Sacramento Art History Consortium’s Featured Artist: Evan Thomas

by Bree Garcia

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ET:  This is the first year I’ve exhibited my art since the 1990s. I fell back into art trying to kill time first drawing on my iTouch, and I ended up with enough for a show. My first show at Spanish Fly Hair Garage sold well and justified my purchase of an iPad Mini, which is now my main tool. I exhibited and demonstrated for a week my iPad art at this year’s California State Fair in the Fine Arts Hall. I also took part (OK, full disclosure, I was the curator) in a two-man show with Patrick Drayus at Annie’s Playshop and Gallery in Sacramento. I’ve also been teaching iPad Art techniques at the Unitarian Church in Sacramento.

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SAHC: Can you give us a brief description of your creative process? What is your preferred medium and style? ET:

Any cheap trick/port in storm will do, and any theft or appropriation I can do something original with will do. Sometimes I work from imagination, sometimes from an imported image, such as a Fra Lippo Lippi quattrocento Madonna. Sometimes I go directly over a digitial photo of a porch’s cafe set in Curtis Park. Lately I’ve been working with pen on paper drawings of mine imported into my iPad. Style is something I care very little about. No lie. It takes care of itself. I use different stylistic mannerisms, but my work looks like it’s been done by the same person. I will humbly attribute this to an admiration of and intention to work in the modes of classicist artists such as Basquiat, Hockney, Pollock Picasso and Poussin, especially in terms of composition.

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iPads are wonderful surfaces for drawing or painting whether using your fingers or a stylus. Most recently I’ve been using a TruGlide Pro Paintbrush tip from LYNKtec –  a sponsor of mine, and it’s fun. iPads also have a great economic advantages such as making studio space real cheap since a backpack can hold an iPad Mini. More savings come from the clothes not ruined by messy art supplies. My images are printed as signed, limited editions on archival paper at CaliColor, a local Giclee print service.


SAHC: As a Sacramento artist what responsibilities do you believe that you have to the local and the global community?

ET: Job one is to do good work. Let’s be real. Visual artists are the least effective of polemicists.


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SAHC: What advice do you have for emerging artists, or those pursuing a career in the arts? ET: The simple truth is that many are called but few get up. Artist should create early, midday or late, but most importantly, often and steadily. Don’t give your art away and cheapen your market. The business and promotional aspects will demand more time than you think. Be polite. There are too many artists are are out there, and the difficult ones fall behind.

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SAHC: Who are some of your favorite Sacramento Artists, and why? ET:  Patrick Drayus and Perez Mandark Westbrook are two of my favorites, local or otherwise. Their stuff  is for everyone. It can be taken in by the kid at the skateboard park or the matron at a museum. I doubt  either would call themselves neo-funk artists, and might even argue with the designation, but their work has the same playfulness and a similar edge the funk art the Sacramento  region is known for.


SAHC: Where are some of your favorite Art/ Art History resources found? ET:  Facebook and Instagram are my main tools for keeping up with local artists and art events. It was on Facebook that Carol Buchanan of the State Fair found and recruited me. I’m also obliged to mention Annie’s Playshop and Gallery owned by Lisa Weil, and of which  am the curator.  

SAHC: Is there anything else about the arts here in Sacramento that you would like share with our reader? ET:  Sacramento is a great art town to start from, but for anyone ambitious, leaving Dodge is probably gonna have to happen. We lack the financial means to sustain art careers like the Bay Area or Southern California. The good news is that those moving out clear the decks for others. That’s probably why there is always something interesting going on with art in this town.

evan SAHC: Where can your work be viewed, or found online?

I will be showing at the Denim Spot (20th and J) this December for their Affordable Art Show (My pieces will be $130.00 framed and matted.

Call 916 848 9616 for private viewing.

I post almost  almost daily, and sometime more than, daily at: