This year’s featured artist for the Aurora Arts Association’s annual show, in conjunction with Aurora Colony Days Aug. 11-13, is Aurora resident Matthew Eveleigh.
The show’s extensive display of Eveleigh’s acrylic paintings will feature his local landscapes, many depicting scenes near his home on Meridian Road. Dominated by their skies, these paintings pinpoint specific and closely observed hours of the day or seasons or weather conditions, yet they are also timeless.
Eveleigh wants them to impart a sense of eternity, that this is how it has always been and how it will always be. And as vibrantly colorful as they are, they are very peaceful.
“I have been making art all my life,” said Eveleigh, “but took the decision several years ago to pursue painting more seriously and see where it leads me. My first interest was landscape. I worked from photographs, plein-air painting experiences, life drawing and memories. Drawing and painting more consistently made me start to look at everything differently.
“My first subjects were all taken from within a mile or two of my house. After a while my work began to transform my experience of living here,” he added. “It began to dawn on me that being an artist was actually a way of life, of being in the world, and it wasn’t confined to the times when I was actually painting.”
A native of the United Kingdom who came to the United States, and then to Aurora, 25 years ago, Eveleigh said that both of his parents had been painters and that, earlier in his life, he had been a stone carver. In fact, his own stone-carved lettering adorns walls at the Oregon Holocaust Museum and the Portland Art Museum.
Eveleigh’s art has evolved from its origins in stone into landscape, and is now moving into the abstract.
“Less and less am I trying to represent what is physically visible, making painterly depictions of outward things,” he said. “Instead, I am starting with experiences, inner impressions that call me to engage through paint. Often this initial impression is vague, but that’s okay. All that is needed is to begin, then that would lead to the next step, then the next. Each painting is a journey, the outcome of which can’t be seen in advance.”
The 30th annual Aurora Arts Association Show and Sale takes place Aug. 11-13 at Christ Lutheran Church, 15029 2nd Avenue (just off Liberty Street and 99E). The show begins Friday with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., then is open from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.
For more information, check www.auroraarts.auroracolony.com.
To find out more about Eveleigh, check his website at mattheweveleigh.com.