup of hot tea at the ready in Lakewood.  Don’t be a stranger.



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