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Barbara Olsen Art

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Barbara Olsen (YoB 1935) was born in Oakland, California. She is a self taught artist who has achieved an international reputation through her unique style that combines the artful skill of a storyteller with original materials and shimmering colors. Barbara believes that it was father’s stories of leprechauns and fairies which nurtured her imagination. She was inspired by her daughter who persuaded her to follow her dream to become a unique artist. Currently, she her inspiration comes from textiles, early primitive art, sayings and textures. Barbara established herself through the pioneering lives of American heroines, her illustrations of fond childhood tales, and Bible stories. Recently Barbara has incorporated a collection of materials from everyday life into her work. This has given her art an added texture which complimenting the vibrancy of the subject matter and color. Scraps of fabric, buttons, and wool each help her to create a whimsical mixed media collage. Barbara’s original paintings and prints of this artful historian appear in many private and public collections around the world; including those of the Mazza Museum of Children’s Book Illustration, President and Mrs. George H W Bush, President and Mrs. Mikhail Gorbachev, and President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan. Barbara is always eager for another story to tell and remains undaunted by the demand for her work. Framed Barbara Olsen art is very popular is also very popular with many other collectors. Many of her images have been licensed and reproduced as products and prints. In 2006 she was awarded two Marianne Lambert Curator Awards.
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