Thursday, July 26, 2012

Margaret Olley

This week I watched the ABC programme about Margaret Olley called "A Life in Paint".  It has really stayed with me.  There was so much in the programme that really meant something to me - so I thought I'd share a snippet or two.  And, of course, its a great excuse to look at some of her beautiful pictures.  I even sought out some wonderful Protea pictures (as you know I have a protea farm and am a bit partial to the odd protea!)  

Probably the most memorable for me was when Olley talked really animatedly about how she loves to look at things.  It's not just still lifes, but landscape, portraits, anything, she said.  She saw things, and loved to look at them and paint them.  She described it as having "greedy eyes".  I SO related to this!  I am always looking.  Always.  My family think I'm nuts because I have to hold myself back from stopping 50 times while I'm driving somewhere, just so I can snap a picture with my iphone! I know I'm not alone here.  But I do find that visually, I am sometimes so overwhelmed that I have to find ways to calm myself down!  I get very frustrated that my current life circumstances don't allow me time to channel this obsession fully.  It's a constant state of tension that I live in.  I know if I can find ways to channel it, that's where the creativity happens.  

It was also being able to watch Olley's process of working that I found fascinating.  I don't know where we get these ideas that there is a "proper" way of doing something, and that if we deviate from that we are doing it "wrong".  There was so much about what Olley did that was "wrong".  But who cares!!! The process is personal, private even, and is so integral to achieving the outcome.  Had she not had that particular process of working, her artwork would be different.  But the work of art produced was purely Margaret Olley and was the outcome of these "wrong" work practices.  Her brushes were more like over-used broomsticks!  I found it very inspiring and liberating.   The need and desire to make work is what took precedence for her, not having quality brushes and a large, spacious studio!  She painted in every room of her house.  Even the kitchen!  It was integral to her life, not an add-on.  What a national treasure she was/is!  If you didn't catch it, its worth watching on iView.  It is visually rich and fascinating!

1 comment:

  1. The basket of hibiscus are just beautiful. I've seen that programme because I couldn't stop looking through her home!