Sorry, she was told. Only artists were to allowed to enter. Tycee Evans walked away dejected, but then gathered the courage to try a second time.
"I went back and told them I was really one of the artists, that I'd done a drawing of a man holding a horseshoe," said Evans. "I was only 17 at the time. They let me in and, lo and behold, I was one of the first to sell a print."
The incident occurred at an art gallery in Bisbee, Ariz. Evans was raised on a ranch in that southern state and grew up around hunting, ranch chores and caring for the hound dogs. She also exhibited an early ability for creative drawing.
Kim Fundingsland/MDN • Berthold artist Tycee Evans sees adventure in the outdoors.
"I always drew, always drew everything," recalled Evans. "I had neighbors always asking me if I would draw something for them or fix a sign or something. That was just in my teens."
At home outdoors or at the easel, Evans' enthusiasm for her art is visible in each drawing. "Adventure," she calls it, but to the viewer it is eye-catching. Evans' chosen medium is black and white. She makes it work to perfection.
"I believe when you look at something, you should see the best of what you want. I like black and white. I feel the viewer can supply their own colors and see it in their own way," she said.
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Even a brief glance at her work confirms her assessment. The gifted artist has a knack for drawing the viewer's attention into the focal point of her work. That talent is particularly visible in her wildlife drawings. Evans makes extensive use of shadow with special emphasis on important identifying features.
"I find that animals seem to be the easier part," said Evans. "When it comes to the person, well, wrinkles make our faces. If we don't apply the right ones in a drawing it doesn't look like us. Everyone is different. It is dark against light. That's what makes it work."
Evans arrived in Berthold with her husband and three children, all boys, after the family turned down work in New Mexico and Nevada.
"I came here not knowing what was going to happen. With having three boys, I wanted to give them that feel of a smaller town and the values that goes with it, and the hunting and fishing," said Evans. "They'll always have that structure to go back on. Isn't that what we're all after?"
Drawings focusing on the outdoors came natural to Evans. She enjoys fishing and grew up in a area with a strong hunting heritage. Much of her work is done from photographs.
"That comes from my childhood. I would take pictures and my grandma would get them developed and I would draw them," said Evans. "The outdoors is just something that I love, something that I am interested in and want to see more of."
Evans' work includes depictions of hunts and hunters in the Southwest, but she is eager to make the transition to North Dakota scenes. Evans says she wants to learn what people in North Dakota enjoy outdoors, including the different types of animals.
"I want to get into that. I would like for a few people to brings things for me to try," stated Evans. "It's always an adventure with a drawing. I like to get the feel of what people are proud of. What are they looking for? I want to know who they are and what they are after."
Displaying art is often much easier, and far less imposing, than displaying animal mounts. Art has a unique appeal too, usually leaving a lasting impression on the viewer. That is what Evans strives to accomplish with all of her drawings.
"I want them to put it on the wall. They want that added respect through my art," said Evans.
According to Evans, many people have photographs of memorable hunts, trophies or time spent outdoors. Those photographs, she says, can be turned into lasting artwork.
"I'll draw those things out. Then they can hang it on the wall and it is tastefully displayed," said Evans.
Examples of Evans work can be found at (epic-hunters-art.com).