Works by self-taught artist Eve Schwartz on display in San Jose

Works by self-taught artist Eve Schwartz on display in San Jose

Self-taught artist Eve Schwartz said she has always been drawn to the Bay Area’s landscapes, and so her pen and ink pieces often reflect that interest. Many pieces also feature anatomy studies and entomology illustrations, in addition to scenery from around the world. Yosemite also features prominently in her work.

“My artistic expression is rooted in enchantment with landscapes and [a] fascination for vintage line drawings,” said Schwartz, a Campbell resident. “My process also combines creative vision and adherence to sustainability.”

Schwartz’s work is on exhibit at the Wheelhouse of Willow Glen in San Jose Jan. 15-March 14. An artist’s reception for “Intricate Ink: Lines on Reclaimed Wood” is set for Jan. 20, 5:30-9 p.m.

Schwartz’s canvases are crafted from reclaimed wood she salvages and prepares. She has been working with wood for approximately four years, and she loves its different tones as it ages, which allow her to play with light and depth. The exhibition will feature about 35 artworks, ranging in size from 5 x 7 inches to approximately 3 feet in length.

As for how she came to use wood as her surface medium, she explained that as she is left-handed and entirely self taught, she likes to have her hand rest on the surface of whatever she’s drawing on, and “with a stretched canvas, you can’t do that.”

“I recover wood from construction sites, house remodels… transforming forgotten materials into canvases,” she added.

Schwartz cleans and sands the wood then paints it white, which prepares it for her ink drawings. A landscape drawing can take her 10 or more hours to complete, not including prep time.

“I try to get real wood because they all have their own character with whatever they were before,” said Schwartz. “I like the unexpected pieces. When I find one, I [have] to work with what’s there, and then I decide what I get to keep from it.”

Schwartz has steadily been gaining fans on social media, and has nearly 1,300 followers on Instagram (@evies.sketches), which she joined in 2016.

“I’ve been wanting to do a show for a long time, and now seems like the right time and place,” said Schwartz, who was born and raised in Corte Madera.

“Eve is very driven and she knows what she wants,” said Susan Harding, a volunteer art curator at the Wheelhouse since 2020. “Her work is beautiful and meticulous, and she is very talented.”

The Wheelhouse showcases approximately six artists per year, and each one has a two-month exhibition.

“I try to reach out and help emerging artists,” said Harding, “people who have never shown before.”

Schwartz graduated from George Washington University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in speech and dance. She danced as a child and then all the way through college. She eventually plans to work in pediatric speech language pathology (SLP).

Schwartz’s landscapes are done outside, en plein air. She said the process of making art gives her a “much-needed respite from a busy life.”

“When I am drawing outside listening to my stories, I feel most myself,” she added. “Getting in the car and driving out to a place in nature for a multi-hour sit with a canvas is my escape.”

Schwartz is currently attending San Jose State University and will receive her master’s degree  in SLP in 2024. She will take a licensing exam in February. She calls art her “continuous companion.”

“I’ve been artistically inclined since I was a kid,” Schwartz added. “My childhood was listening to books on tape and sitting on my floor doing art. Part of me is still very much that little girl. I am really proud of the fact that she has a role in my adult life.

“It is possible to make time for my artistic endeavors, regardless of what my professional life looks like,” she said.

The Wheelhouse of Willow Glen is located at 1173 Lincoln Ave., San Jose. 408-295-5624