John Olsen: The City’s Son.

When I think of John Olsen’s art I immediately see brazen yellows and meandering line dominating large canvases with obscure titles. Recently I ventured to the Newcastle Art Gallery where he has a showcase of his work until 19th Feb 2017 and wandered about happily discovering his many talents. Although there were a large selection of his playful landscapes, there was also a collection of his etchings and they are wonderful, lively and spontaneous. Obviously this work does not share the limelight of his bold paintings but they offer so much more. Below is a selection that appealed to me. As this is probably my last blog post for 2016 I’m wishing you all a happy new year and hope next year is full of arty endeavours. Cheers!


‘I had a room’  demonstrates his lively line. The sense of quiet can be felt. It’s a work that describes a haven of ones own perfectly.


‘Seaport of desire’ . The abstract Sydney harbour. His sketches are quick without too much detail. But it is recognisable. I see a kinship with that other great Australian artist Brett Whitely.


Apologies for the poor quality photograph but what an intense art work. The contrast of vibrant youth at the beach with the elderly and frail perfectly describes the swiftness of time. Wonderful!


‘Myself, eminent philosopher and scientist viewing sea objects, 1973.’