Monday, November 17, 2014

Purple Skies

Purple Skies. Oil on panel, 8" x 8". $175. Click to buy.

Last weekend was Yuletide, and what a great show! So many original paintings, giclĂ©es and books found new homes. I'm so grateful to everyone who came and supported me and the other amazing artists.

But many paintings are still looking for their forever homes, and I've been promising for a while that small original works would be available online. So starting with Purple Skies, above, a new painting will appear each day here and on Daily Paintworks.

All of the paintings are done in oil on masonite panels, and are ready to frame. Please be aware that the color may vary from monitor to monitor. For instance, Purple Skies looks over saturated on this blog (on my monitor)---the background is really a muted periwinkle blue.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Aviation & Mixology Book Release

Aviation. Oil on panel, 12" x 12". ©2014 Sheila M. Evans.

It's a wrap! I've resurfaced to announce that my art and cocktail recipe book, "Mixology: the Art of Classic Cocktails" is finally finished.

Aviation is one of nineteen vintage recipes represented in the book along with the original paintings they inspired. The book is available for online order here.

The official book release party is tonight, and after that I have a week to get ready for Yuletide, a holiday arts and crafts festival at Spokane's Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. After that, at long last, paintings will begin to appear on Daily Paintworks. And they will be for sale.

It takes a long time and an unbelievable amount of effort to assemble a complete new body of work along with a book. It's a relief to finally feel caught up (sort of). But I can't wait to get started on the next book!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Crux Redux

This is an image I kept going back to. I really enjoyed the drama of it, and the colors. This is a 6" x 6" original pastel, matted and ready to frame.

Missing the Mixology paintings? Find new paintings and behind-the-scenes stories about the making of the upcoming Mixology book at

Monday, September 15, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

I might just keep this one. The color of this drink is simply amazing, even though we cut back on some of the sweet stuff in our recipe. And I had yet another beautiful art deco wallpaper pattern to make me crazy inspire me. 

The Negroni is one of Tom's signature drinks, but as always I started with a recipe from out in the world. Only subtle adjustments were required, but in the end you could actually taste the gin, which, around here, is considered to be a good thing. 

While we enjoyed our last Negroni, we dove into Teya's newest recipe find: a vegetarian version of Bebimbap, accompanied by delicious vegetarian kimchee. (Yes, to the dismay of Tom and Paul, Teya and I are—you guessed it—vegetarians.) 

Here are her recipes, and they were good!

Oh, and at the risk of repeating myself... 


Since Mixology has pretty much taken over my daily painting blog, I have given it a blog of its own. New drink posts, old drink posts, book info, release party info and more details about recipe tests can all be found at:

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

None of us had ever had a Prohibition cocktail before. But with a name like that, how could it not be in a book of vintage cocktails? In fact, I was so sure that it needed to be in the book, I painted it untested. The recipe did sound pretty good, after all. And we were behind on test nights, or I'm getting faster at painting, or something.

Anyway, I wanted a real 1920s feel for this, so I googled art deco wallpaper patterns and hit the jackpot. This was not an easy pattern to paint, but I loved it and did it anyway. Really happy with it in the end. So happy that I went to T & T's house and declared that by the end of the night, everyone in the room MUST like this drink. Including our unsuspecting guest testers, their new neighbors Scott and Nancy.

Fortunately, everyone did like it. To the point that for only the second time, we left the original recipe alone. Sadly, that meant we only got one, but we still had work to do.


Since Mixology has pretty much taken over my daily painting blog, I have given it a blog of its own. New drink posts, old drink posts, book info, release party info and more details about recipe tests can all be found at:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Corpse Reviver

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

Death, Gin and Lemon Juice, Part 2: we brought ourselves back to life with the Corpse Reviver. Actually the Corpse Reviver 2. The recipe tests always start with a recipe straight out of a book or the internet, then we tweak it to taste and I rewrite. The Corpse Reviver 2 recipe came from the Savoy Cocktail book, and for the first time ever, everyone agreed the drink could not be improved. It was perfect!

Given the zombie-ish name, I wanted a zombie-esque look for the painting. The startling green of the Absinthe made it pretty easy, along with the day-glo depression glass. A floating chunk of orange skin always looks sort of creepy too, although here it looks a bit like an egg. Which would also be creepy.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

French 75

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

"Death, Gin and Lemon Juice" was the theme for our last recipe test night. For the first half, we offed ourselves with the French 75, named for early French artillery. This is normally a champagne cocktail with a bit of gin. Ours ended up more of a gin cocktail with a bit of champagne. Is that bad?

I'll get to part two next week. In the meantime, I'm happy to announce that I have a venue for the Mixology Book Release Cocktail Party: it will be at Mizuna, a wonderful Spokane restaurant committed to delicious cocktails and an exceptional vegetarian/vegan menu (in addition to the regular menu, don't worry). It's happening the first week in November.

This is getting real!

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Reef Study

Reef Study is another 6" x 6" pastel from my summer show season. It is matted to 10" x 10" and ready to frame.

Meanwhile, I'm having fun painting French 75 for my book...

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sunshine Daydream


I'm just back from the Sausalito Art Festival and the Artist Trust Edge program, and it seems like I've been gone forever. I'm so ready to dive into the last batch of paintings for Mixology!

In the meantime, here is one of a few pieces I brought back from Sausalito, and it needs a home! It's an original pastel, all matted and ready to frame. The photo looks a little odd---I forgot to photograph it before I matted it, so you can see the edge of the mat and a bit of shadow.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

Bijou is a painting I have been looking forward to for a long time. The word bijou means "jewel" in French, after the jewel colors of the three main ingredients: Gin represents diamonds; Chartreuse, emeralds; and Vermouth, rubies. I knew I wanted to put in a giant cocktail ring just for fun (this one thanks to Finders Keepers here in Spokane). 

By now I had a great set of perfect sparkly, jewel-y props: multi-colored glasses, a faceted-stem cocktail glass, the silver tray. I arranged them together and it looked really, really dull. The colors of the glasses are faint, so to punch it up I actually mixed the drink to add color. But the drink somehow erased the delicate blue of its glass. 

I decided to push through it anyway, and punch up the glassware colors in the painting itself. Before long I realized this was going to work out better than expected. I ended up capturing the sparkly, jewel-like quality I wanted in the end. Hooray!

For the next few weeks, I will be at an Artist Trust conference in Port Townsend, then off to the Sausalito Art Festival with a load of pastels. I look forward to painting more drinks in September!

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

I'm not sure I had ever tasted a daiquiri before making them for this recipe. Maybe once, long ago, and the memory of the cloyingly-sweet slushy of a drink was enough to deter me until now. Turns out daiquiris, made properly, are really good. How can light rum, lime juice and sugar (a small amount of sugar) be bad? 

Oh, by the way, there is something even better than light rum, lime juice and sugar. DARK rum, lime juice and a little less sugar. Still a daiquiri. Mmmm.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

First of all, I owe a big Thank You to our friends Richard and Kate Vander Wende. They graciously hosted Martini and Vesper night. I was a bit nervous about testing these recipes, since I have never particularly enjoyed martinis. But now all that has changed.

Here's how Richard did it: he chose the gin well (Sun Gun Club Gin). He set a bottle of vermouth on the counter, shook the gin with ice, poured it into glasses, and garnished with a delicious Picholine olive. Perfection. We did try a version where vermouth actually went into the glasses at about a 10:1 gin to vermouth ratio. It was slightly different, but no one could really see the point.

There are those who say that a Martini must contain vermouth to qualify as a Martini. But there are many creative ways to handle this… Richard's proximity method is one. You might also hold up the bottle of vermouth so that light shines through it onto the drink, look at the vermouth from across the room, or just catch its reflection in the shaker as I've done here. 

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

Born in a 1953 Ian Fleming novel, Vesper is the "newest" drink featured in my book. I decided to include it because 1. it is a delicious drink and 2. it gave me an excuse to paint Paul's awesome mid-century-esque rocket shaker. 

Just like its namesake in Casino Royale, Vesper the painting proved a bit treacherous. The Lillet label was a beast, but since it looks like it hasn't changed in 100 years and I like that, I persisted. I even switched out one of the shot glasses in frustration halfway through. The new shot glass ended up looking much better in the end. I love how it reflects the lemon's cute little pointy butt.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whiskey Sour

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

The best whiskey sour I ever had was at a speakeasy-like bar tucked away behind a crepe shop in downtown Portland. Sadly, Central has closed, but not before greatly raising my standards for an already-favorite drink. Not only was it my first scratch whiskey sour, it was my first one with egg white. So good!

My own recipe is a work in progress, but the ingredients are simple enough to go ahead with the painting. The egg was a refreshing new challenge to paint. Cheers!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

One September I went to Boots vegan bakery and lounge with a friend. It was the first cool day in a long while, and I asked the owner, Alison, to make me a drink that "tastes like Fall." I've known Alison long enough to know she would pull it off, and she did not disappoint.

The drink she made was the Embassy, and it was about to become my new favorite drink. The Embassy is richly layered, warming and a bit spicy. Basically, Fall in a glass. It has three different liquors and liqueurs, plus citrus and bitters.

As I debated how to represent so many ingredients, I had a stroke of luck. Raising the Bar, a vintage travel trailer filled with old-school barware goodness, appeared in my neighborhood. Just inside the door was a fantastic set of multicolored cordial glasses, three of which appear here with dark rum, Cointreau and brandy.

To top it all off, the fall theme gave me the perfect excuse to use some leftover wallpaper from my parents' old house. All of this added up to a fun challenge, and I'm happy with the result.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

The Green Fairy

Original oil on panel, 8' x 8". 
Sazerac's absinthe bottle and light palette were enough fun to do again. Plus the stirring spoon that came with the absinthe bottle looked like a good challenge. This is not that bottle, though. It was too modern looking, so I googled absinthe, found a (hopefully) vintage label, printed it out and applied it to a clear bottle that showed the gorgeous color of the absinthe inside. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


Original oil on panel. 12" x 12".

The amazing colors of the Sazerac ingredients inspired something really different. Despite the complex label, this painting came together as if it wanted to be! 

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

This one has been a long time coming! In an earlier post the Angostura bottle became a bottleneck (literally?). No Manhattan painting could possibly be complete without a vintage bottle, so weeks passed as various prop parts arrived and assembly commenced. 

The final bottle looked pretty good, except… while matching the original in size, it dwarfed the glassware. For an ingredient you basically look at from across the room while mixing the drink, the proportions were all wrong. The solution: move the bottle just out of frame and paint its reflection in the mixing cup.

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Old Fashioned

Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

This one gave me fits---not so much the painting as the set up! The plan is to include every ingredient for every drink. There's not a lot to this one, so it seemed simple enough. The problem came with the bitters. My recipe uses Peychaud's, and the bottle dwarfed the glasses. So, I bought a tiny bottle the same shape and added a fake label. It looked silly yet dull. Luckily I had also picked up a pale purple bottle that was a miniature of my "soda" bottle. It shows the beautiful color of the bitters, and the repetition of shapes was a bonus, too.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Margarita. Original oil on panel, 12" x 12".

This weekend my husband Paul made his Top Shelf Margaritas for the second of many tasting parties. The recipe dates back to his bar tending days and is pretty much perfect. Our friends Tom and Teya hosted, and made two beautiful paellas to go with the drinks. (Below is a photo of the vegetarian one in their beyond-cool mid-century oven.)

The painting required a lot more prop wrangling than I would have expected. Once I finally got started, though, it came together pretty painlessly for as complex as it is. Paintings for the book will become available after the book release this fall.

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