Artist Robin Olsen

An example of fine art by Robin Olsen

Photo of Robin Olsen


My art, like my life, is about finding an equilibrium between freedom and order, chaos and calm. I live in Portland, Oregon and enjoy all the energy a vibrant city provides, yet I also live surrounded by fern forests and need the quiet of solitary walks in nature. My work oscillates between being full of dynamic marks and brushstrokes and areas of soothing calm. Sometimes one dominates, sometimes the other. Inspired by those moments in daily life when a shift takes place, when a sudden awareness or awakening occurs, I seek those experiences throughout my day as a starting point for my work. It might be seeing a calm expanse of sky in a tangle of trees, or an intricate pattern of spots remaining on the pavement after a rain, the lift of joy when a favorite song plays, or even that certain shade of blue on a shopper's shirt as they stand in front of me in line at Costco.  It's these moments of aliveness that I seek to capture in my work, moments when we are pulled away from the seduction of technology to take notice of the quiet wonders of the natural world. I began studying art in college but decided to follow a more stable career and earned a PhD in English and taught at University of Calif, Davis for years. I was continually drawn back to art, though, and took numerous classes and workshops across the country, working with many acclaimed artists. I now combine my love of teaching with art and have taught art to all ages from children to adults. My work has won awards in International competitions and appears in juried shows, books, and magazines.

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