Evelyn Sloboda by Daniel Baylis.jpg

Evelyn lives in Gibsons, British Columbia. After working as an instructor and counsellor, she’s now retired from formal professional commitments. These days she focuses her attention on a variety of activities, such as hiking, gardening, and, her main passion, making art.

“If I don’t paint, I can become depressed and miserable,” Evelyn explains. “Painting, with acrylics and collage materials, gives me freedom to play, explore, delve into the unknown, trust the process. And express the complexities—the light and the dark—of being me.”

Becoming herself has been a life-long process. When she was young, her family didn’t have much money. Yet she remembers her father saying, 'There’s always enough.’ She felt embarrassed by the lack of material wealth. As an adult, however, she learned to appreciate what she did have as a child. Her father placed a high value on education—for all the kids, male and female.

“As a kid I was shy, tall, brainy,” she describes herself. “I didn’t like to be seen.”

Through a blend of education, meditation, and intuition, she gradually gained the confidence to teach, to counsel, to present workshops, and—more recently— to exhibit her sculptures and paintings. Although still much the introvert, now she is more trusting of herself and less concerned about what others think of her. Evidence: the purple streak in her hair.

“I don’t like to be put into any kind of box,” she says. “My white hair is like a blank canvas. It needs a splash of colour. And it generates interesting conversations, sometimes bridging generation gaps.”

This year Evelyn celebrated her 75th birthday. She is as active as ever, with hiking, swimming, visiting family and friends, playing the violin, and making art.

“It’s slowly sinking in that I don’t have to listen to the corrosive inner critic. I can let go of the need to be perfect—just be the unique, ordinary, imperfect person I am, curious to see what she creates next.”