Christopher M. Olsen

artist artwork
Marin County, CA is home where Chris roams the countryside painting plein air landscapes or plans and paints his figurative works in his studio.He is frequently commissioned for portraits using old resource photos of a happy childhood or beloved ancestors and pets.Whether painting golf course action, pool swims, hikes, or sharing a glass of wine relaxation is also a persistent theme.Chris captures the moments we remember with his unique style.

Much of Chris’ figurative work accesses the notion of remembrance reclaimed and freshly reinterpreted.Our recall of times, places and people now passed demands paintings that not only render the momentary specifics but elicit the emotional memory of surrounding times.We remember whole events and personalities not merely a photographic instant.Working from resource images, Chris paints fond remembrances.He captures emotional memory through his expressive use of color.Soft muted color suggests a time gone by whereas bold saturated color is immediate.The distinctive decorative plaid elements sometimes are expansive creating an infinite distance; sometimes the plaids are a two-dimensional scrim bringing the distance near.

Influenced by Matisse, Klimt, and others, Chris understands that paintings have a decorative notion as well as the rendering of form.Adding the plaid décor expresses an emotive and active elemental underlayment to foreground figures.In some cases the plaid is staid and conveys a relaxed or sedentary idea.In other work the figure connotes action and the plaid is designed to continue excitement and movement.

The Art of Baseball Exhibition at the George Krevsky Gallery
The idea of a plaid element designed to progress the movement of the figure is clearly seen in his baseball paintings.The players are caught in a stop-action moment while the active and bold plaid completes the forward motion and cheers the thrilling play.Each plaid background is inspired by the sights of a ball field like the stadium seating filled with spectators or and outfield fence.The viewer becomes part of the moment, a fan caught in the exhilaration of the game.