This is a self portrait in ink, appropriate I think, as I am an artist.
My name is olga everAeRT, and this is a little bit about me...
"Paint the silence, the dark inner depths, the visions, the ever changing visions unfolding in time." Gao Xingjian
The iconic image representing Amsterdam, I totally identify with. I AM Amsterdam. I may have wandered far and away, but it forever remains home and mine. A City, a place, where sculptures hang from trees and appear as part of the pavement, where the great Dutch Masters are household names. Culture, is inhaled by osmosis.
Mine was an artistically minded family. I inherited my mother’s oil paints and the etchings and pen and ink drawings of my grandmother’s uncle; an artist who wore a floppy beret like the one seen in Rembrandt’s self portrait. On rainy days we were kept amused, sitting at a large table drawing trees or one of many trips to the museums; the interiors of which were as familiar as our own home. I clashed frightfully with the art teacher in high school. Demanding we draw in cubist style, yet utterly neglecting to instruct us and somehow make it relatable to minds trained in the classical tradition. Cubism, was pure nonsense. I refused categorically to submit to something I did not understand. Doing for the sake of doing made no sense.
Years later while studying composition and design at the Alberta College of Art, I was puzzled by the perspective gone crazy in a Matisse painting we were analyzing. The brilliant teacher’s answer has remained with me; ‘you have to learn the rules before you can break them!’ And learning I did. And do.
I myself, am a work in progress; I am becoming. Likewise my art. There is no finished project. I may surrender the work, yet the work is never done. It is discovery. Always exploring new ways to express myself and for this I need freedom; I do not like to be hemmed in or restricted in what it is I do.
I am an artist and thus I create something that has not yet existed before.
I attempt to express the deepest self, the true self. If I study, it is in order to gain greater freedom to do so. I love to study the Masters, the ones that have gone before. I have learned much from the expressionists who also studied the Dutch Masters and went on to create their own masterpieces. Artists learning from artists.
I in turn try to find my own ways to express what I have learned from them. It is a thrill to discover a new artist and feel that inner connectedness. Something strikes a chord. I hope someone looking at my work will have this experience. It is not about perfection, it is about an emotional response to the work.
I like simplicity and think I am a minimalist... abstraction is hugely appealing. Charcoal, since early childhood, is a preferred medium. Likewise ink, unforgiving as it is but maybe that is why I like the challenge. A huge passion is printmaking. I dream of one day owning a studio with printer and endless space. When I returned to art full time, I began with sculpting in clay, a medium I had played with as child and wanted to become serious about. Which lead to Life Drawing...
... and so it goes. May it never end.
After a lifetime of wandering between Europe and Canada, living and exploring many places, I have settled down for now, in a charming cottage with separate studio along the shore of beautiful Lake Erie.