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En Plein Air Artist Discusses Work Now on Display

“Ice Lakes Swamp” is among the works of Helen Evanchik that will be on display at The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery through Nov. 17.
October 24, 2017
By: Breanna Forgione ’18, student correspondent

“I was hooked when I saw the first blade of grass. It requires stamina – you have to have it and a great, great tolerance,” said artist Helen Evanchik about en plein air painting. “You have to have great resilience and an undying love of nature.”

Evanchik is a New York City native whose exhibit called “Here and There, Now and Then” is being featured at The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery in Hyland Hall through Nov. 17. She discussed her work at a lecture prior to an opening reception for the exhibit on Oct. 20.

“Make yourself see the beauty all around you. It’s all there, and out there it’s moving very fast. If you do decide to go out there and paint, I can guarantee you, you’re going to have the greatest time. Just realize it’s not for you, but for anyone who can appreciate what it is that you’re trying to show,” said Evanchik.

The artist addressed the impact of impressionism on her work and what en plein air techniques she utilizes to capture the beauty she so often discovers working outdoors to create her landscape paintings.

En plein air thinking derives from entering the age of discovery. Changes were taking place in the air, land and sea, and the world was alive with action. People were studying plants, animals and most importantly, humanity. Perspective, light and reflection all became essential components to the technique,” said Evanchik.

Evanchik also discussed the profound influence living in New York City had on her childhood as well as the implications it had on her art. She offered sage advice to attendees on what it truly means to fail.

“When you approach outside, your response may be overwhelming. You might try to succeed, and unfortunately it doesn’t always work. But failure is just practice. Practice, practice, practice,” said Evanchik. “That’s how you become an artist.”

Evanchik, who received her arts training at the Cooper Union, has participated in numerous regional and national exhibitions. She has produced a plethora of landscape paintings, specifically of Long Island and northeastern Pennsylvania. There are 37 oil paintings in the Hope Horn Gallery exhibit. A portion of any sales from this exhibition will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of Evanchik’s daughter, Merrie.

Breanna Forgione ’18, Levittown, is a strategic communication major at The University of Scranton.
Breanna Forgione ’18, Levittown, is a strategic communication major at The University of Scranton.
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