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Eve's Art

Sketching a lifetime into a dozen secret books

Story by Lily C. Fen, Zurich

Art by Evelyn Steiner, Lucerne

What if one woman had sketched a lifetime into a dozen secret books? Would that merit as art? I would say it is, especially when confronted with Eve's images that had given me goosebumps, the day her works on paper were made known to me.

Evelyn Steiner is one who is well-loved by her husband, children and grandchildren. One who speaks of family, but not much of her art, until a colleague of ours had prodded her to do so.

She’d been sitting at the writing table, regaling me with family tales that would make it to our community book, Bending without Breaking: Thirteen Women's Stories of Migration & Resilience.

But she never spoke about the stirring sketches hiding in her handbag.

In this story, delve into one woman's artistic work. What is art, really, but that which lends the viewer a glimpse of something remarkable?

What is art, really, but that which lends the viewer a glimpse of something remarkable?

Says Eve, “Art was a hobby of mine during my younger days. I began seriously sketching when I got married and lived in Switzerland. I found the panoramic points of view in the region fascinating, particularly the architecture and the outdoors.

"I always had my sketchbook and pens with me whenever my husband, Toni, and our kids and I, went away on holiday. These were the times I could work on my scenic vignettes. Since then, I have accumulated more than a dozen books filled with art from our travels. They have become a kind of diary in pictures, tracking the views of places to which I had been, and when."

E. Steiner began sketching in earnest in 1980, continuing on until the present day. She now has a collection of nearly thirty sketch books.

It began with her wanting to commit to memory the view from St. Croux in the Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. This beautiful piece was done in 1980.

E. Steiner hiked up Atlanka in Ticino, Switzerland in 1984 with her family. Always with her drawing book with her, she managed to jot down the views she saw of the church and its surroundings.

Many years later, as the pandemic was to surprise everyone, she turned to color, experimenting with acrylic. Here, Stormy at Sea / Acrylic on Canvas / 2020 / 30x40cm

Acrylic on Canvas / Countryside in Early Autumn / 2020 / 30x40cm

Eve was having lunch with a friend, Amelia Pinkas, in Lucerne. Having spotted a photograph at her friend's home that caught her eye, she immediately brought pen to paper. Hence the title, "Luzern by Amelia Pinkas."

Far Distance Mountain / Acrylic on canvas / 2020 / 30x40cm

Although Eve painted this copy herself, its original was an image on a ship's dining room wall. She found it a worthwhile exercise to do a study of the painting while on a cruise down the River Rhein to Vienna / June 2019

Eve did a quick sketch of a small church set against a backdrop of foliage during her stay at Saas Amagell in Canton Saasthal .

The city of Pirve de Ledro, Italy / Spring 2016

Alghero, Sardinia / Late Autumn 2018.

Almost all sketches were originally done on 21x15 cm.

Connect with E. Steiner at

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