Evans was born in Pender County, North Carolina, and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. She began painting in 1935, when, according to Evans, "Something told me to draw or die!" Like many self-taught artists, Evans's creativity was guided by an inner spiritual force. As a child, Evans had strange and powerful dreams and waking visions of giant birds, intricate flowers, mysterious faces, and fantastic images, all of which appear in her work. "Designs, Wrightsville Beach" also illustrates the influence of the natural beauty that surrounded her at Arlie Gardens, a botanical preserve near Wilmington, North Carolina, where she worked as the gatekeeper for more that twenty-seven years.