Storytelling at Work
August 28, 2019
The Art & Soul of Evelyne Pouget


Artist, Evelyne Pouget, has always followed her heart and intuition when it comes to life decisions, with serendipity playing a recurring role.

Originally from Paris, she lived in Italy, India (for a year at an ashram) and New York, before succumbing to the often referred to magic of San Miguel almost 18 years ago where she found a new direction and purpose. How she came to a life of art has its origins in the spiritual.

A self-taught artist, Pouget made her first painting in mid-life. She recalls that when she lived in Rome, she was surrounded by art and felt its influence strongly, but at the time it didnt translate to becoming an artist herself. As it turned out, that idea fell into her capable hands like a dream.

She tells the story of her Indian spiritual teacher always referring to her as "the painter", even though she had never picked up a brush.

"I thought he was confusing me with someone else," she laughs.

At the time she was working as a graphic designer in the Manhattan perfume industry. After being encouraged by her husband and receiving rudimentary instructions on how to mix paint, she made her first painting of her teacher from a small blurry photograph. She felt guided by an unseen hand because the painting unfolded like magic and she realized, "I had a natural ability that I hadn't explored before." With a debt of gratitude to her teacher, she knew she had discovered a new path.

baba ev2.jpg

When Pouget first started painting, her favorite artists were portrait painters, like Vermeer and Sargent whom she imitated in "order to understand their talent," she says.

She likes to work from photographs for her oil paintings and pastels, mostly of friends and "characters" from the streets of San Miguel: vendors, musicians, and street people. Not only does she capture a true likeness of her subjects, her portraits aim to capture their essence built up in layers of sumptuous color.

Early on in San Miguel, Pouget discovered her favorite subjects were the traditional dancers she often photographed during festivals. The power and dedication of their traditions moved something in her, and she knew she had to discover more. She started to manipulate the images digitally, playing with heightened color and repetitive patterns and was excited by the layered results. The vibrating images function like collage and the compositions' repetition recalls the rhythm of the dancers. While she works to create fluid images strong with color and form, she maintains her focus is to convey a feeling of sacredness.

Pouget 1.jpg

With the discovery of this process, a new project emerged that became about more than the manipulated photographs. She understood instinctively the spirituality of the traditions and connected that to her own seeker-self. Focusing on two tribes: the Chicimecas, and Senor de la Conquista, she knocked on doors until she was invited to go behind the scenes to their practices. She was able to interview the dancers, learn about their costumes, makeup, and how they prepare by asking the spirits to guide them before the dance. She started to see the layers of knowledge beyond what we see, as tourists, and now wants to help honor those traditions.

"It's all so much richer than the surface we see," she says.

Creativity, for Pouget, has always revolved around sharing with her community. She says she is very old-fashioned and values person-to-person contact. "I love people and organizing efforts on-line feels cold."

Her desire to be surrounded by this creative force led her, for 38 years, to organize salons -- intimate gatherings in her home where artists can share not only their talents, but also their philosophy and support of one another. She is passionate about connecting people, especially for a good cause. Being dedicated to her own spiritual growth led her to organize festivals designed to bring peace awareness, through art and music. In her community in Woodstock, NY, she became known as the "peace artist" through her efforts. She continues both of these efforts in San Miguel.

Pouget's spiritual, activist, and artistic interests have all united in her pursuit of beauty and understanding of the world through her artwork, and feels certain of her ability to bring the right people and opportunities to her at the right time. Art for her is about expressing behind what she sees.

"I feel like it's a gift that I open again and again."


Check out her work at and PougetDigital

Come to the Yo San Miguel Gallery on September 7th, 6:00 -- 10:00 pm where Evelyne's work will be featured along with several other talented San Miguel artists.

Article written by Linda Laino

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at August 28, 2019 03:05 AM

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Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

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