We recently had a chat with Evelyn Bartlett and our interview with her is below.

Enjoy reading – and also viewing her superb artwork too!


Where do you get your inspiration from?

I’ve noticed that I am always attracted to scenes with high contrast, especially near-silhouette situations. When I am out and about with a camera, I am very often shooting into the sun – that thing that you are not meant to do! because high contrast really brings out strong simple shapes. The scene could be anywhere – a shaft of sunlight in a city street corner; sun setting behind a hill; deep blue of the sea next to blinding white surf. Looking at it is as delicious as eating apple pie.

Which famous artist do you admire the most and why?

Really difficult to choose; Caravaggio for one because of his completely OTT use of light and dark.

What person – living or dead – would you like to spend a day with and why?

Someone who is clever and funny. Maybe Graham Norton! I love the fact that he is just himself with anybody and everybody – never fazed by stardom and very quick with a witty response. When I was younger, I badly lacked confidence and thought everyone was cleverer than me; with greater maturity comes more of that “Hey, I’m reasonably OK, take me as I am” feeling, and it’s very liberating.

Tell us a typical artistic day for you in 5 words

Thinking, mixing, thinking, painting, thinking.

What are you working on now?

I’m taking a break! Not for long, but it’s been a busy old year and I will indulge myself with a more frivolous painting for a house we are re-furbing in Exeter.

What’s the one thing you’d take to a desert island and why?

Radio if that were possible…..I have to hear music and sing along. Or a solar-powered hi-fi (?) and loads of CDs

What was the last art exhibition you attended?

Just today I was at a small textiles exhibition at the Hilliers Arboretum near Romsey. I very much like looking at textures in fabrics, threads and beads etc and often think I would like to try picture-making this way.

Landscapes or Seascapes?


What’s your favourite colour or colour palette?

I get through blue paints more quickly than any others

What was the last book you read?

I am just coming to the end of ‘Fall of Giants’ by Ken Follett, a paperback so thick that it’s almost cubic. It is literally the first actual book I have read for years, because when I am painting, I like to listen to audio books from the library. Usually I choose something realistic about believable people. ‘Fall of Giants’ was lent to me by an artist friend; I did not have a clue what it was all about, but I have loved it….. deals with the reasons for and process of the first World War, through the eyes of ordinary folk in very different situations. Brilliantly written and a much better history lesson than any I had at school.

Anything else you’d like to tell us?

In an ideal world, everyone would either paint or sing in a choir; then I believe war might become obsolete……..