As a professional artist and an exciting creativity facilitator Cheryl Jones Evans will ignite your exuberant, expressive creative self. She is a passionate well-seasoned leader with more than 28 years in all facets of the visual arts industry and 18 years of creativity facilitating. Cheryl holds a BA in Arts Management (UMASS) has been listed with Florida Department of Cultural Affairs as a presenter, the Creativity Coaching Association, the Florida Arts in Education Association, and the National Independent Artists Association. She served on the City of Casselberry Parks and Recreation Advisory Board as the Arts liaison and currently serves on the Leesburg Center for the Arts board as the director of Artistic Community Building. She actively facilitates The Central Florida Artist’s Way Group, has instructed classes at a small private college, conducts weekend creativity seminars, and regularly facilitates other spiritually based creative and art marketing classes with arts organizations all over the state of Florida.

Oh....and she actively, passionately, constantly CREATES!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Some things never change…..My interview with “Creative Café” August 27. 2007

Some things never change…..My interview with “Creative Café”  August 27. 2007
Cheryl Jones Evans creates her beautiful art through layered paper pastel drawings.
                                                                                          By Angela Folds, Franklin TN

“My work is a process of drawing in layers,” she explains. “The first layer is roughly drawn using just large blocks of color on 100% cotton rag paper.” She then soaks architectural vellum, a translucent stiff paper originally used to produce blue prints, in a rice or wheat starch. The wet vellum is then laid on top of the image, which often causes the image to blur or run. As it dries, the wet cotton papers shrink, which creates unique cracks and wrinkles in the image. “After it has dried I go back in with pastel pencil and begin bringing in detail. Often, it is the texture created by the layers that determine how the detail will develop.”
In addition to her award-winning masterpieces, Cheryl is committed to helping others explore and unlock the depths of their creative passions and abilities by facilitating “Artist’s Way Workshops” in the Central Florida area.
Based on Julia Cameron’s must-read book, “The Artist’s Way”, each thirteen-week seminar explores a variety of unique artistic exercises to help individuals intensify, expand and clarify their creative talents in a supportive group environment. Cheryl also leads a monthly gathering for creative individuals to share their stories.
What better person to spotlight here at the Creative Day Café than this gifted and benevolent artist?

How do you envision creativity?
Here is the short answer, I DON’T!
In my opinion, to envision creativity immediately puts restrictions on it. Restrictions could only serve to confine all of the miraculous possibilities, which I cannot even begin to conceive at this time. Not to mention, envisioning sounds suspiciously like work!

How do you see yourself in light of this picture of creativity?
Absolutely free and open to accept creative ideas without any preconceived notions about the outcome. It is an incredibly liberating way to view creativity, guaranteed to amaze and captivate anyone that experiences it!

Can you tell us a little bit about your creative journey?
I was the classic Artist’s Way textbook “Shadow Artist”! I functioned (and created an income) from picture framing. I won national awards, was highly sought after and had confined my business to art galleries and other artists. Somewhere in my heart I knew I was supposed to do more, but I was afraid. In 1997 dear friends of mine, and practicing artists, gave me a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron with the inscription “May your creativity and humor continue to blossom in new and different ways. PS. Put your seatbelt on!”
I devoured the book, it was like Julia Cameron knew me and all of my fears. I applied her philosophies and teachings right away. The changes in my life, my work and mostly my creative spirit blossomed beyond my wildest imagination. And continue to do so every day! The universe works in mysterious and wonderful ways, doesn't it?

What is your favorite creative outlet?
I enjoy working with chalk pastel and have developed my own technique. I call it layered paper pastel. I start with a simple image on 100% cotton paper, then architectural vellum is soaked in wheat starch and laid on top of the drawing , the chalk blurs and runs. When it dries, the papers shrink and crack, and then I draw another layer, adding details. Works have between 3 and 5 layers of paper and image. This is the work I display at outdoor art festivals. I have fun with large abstract acrylic painting but...I love facilitating creativity workshops!

What inspires you?
Obviously, the philosophy of The Artist’s Way. For me, that means living in the now, laughing, loving, playing, drawing, traveling and inspiring others to become creatively fulfilled.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the future?
You know, that is a great question, but I honestly have no idea. I’ve learned that creativity leads me in ways that I least expect and that I have no choice, but to follow. Right now, I love facilitating creativity workshops, creating art and traveling the Eastern US art festival circuit to sell my work. I do not see how it could get any better than this; but, I am sure it will!

Do you have any creative dreams you could share?
Yes, I dream of a time that we can all appreciate the marvelous creative power that lives in each of us. I dream of a time when we place focus on creation instead of destruction. And I dream that there will be a time when we all realize that we are all here to create a happy life.

You lead “Artist’s Way” Workshops, can you explain that and how it impacts you and other artists?
I hope it impacts my fellow creatives positively, and I do get a lot wonderful feedback, but inevitably the participants are the ones that determine how it impacts the rest of their creative lives. I have been lead down this path. The facilitating seemed to be a by-product of my art. There is a part of me that knows one of the reasons I am here on this earth, is to inspire other creatives to create. The creatives I teach give me back as much inspiration (and sometimes more) than I could ever give them. Does it get any better than this?

You’ve said that "there is no higher form of communication with God than when an artist is creating!” How do you experience God and spirituality in your art?
I have, as well as most creatives, experienced this marvelous loss of time during the process of creating. We have no idea whether we have been “at it” 5 minutes or 5 hours. There is a loss of consciousness about our surroundings. During this experience the work miraculously flows through us without thought or effort. It is like our lives are suspended in time and space to allow the Creator to speak though our work. The art is the result of prayer – a prayer that does not ask anything, a prayer that simply, is the act of giving God control.

"The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both." James Michener

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