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The Comedy of Errors

Art Works: Bob Evans

6 November 15 words: Art Works
The back of a bus has never looked so good, thanks to this local artist's use of oil and watercolour
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Large Bus

For many years, in the seventies and eighties, I travelled the A52 to Bramcote, then Bilborough, by bus. Passing Wollaton Park in the early morning, the sunlight was scattered by the trees into the cabin where I sat. In those days, NCT buses had polished aluminium interiors which made the light show more dazzling.

Large Bus is a painting I made in 1984 in an attempt to capture this experience. It is an oil painting on canvas, 90 x 120 cm, painted in my studio in the Lace Market. At the time, I was in the first years of freelancing after ten years as an art teacher at a secondary school. Some of the sense of relief, of freedom, seems to have leaked into the picture.

I usually work from photographs I have taken, either on the hoof, or planned in advance. Earlier, when I developed and printed my own photographs, I was seldom satisfied with the print being the last word on the subject. Making a painting from a photograph allows for any amount of alteration in size, medium (I work in oil and watercolour), composition, tone, colour, texture and so on.

For me, the painting differs from the photograph in ways analogous to the difference between the live performance and an MP3 recording of a song. I worked on this piece over some months and first exhibited it at one of the studio shows that I held regularly in those days.

In recent years, I have made more paintings of buses and intend to show them alongside Large Bus in my exhibition this month. Other subjects dealt with in the show will include Nottingham townscapes, people and pubs, studio interiors, and local bands at pub gigs. In each of these categories, I’ll show recent work with some older pieces on the same themes. This forms a sort of autobiography, without the more libellous incidents.

Bob Evans at 75: Paintings Past and Present, Nottingham Society of Artists, Friar Lane Monday 9 - Wednesday 11 November, free. 

Bob Evans' website

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