Art - Paintings - Barbara Olsen


Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, Barbara has always created art since she was a child for her own amusement and enjoyment.  In 1980, when her three children were grown, she began devoting full time to her artistic career.  A fully self taught artist, Barbara has achieved an international reputation with a style that combines shimmering colors, a unique sense of design, and the artful skills of a storyteller.

Storytelling is at the heart of this former preschool teacher’s art and her very soul.  Blessed with a fertile imagination that was nurtured early on by her Irish immigrant father, she grew up listening to his tales of mischievous fairies and leprechauns.  Today she uses words as well as images to tell her stories on canvas and handmade paper.  Using a variety of found objects, Barbara creates unique and colorful images:  snips of paper, dabs of paint, scraps of fabric are transformed into whimsical mixed media collages.  People who own and live with her delightful images talk about the good humor, the optimism, and the evocation of fond memories of childhood.  Barbara’s gift is to touch the inner child of each of us.




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