Devoted a life to art – Red Bank’s Evelyn Leavens, 87, is still a work in progress

May 7th, 2012 - 5:05 am KY Time

Howllo Fellow Basset Hound and Evelyn Leavens Lovers.  Well, we here in Bassethoundtown have been fans of Evelyn’s for over a decade.  I first learned of Evelyn, and her work as a children’s book author back in 1995 or 1996ish.  I read an article in the BUGLER MAGAZINE.  I contacted her via a written letter.  I purchased a few pieces of her art.  We have been friends ever since. I was fascinated that she had written and illustrated a children’s book in the year I was born.  I had to know more.  Now, we e-mail almost every day.

A few days ago she had an art show.  Here is an article about it….enjoy…..Evelyn Leavens’ “Self Portrait.’’Evelyn Leavens’ “Self Portrait.’’ / Courtesy of the artist

Written by
Marie Maber


When: 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and by appointment through May 17
Where: McKay Imaging Studio and Gallery, 12 Monmouth St., No. 202, Red Bank, New Jersey.

Info: 732-842-2272At 87 years old, Red Bank artist Evelyn Leavens revels in knowing that her entire life has been devoted to art. Proud of her age and her accomplishments, she encourages all to view what might be her final solo show.Leavens’ exhibition at Red Bank’s McKay Imaging is on view through May 17. Celebrated for her large, representational, realist and abstract works, her paintings are now exclusively nonobjective and small scale. Subject matter of figures, portraits and landscapes has been set aside. Leavens’ paintings now convey her spirit without illustrating her world — they command attention with paint strokes that burst with energy. “I have been doing nonobjective because abstract means it comes from something. It’s just coming from my brushes and my tools now. There aren’t any preconceived ideas — nothing. I use odd things to make the paintings. I use a broken spoon, for instance — my fingers, riggers — very fine brushes to make fine marks — anything broken or different to try to make an original mark,” she says.

An only child who never married, Leavens says her focus always has been on art.“I just recently stopped teaching, a year ago. hat was a big part of my life, my entire income. I was a teacher. I taught young people — teenagers — in my home,” she says. “For 45 years, six days a week, I taught figure modeling, figure painting, figure drawing, oil painting.”Gone are the days when Leavens’ energy could easily conquer a wall-size canvas. Today, her watercolors are easily carried under her arm. With these works, Leavens challenges her audience to come to terms with complete nonobjectivity.

“I feel that people will look at it with great reticence,’’ she says. “They may look at it a long time to try to figure it out. It may grow on them.’’

Her favorite painting on view is a watercolor, “Black Convergence.’’

“It’s the most exciting one. It’s the wildest one I’ve ever done. I love that one,” she said. She is curious as to how this new work will be received and wants to talk with her public and encourages people to sign the guest registry. For information about her life, awards, and exhibition history:
Here is my favorite section of her website…
End of article….
More loving Evelyn later….Cat, Chaps and Emma
For NJ Press Media


  1. MaureenandSlinky
    May 7th, 2012 | 10:40 am

    Wonderful article. Leavens’ self portrait looks like she has a deep soul.

  2. Debbie
    May 7th, 2012 | 2:51 pm

    I love the Boswell book, she really captured the basset.I hope her show is a huge success, she is wonderful.

  3. lois lema
    May 7th, 2012 | 8:40 pm

    i might have to stumble over bank is like 15 minutes away..

  4. Cat
    May 7th, 2012 | 9:13 pm

    I am totally jealous Lois. I would love to see her show.

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