- Celia Olsson
- Bondleigh, North Tawton
My grandmother taught me a love of the landscape with its textures and colours, however, my artistic attempts were not encouraged at school, and it was not until much later that I began painting in order to record my responses to scenes which ‘grab’ me. And I am very lucky to have not only beautiful Devon but also the many places I have visited on my travels to choose from.
I record my travels in journals with sketches, diary and glued-in bits and pieces. My basic painting equipment packs into a small bag which clips round my waist and comes with me everywhere. Back at home these sketches and journals bring back memories of the colours and atmosphere of the places I have been and inspire me to bring those views to life on paper.
I work mostly in watercolour because of the wonderful choice of colours - and all those happy surprises. I also enjoy experimenting to achieve different effects and textures, and experiment using watercolour with mixed media. On days when I can’t think what to paint or where to start, I will spend time playing with colour and paint effects, then waiting to see what the results suggest – rugged moorland, soaring mountains, autumn woods, a summer flower border, a tropical paradise, the freezing arctic.
Before lockdown I gave watercolour classes on cruise ships several times a year, an exciting venture which has taken me as far south as Belize and as far north as Spitzbergen. The greatest joy is the many people who had never painted before the cruise telling me when they get home that they have joined an art class or group. I also run classes in a local village and demonstrate to art groups.