Gone are the days of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” Eve Plumb, who played the role of 70’s middle sister Jan Brady on The Brady Bunch, has come quite into her own as an incredible still life painter. Eve has the innate capability to capture the light in a moment’s time, bringing to her paintings a beautifully unique and life-like perspective. In essence, they are quiet yet powerful, much like Eve herself. Celebrity Parents Magazine caught up with the soft-spoken (and deliciously saucy!) Eve during the debut of her Bistro paintings series in New York City. We bet Marcia couldn’t paint like this.
Eve, when did you first begin to paint?
I began painting about 20-25 years ago. I’ve always drawn and painted. But that’s when I decided to see if I could really do it. It took me a long time to come up with something that I wanted to look at; I was willing to put it up on the wall and be unafraid of what anyone said. It developed over the years, and through the hard times. I think when you love something and you come up against frustration, you just work through it.
I completely agree. How has your artistic vision changed over time?
I’ve gotten more focused. I focus on still lives now. It opened up a whole new world. It’s amazing when you restrict the parameters what can happen.
It’s non-confrontational. [laughs] It’s not quite impressionistic, but it’s somewhere in between.
I love the angles and your usage of light is lovely.
Thank you. I will take photos of a scene first to capture it, and then later on I’ll paint it. Each painting takes time, but sometimes things can happen very quickly. Suddenly, the painting becomes more realized and more photographic.
Let’s talk about the Bistro series. What was the response like?
I decided to make all the shows this year subject specific. The series in NY was Bistro, and the response was very good. People were very receptive. It was nerve-wracking because New York is a bit fancy! [laughs] But if you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never know.
I also loved your “Coffee With…” series. It is so intimate.
I had people invite me over to their house, give me a cup of coffee and then I would take the photographs. The paintings ended up being portraits of the people.
What were the coffee cups like?
It varied from a white cup and saucer to a Limoges to a red cup.
What do you use at home?
I have a whole range of stuff, including vintage as well. I like vintage restaurant wear.
When you sell a painting, do you wonder how your work is displayed in the person’s home?
I’ve actually gone to a couple of people’s homes, one in Phoenix and one in Cape Cod. It was very interesting to see how it was displayed. I love when a painting sells because it is finding a new home. Plus, it makes more space in my home so I can continue painting! It’s all an exciting process. I’m endlessly astonished when my paintings sell. It is so thrilling.
While you were in NY, you also did Broadway Backwards. Let’s talk about that.
Broadway Backwards is a fundraiser for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. It’s a full-on production with 15 ensemble and 15 guest stars, with men singing women’s songs and women singing men’s songs. So Florence Henderson and I did a scene from “Kiss of the Spiderwoman”.
Oooh, Chita Rivera…
But Mario Cantone did the Chita Rivera song, and I did the first two lines of the song, which are traditionally sung by a man.
That’s hilarious! Did Mario bring it in his traditional fabulous way?
Oh, of course! [laughs] It was wonderful. It was in Lincoln Center. Who gets to be in a fabulous Broadway show at Lincoln Center? I mean, my gosh. I’m just the luckiest.
Okay, so I’ve been restraining myself, but you did bring up Florence Henderson so I have to ask a Brady question.
[laughs] That’s fine!
How do you feel about being so well-known for being Jan Brady?
People don’t actually recognize me on the street anymore because I’m so old now.
Oh, stop it.
I get a lot of this [makes a questioning face]. People think, “Did I go to school with her? Did I sleep with her? Damn, I can’t remember!” It could be any one of those things. [laughs] But I am happy to have played the part of Jan Brady, and I’m happy now, creating these paintings which give me so much joy.