Artist Charlie Evans from Northumberland is launching a new monthly food and painting series in the Taste section in Culture magazine, the first of which is out next week. KATHARINE CAPOCCI finds he’s a dab hand in the kitchen
ARTIST Charlie Evans is currently tucking in to a Scotch egg and really relishing the experience, the yolk deemed beautifully runny and the sausagemeat an elevated offering.
Charlie’s foodie radar can detect something different in the encasing meat, though, and sure enough, when the waiter is quizzed, it turns out there’s some haggis in the mix.
He then tries one of my cauliflower fritters dipped in curry sauce and judges it very tasty.
Charlie, 58, from Acklington, Northumberland, is a charismatic figure, easy to warm to, and someone who stands out in a crowd with his wavy locks and earring.
The location for our lunchtime chat is the first-floor restaurant at the Broad Chare pub on Newcastle Quayside, where the colourful and hugely likeable artist is regaling me with tales of his life. Painting a picture, if you like.
And the Terry Laybourne establishment’s Scotch eggs more than pass muster, reckons Charlie.
Charlie’s been dubbed the Jamie Oliver of the painting world for his terminology and technique, which is big on demystifying the art of watercolour painting, which goes a bit like this ... Whack a bit on here, daub a bit on there, then a dollop of this.
“Bash this on here and bang this on here – that’s the terminology I use on stage,” he says. “People are scared of painting because of the complexities. I make it sound achievable. I do it in a light-hearted way. Demystify it, that’s always been my approach.
“It’s such a beautiful hobby, so relaxing. Nine times out of 10, people wait until they are retired but you should be painting when you are working because it’s absorbing and a real de-stresser.”
Charlie has made his name through art but maybe less well-known is the fact that he used to work in catering for 22 years, principally as a chef, and owned several eateries in Cumbria and Leeds in his time.
And it is his love of painting and food which is the basis for his latest project. He is launching a new monthly foodie and painting series in the pages of Taste in Culture magazine, combining his two great loves. February’s magazine is out with The Journal on Tuesday, when readers can catch the first in his series.
Each month he will sample and review the food at a gastropub or restaurant in our region and also rustle up a watercolour of a view from said establishment, including tips on how to recreate the painting. Readers also have the chance to win the finished stunning watercolour; this month’s is valued at £220.