Nicholas Evans was born in 1907 in Aberdare, Wales. He began work at the age of 13 as a miner, but this lasted only for three years until his father’s death in an accident at the Fforchaman Colliery, near Aberdare, in 1923.
Evans was a prolific artist and much of his work remains, un-photographed and un-catalogued, in the custody of his two sons, in a secure storeroom. It has been estimated that, of Evans’ entire output, only five percent is currently on public display. One of the few on display is the magnificent At The Coal Face hanging in the Department of Energy & Climate Change as part of the UK Governments collection.
Evans took up drawing again in his late sixties after retirement. Initially he painted with his hands and with rags on square pieces of hardboard that he bought at a local DIY store and primed with emulsion. His hobby became an obsession and his small house in Abernant soon started to fill up with paintings stacked high in every room.
Evans died in 2004 at the age of 97. His gravestone is engraved with the words: Nicholas Evans – Pilgrim and Painter: “I’d rather lead a soul to the Lord than paint a Mona Lisa”