Evon Aherne: Multi-Talented Visual Artist
Jessica Gilbert: Evon, it is so wonderful to have you in TSM and share your talent with our readers. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do an interview for the magazine.
Evon Aherne: My pleasure Jessica, lovely of you to ask me.
Jessica Gilbert: Firstly, I don’t know many muralists or Trompe L’Oeil painters. What is it that inspired you to get into mural and Trompe L’Oeil painting? And how long have you been doing these types of painting?
Evon Aherne: It happened by force really. Fifteen years ago, clients for whom I had in the preceding five years or so designed and hand painted Christmas cards, asked me to paint a mural on their stairwell, which was actually in a tower about thirty feet high. Well, it was so daunting I kept putting it off. As it seemed to be going from the sublime to the ridiculous, considering the difference in the size. After three more Christmas’s I eventually gave in.
It was quite a feat. With the use of some inappropriate scaffolding and a yard brush with a small paintbrush attached, I was able to paint from my imagination without previously doing a sketch from a very large mural, much to my surprise. And so began my passion for muralling. The Trompe L’Oeil came with the next mural I did for them. Again to my surprise, it just happened to look 3D and the rest is history.
Since then I must have painted about thirty or more murals on many subjects; some for private houses, others for bars and restaurants, and even a school. I also specialize in Children’s Dream Bedrooms.
Evon Aherne: My father was a well known artist who had exhibited in the Royal Academy. He was head of arts at Bournemouth and Poole Collage of Art for many years. I learned at his knee so to speak.
Jessica Gilbert: You are well known for your personalized, hand painted greeting cards. And you also do portraits and illustrations. How long have you been doing these things?
Evon Aherne: I have always done portraits of people and animals.
The Christmas cards began when I was living in Cómpeta a white village in the mountains on the Costa del Sol, Spain. I had given a friend a sketch of a view of the village, who showed it to the owner of a shop which sold artisan products there. I was asked to do ten line drawings suitable for postcards and larger ones for framing. These were sold as prints and were reprinted for many years.
After moving near to Marbella, and having now a taste for the retail outlet, decided to offer my services to the expat community painting local scenes, plus Christmas cards and selling them in the card shops locally. They were spotted by the owner of a local business who wanted 100 with a picture of his premises. That started me off on my new venture. By now I must have painted literally thousands over the years. One Christmas did 1,000 cards for just one client alone. Card manufacturer Christopher Washington commissioned thirty five designs that were sold throughout Spain.
The illustrations came at this same period, when I did Christmas cards for a well known weekly newspaper; they wanted caricatures of themselves in festive pose. When they saw what I could do, they asked me to be their cartoonist. This led to me being asked by other publications to work for them with illustrations or cartoons.
I am now illustrating books.
Evon Aherne: Now that is so hard to say. I love painting anything and everything. At the moment I am working on Angels and fairies, as well as Spanish countryside scenes, so will have to choose those.
Jessica Gilbert: What is your process for creating a mural? And on average, how long does it take for you to paint one?
Evon Aherne: I would rather paint, as I did as with the first, with only a rough idea in my mind. As soon as I start it seems to just flow from me. If a client is specific, then I work with their idea to give them exactly, or even more than they were hoping for. How long to do? Never can tell, depends on how much detail, the size and the type of surface. I never leave it till I am happy with it, even if I am working in my own time.
Evon Aherne: The murals I paint with are acrylic, as this is the type of paint that the wall has usually been painted in. I find this type of paint very versatile and hard wearing. I also use it for painting on wood, stone and marble, and even fabric.
Jessica Gilbert: Who are some visual artists you admire?
Evon Aherne: My favorite is Leonardo Da Vinci, then Salvador Dali and Vincent Van Gogh.
Jessica Gilbert: You’re also a very spiritual person. What is it that led to your spiritual path?
Evon Aherne: My late husband, twenty years my senior, whom I married at the tender age of eighteen was a well known medium. He lectured in parapsychology and metaphysics, and was my mentor in the spiritual aspects of life. When he passed I continued my search for the truth as we call it. I have met some very special people on the way and hope that I may have been as much of an inspiration to them as they have been to me.
Jessica Gilbert: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Evon Aherne: To relieve suffering, as when one has that lifted from ones shoulders, one has the strength to go forward. Compassion is a wonderful thing and we should all try to have more empathy for our fellow man and all those lovely creatures of the animal kingdom that we are privileged to share this world with.
Jessica Gilbert: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Evon Aherne: Well, last night I woke up and wrote down this line that was communicated to me, so will use it as a quote.. “We are restricted only by the limits of our imagination.”
Jessica Gilbert: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about your work?
Evon Aherne: I am teaching at the Centro de Artes in Mijas if anyone living on the coast is interested in coming along for three hours on a Monday morning, great fun and lovely people. Special price this term of twelve Euros.
My website: www.evonart.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone me on 0034 952583302 or 0034
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks again for doing this interview and wish you nothing but the best of luck with everything.
Evon Aherne: Thanks Jessica. Hope I haven’t rambled on too much and your readers will find something that will be of interest them.