I wanted to express my thanks for this opportunity! Although I have seemed somewhat
“invisible” of late, I have actually been a continuous member of PBAA since 2001.
I am Christina Olsen, and I love to play with paint! I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t creating something. I paint with acrylics and watercolors primarily. I paint on fabric, canvas, wood, pottery, walls and accidentally (and frequently) upon myself.
Aside from training in technical illustration, and a few art classes along the way, creating had been a lifelong hobby, rather than a pursuit that I studied for.
I grew up in rural Pescadero, CA on a little farm. I have 2 sisters, and we did not have TV,
so we were feral outdoor kids, who calmed down often enough to read voraciously. We raised lambs in 4-H and learned to sew. We learned responsibility by working in our dad’s deli/ butcher shop. We had boisterous, hilarious family on our dad’s side, and studious, artsy relatives on our mom’s side. Among the “Artsy” aunts, were several creatives who were not seen as practical
by our mom. They became object lessons of how NOT to be, which I am afraid had the opposite effect on me. Creating was all I ever really wanted to do!
But I was raised to be practical, I trained in drafting and technical illustration. It was a good living for a while. I put a spouse through school and had kids. Amid this chapter, I became a single parent, went back to school for a teaching credential. I became the queen of the messy classroom art projects. Amid the ensuing chaos, I noticed that when I noodled with watercolors,
I calmed down and became entranced. This was the start of NOW.
My first shows were in cafes in the Santa Cruz Mountains. People actually bought my paintings! Eventually I was brave enough to also be accepted into Open Studios. I hosted “Art Parties” where we all painted. They were art therapy playgroups for my friends. Also, during this time, I had kids in school and sports, and co-directed a nonprofit Children’s Center.
The move to Brookings happened in 2001. My parents were needing my help, and wanted to live somewhere “similar to Santa Cruz” (climate wise) but not as expensive.
I met Brian Scott, Horst Wolf and the lovely artists at PBAA. Eventually I got to be one of the managers at Brian Scott Gallery. I was accepted into the amazing Festival of Arts and Artoberfest in Kerby.
The move to Brookings was the real Art Catalyst- I painted more and more, until now when I just cannot be stopped! Today I also am raising a ten-year-old, who is also an artist/trampolinist/ skatepark aficionado. I have him in school, in Santa Cruz to address some critical academic challenges. Thus, I trundle back and forth, which is why you do not see much of me.
I wish I could describe my training and influences, or impart some aesthetically inspiring wisdom. Alas, I just love to paint. My only rule is to have fun with it, and be a joyful celebrant of color.
Christina Olsen 11/2020