In Rob Evans' world, modern computer technology seemlessly melds with the realm of magic to produce stunning works of art on canvas.
Evans, an internationally acclaimed artist, sometimes feeds sketches into a scanner and pulls them up on Photoshop, where he manipulates to create an idea to work from. He prints out what he comes up with and paints over the printout in his studio
"I love Photoshop as a tool for developing a composition," Evans said. "It allows you to move things around without having to draw it over and over again."
Evans will continue tinkering until it's time for a final painting. The process will sometimes take up to a year to complete.
The results have been critically acclaimed throughout the United States and across the globe.
Evans, who is an independent curator, in addition to being an accomplished artist, will have his work on display at the Crary Art Gallery in a show entitled "Mystery and Metaphor" from May 8 through June 5.
"His meticulous painting are evocative renditions of a world perhaps more closely allied with dreams than our everyday reality," said the Crary board in a statement on its website announcing the exhibit, which includes oil paintings, drawings and prints.
Evans has been involved in art since a young child.
"I was the class artist," he said. "The one who always drew things and got attention for drawing. I think it was always a part of my persona growing up."
He became a serious artist in high school "I was lucky to have a teacher who was a professional artist. He was a guy who would fail everybody except those who were very serious about it and went on earn a BFA in Painting from Syracuse University.
He has been awarded grants from the Ford Foundation, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the E.D. Foundation, the Eben Demarest Trust and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.
Evans work can be found in many public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, State Museum of Pennsylvania and the James A. Michener Art Museum. In addition, his paintings have been featured in numerous books, newspapers, magazines and on public radio and television.
Evans' paintings take on an almost surreal quality. He calls his work an offshoot of the Magical Realism movement, a phrase coined in the 1920s by German art critic Franz Roh, who referred to painting where real forms are combined in a way that doesn't conform to daily reality.
"It's contemporary realism, but with a little bit of an edge to it with a dreamlike quality," Evans said.
The world around him.
"I'm inspired by everything around me that I connect to my family, the property where I live, the natural realm."
According to Evans, each of his paintings include some sort of narrative. "In an way," he said, "I hope they are a bit ambigious. I hope I'm not hitting people over the head with it."
Evans' exhibit at the Crary opens on May 7 with a members-only lecture and reception.
The public exhibit opens on May 8 and will run noon until 4 p.m.
The show is scheduled to conclude on June 5.
"It's very, very interesting imagery," said Tom Paquette, a member of the Crary board. Paquette became acquainted with Evans' work some years ago when both artists where holding exhibits in Washington, D.C. He said he proposed inviting Evans to participate in a show at the Crary.
"I thought it would be good for the gallery because he's a very professional and accomplished artist," Paquette said.
Evans' work can be seen at his website www.robevansart.net.