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Influencing Me – Margaret Olley

Set Table

Margaret Olley is another Australian Artist.  She was well known for her paintings, but also for her philanthropy and was a popular subject matter for many other other artists.  She died in July 2011, and was one of the last of that era of painters.  An era that was important in the Australian art scene.

She was famous for her still life paintings and that is certainly one of the reasons why I loved her work.

Poppies and Checked Cloth

Poppies and Checked Cloth

I love how she laid everything out.  It was colourful and expressive.  Such vibrant colours.

Evening Kitchen Still Life with Apples

Evening Kitchen Still Life with Apples

She has been written about a lot and one of the things that always struck with me is that the still lifes were done around her home.  She would set up stuff and then paint it, but she would move on as the light changed, so she could be painting multiple paintings at one time.

Still LifeYou know when you see this image that it was done in her kitchen.  I wonder how she managed to paint this and use her kitchen.  Was she careful to keep everything in place as she did the painting?

When you look at her paintings you can see different ones were done in similar places or the same place.  You can also see the same items in other paintings.

I have downloaded quite a few images and will include them in a gallery at the end of this post.

She also had a lovely garden, and many of the flowers in the paintings came from her her garden.  I would like to do more of that.  My garden is always so flower poor, well I don’t have good flowers for doing still life images. It has been a dream of mine to have a garden where I could go out and pick flowers to use in images.  One day maybe.

She loved Morandi, remember I did a post on him a few weeks ago.  You can see some of his influence on her work as well.

Set TableThis is not strictly something I set up, it is the set for the play Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, but it reminds me so much of one of her paintings.  I know when I was photographing this there was that idea in mind.

Chocolate Cake - Processed ReworkI possibly zoom in more than what she did, and my work doesn’t tend to be as random, as her work appears, but I do like the idea of the ordinary that is in her work.  The everyday.

If you don’t know Margaret Olley, then please look her up.  I would loved to have met her, now wouldn’t that have been amazing.  Check out some of the rooms of her home, she had so many things and I wonder if my home will end up looking the same one day.  It is certainly on its way to getting there.

The paintings are from various sources, though quite a few are from Eva Breuer Gallery and Savill Galleries.

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104 Comments Post a comment
  1. Margaret Olley is another of my all time favourite artists and she inspires me too, especially in painting.
    She has an incredibly interesting story.
    I’m enjoying the artists / photographers you are ‘highlighting’.. so far many of them are ones I have studied also and am really enjoying revisitng them with you.
    Another great post!
    Would you mind if I reblog this post?

    April 15, 2013
    • No problem at all Robyn.
      How wonderful you like the same artists, I wonder what else we have in common.

      April 15, 2013
      • :D I was wondering the same… just reading your Morandi post now… another favourite and I like the B&W!
        Love B&W photography :)
        Keep up the fantastic effort and inspiring work!

        April 15, 2013
      • Thanks again Robyn, I will do my best.

        April 15, 2013
      • :D

        April 15, 2013
  2. I’ve enjoyed reading these posts about artists who have influenced you! Since I am in thr U.S. they have all been unfamiliar to me but I’ve liked becoming acquainted with them!

    April 15, 2013
    • That is great, it is nice to introduce artists to others.

      April 15, 2013
  3. Beautiful work, thank you for sharing her with us! I am going to look her up right now. :)

    April 15, 2013
    • She was a character, and you should find heaps about her.

      April 15, 2013
  4. Love that artist :D great post!

    April 15, 2013
  5. I loved that Margaret Olley looked within and painted her own surroundings in her own way… her affection of bright colours and everday objects, ordinary & beautiful, which in her rendering she somehow elevated to a higher realm :)

    April 15, 2013
    • That is so true, lovely way of putting it EllaDee. I would love to visit her home, how amazing would it be to photograph?

      April 15, 2013
      • There’s an interesting article http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/olleys-home-to-be-gutted-sold-then-reborn-in-arts-centre-20121025-28872.html – where it seems “Doors, windows and the kitchen will be removed from Olley’s home in Duxford Street as well as most of the contents of the house, and transported to the northern NSW town of Murwillumbah where it will be recreated in the Tweed River Art Gallery.”
        Sad, I also would have liked to have visited her home.

        April 15, 2013
      • I saw that, it would be good if they could preserve, like they did with Whiteley, is that his name?

        April 15, 2013
      • Yes, Brett Whitely studio/workplace/home in Surry Hills is now a museum managed by Art Gallery of NSW.

        Apparently it was Margaret Olley’s wish, so we all just have to make our ways there.

        April 15, 2013
      • I’ve seen Whitely’s studio, brilliant space.
        Oh margaret, what you are going to make us do.

        April 15, 2013
  6. I watched a wonderful interview with her once,she had Barry Humphries interviewing her in her home and yes it was a cluttered and eclectic setting…however her inspirations from her surroundings,though ordinary,proved to be delightful subject matter.Indeed the ordinary is amazing when captured with integrity.I find so many things astounding and inspiring and often they are usually “mundane” objects.Though you may have placed things in your pics it is still an honest snapshot as it brings the same feelings to the eyes of the viewer.My daughter is a street graph artist and she has done some amazing interpretations of things that may be commonplace. It is sad that the art world has lost Ms Ollie as who knows what things she was yet to find extraordinary. Love your pics :)

    April 15, 2013
    • I saw that interview as well, I love it.
      I love how you have described her, just wonderful.

      April 15, 2013
      • I was a great interview wasn’t it ..very real,no pretence :)
        Thanks for that :)

        April 15, 2013
      • Yes it was, and I think that is just how she was.

        April 15, 2013
  7. Beautiful paintings! I have a room in my house that’s almost as cluttered as hers!

    April 15, 2013
    • Haha, that is great, we have an area under our house that is becoming like that.

      April 15, 2013
  8. Wow! What a phenomenal artist!

    April 15, 2013
  9. Very interesting artist! I like this very much. :-)

    April 15, 2013
  10. Morandi, Margaret Olley, Olive Cotton and Jim Dine are all favourite artists of mine and it has been great to revisit them with you.

    April 15, 2013
    • It is great to hear that you like them and that you have enjoyed the posts

      April 15, 2013
  11. Beautifully done, Leanne.

    April 15, 2013
  12. Thanks for introducing me to this artist! What lovely art and of course your interpretations are fantastic.

    April 15, 2013
  13. Very interesting post. I love the kitchen scene. Didn’t she take pictures and work from those at all. I admire people who can take a real object and draw from it. I can do a passable drawing from a photo – sometimes, but even that is painful for me! :)

    April 15, 2013
    • No, apparently she worked from life, well a still life. Can you imagine what her house must have smelt like, all that paint, and turps, it is pretty amazing she lived as long as she did.
      When I was at art school they always told us to draw from life, you got criticised more for doing images from photos. No idea what their problem was.

      April 15, 2013
      • I agree! My eyes and brain just don’t process 3D and convert it to 2D. :)

        April 15, 2013
      • It is good to be able to draw from life, but getting the perspective right can be really hard.
        I am on Google+ if you have time

        April 15, 2013
      • Sorry, I went to bed right after I read your post. It was 1:30. Tomorrow I get up at 6:30 a.m., so I probably wont stay up that long. We should make an appointment! I’d really love to chat! :)

        April 16, 2013
  14. I so love it! I love arts but I think arts doesn’t love me back :D

    April 15, 2013
    • That can be a problem. I love arts too.:)

      April 15, 2013
      • hahahaha… that’s because I couldn’t paint or even draw! I’m bad on it! :D

        April 15, 2013
  15. Wonderful!

    April 15, 2013
  16. beautiful and her scenes have so much depth and warmth to them. loved your set as well, looks like you’ve captured her spirit and style )

    April 15, 2013
    • I do think when I am setting up a still life I think about her a lot and what she would do. I must do more.
      Thanks

      April 15, 2013
  17. Among all of the really nice images here the two that struck me most were the one of Ms. Olley herself and the one of the cluttered room in her house – they both spoke volumes about her. Nice post. Another in the continuing series … D

    April 15, 2013
    • Thanks Dave, when I saw them, I knew I had to include them, sounds like it was a good decision.

      April 15, 2013
  18. Beautiful art work!!!

    April 15, 2013
  19. Beautiful and so interesting, thanks so much.

    April 15, 2013
  20. She made paintings I would want to live in…Thanks for sharing her work!

    April 15, 2013
    • What a great way of putting, I love it. I want her collection of things. Thanks Marie.

      April 15, 2013
  21. She did excellent work Leanne!

    April 15, 2013
  22. I’d never heard of her (shame!)…what a lovely discovery! Thanks.

    April 15, 2013
    • No don’t feel bad, she is Australian, and well known here, well fairly well known in art circles.
      I tried to work out where you were from, if you aren’t Australian, then I can totally understand.
      Didn’t she have an amazing face?

      April 15, 2013
      • Absolutely…I’m American born an have lived in Italy for over 30 years…the world is big…can’t take it all in…tried to reblog, but don’t know if I actually got through, but I posted on the Facebook for sure.

        April 15, 2013
      • That explains it then. How interesting. I don’t know if it worked either. I have never tried reblogging anything. I don’t know if that is bad on my part.
        Thank you for share though, I do appreciate it.

        April 15, 2013
      • Wouldn’t know if it’s good on my part :-). Seems it didn’t get through…it was awaiting your moderation, but I moved on, so…

        April 15, 2013
      • I don’t normally have to approve, I don’t think, but I didn’t get a notification. Sorry. :)

        April 15, 2013
  23. Her paintings are beautiful Leanne. Certainly something I would hang up on my wall.

    April 15, 2013
    • I would have loved to have one of her paintings, but with a hefty price tag starting at $57,000 it was hard, I just didn’t have the cash on me. Haha

      April 15, 2013
      • Too true. I think I will admire through photographs :D

        April 15, 2013
      • same :)
        Though I can admire her work in some galleries.

        April 15, 2013
  24. Liz #

    Her work is wonderful isn’t it? Like you I enjoy how vividly she paints the mundane. Especially the flowers. I love all the flowers.

    April 15, 2013
    • It is Liz. Makes you look at your ordinary stuff and wonder what you could do with it. I wish my house wasn’t the way it was, I would love do some photos that are similar.

      April 16, 2013
  25. I never heard of her before, thank you for sharing her work. Remarkable. I can see why she is admired.

    April 15, 2013
  26. thank you for sharing, I don’t know this artist and find it very fitting you post this subject today because it is the International World Art Day :)

    April 15, 2013
  27. Ooh, another wonder! And one who has the exact same interests as I do: the extraordinary beauty of the quotidian. My house is as cluttered as hers, too. I keep trying to clear some space, but I never manage it for long.

    April 15, 2013
  28. This is the first time I’ve seen Olley’s work! I will read more about her and I quite agree that she has influenced your work… both of you have incredible talent.

    April 15, 2013
    • I wish I had her success, that would be so amazing. One day maybe.

      April 16, 2013
  29. What a cute talented lady. Her place looked like a hot mess (well – that one room did). Yet- she captured everything so neatly in her art.
    Love your pic too! Looks liek a nice place to have some tea & a nice conversation.

    April 16, 2013
    • Thank you RoSy, I think that was what made me to turn to painting 10 years ago, the fact that you could just not paint things in your image if you wanted. Of course, I can do that on the computer now, but I delete them afterwards. I love the ceremony of tea and conversation, one of my favourites.

      April 16, 2013
  30. LB #

    gorgeous colors!

    April 16, 2013
  31. A cluttered room, have two of them … at least close to that stage. :)
    BTW, very nice photo of the cake with the tea.

    April 16, 2013
    • I don’t have rooms like that, our house is too small, but I could see it potentially happening one day. I am finding it hard to find places for the things I want now. Thanks David.

      April 16, 2013
  32. her paintings are beautiful…full of texture, detail, colour and life really! I’ve never heard of her so thank you for sharing!

    April 16, 2013
    • It is wonderful to introduce an Australian painter to others, so I am glad you enjoyed her work.

      April 16, 2013
  33. Wow, how amazing!!! That’s really a great art works!!!!

    April 16, 2013
  34. Beautiful paintings.
    I have nominated you for an award. Enjoy it!

    http://valentinadesigns.wordpress.com/2013/04/15/awards-month-by-valentina-cirasola-interior-designer/

    April 16, 2013
  35. ciao! there is something about the still life colours that bring to mind matisse in a more contemporary light. just (extra)ordinary.
    thebestdressup

    April 16, 2013
  36. Thanks for sharing this, I am a new fan of hers now. I also loved seeing the picture of her living room, I need to show it to my husband so he realizes that I’m not that messy!

    April 16, 2013
    • Haha, I should show it to my husband as well.

      April 16, 2013
      • You and Margaret inspired my post today…http://vsperry.wordpress.com/2013/04/17/the-art-of-the-mess/

        April 18, 2013
      • I saw it, haha, very brave of you, I admit, I’m the same, housework, is a word and an activity that is foreign to me, I just can’t seem to get a handle on it, haha, it doesn’t help that I collect things, for my art of course. I have cups and saucers everywhere, and teapots, jugs, sugar bowls, all those types of things. No where to put them. My husband keeps telling me off.

        April 18, 2013
  37. Thanks for sharing this talented artist and her works!

    April 16, 2013
    • It is wonderful to introduce and share the artists that inspire me, and even better when everyone seems to really enjoy them as well.

      April 16, 2013
  38. I’ve certainly heard of Margaret Olley, unfortunately at the time she passed away, but hadn’t realised how beautiful her paintings are. I’ll have to investigate her work some more.

    April 16, 2013
    • Yes, do look for her paintings, they are gorgeous, and there are so many. There has also been a biography written on her.

      April 16, 2013
  39. Much of Ms. Olley’s work has quite an amount of ‘Cezanne-influence’ it seems, Leanne…and I had never heard of her! (Note to self: Brush up on Australian artists!) Her works are gorgeous, yet simple, with ordinary subject matter that is so splendidly executed it makes one stop and look closer…I think that’s the appeal.

    Thanks for this post…I’ll have to squeeze in some research time…somewhere?

    April 17, 2013
    • She was a great lady, and not just a painter, I think, she was a darling of Australian art, if I can put it that way. Everyone mourned her, because of art, but also because of what she represented, a long line of Australian artists from a period that was pretty amazing.
      I hope you enjoy what you find out about her.

      April 18, 2013
  40. kuujinbo #

    Love your “Influencing Me” series – great source of information. :)

    April 18, 2013
    • That is wonderful to hear. When I first started them, I thought people would hate them, but I have been overwhelmed by how popular they are. Thank you.

      April 18, 2013
  41. She’s very talented. What kind of philanthropy work?

    April 18, 2013
    • To be honest, I don’t really know. I think she donated paintings and that kind of thing. But I haven’t read a lot about her. Sorry.

      April 19, 2013
  42. Beautiful paintings, and wonderful photographs too. I’d never heard of this lady, but will be looking her up in books and on the web.

    April 21, 2013
  43. Oooown the way she paints make me think she’s such an adorable and bright person! So nice!
    Also, can I have a piece of that cake? Pretty please?

    April 24, 2013
    • YOu will have to wait your turn for the cake.
      I think she was, definitely a character and someone a lot of people loved.

      April 24, 2013
  44. Reblogged this on Sherry's Space.

    August 1, 2013

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