Olivia Pencil


Artist Statement

For the past forty years I have worked as a fine artist, painting and drawing portraits and figurative subjects. Lately, I’ve concentrated on pencil portraiture, especially of children. At the same time I have been writing and illustrating, publishing nearly thirty books for children and young adults. Whether rendering storybook animals or children, or writing historical fiction, my goal has been to express the emotional reality of my characters and reveal each one’s defining spirit: highlighting individuality and suggesting the inner life. Likeness is important and technique matters, but ultimately every portrait should be as vivid and unique as the person it represents. I believe that portraiture allows the viewer an intimate vision of a stranger or a new look at a loved one. A portrait should encourage connection, reflection, and relationship. It offers the rare opportunity to gaze into the soul of another.

In a completely different direction and arising out of my illustrative work, are a series of collages, featuring a little brick house on a spiritual odyssey through fantastic and familiar landscapes.

Most recently I have begun a series of Pear Portraits (often seen in pairs) as another way of looking at and thinking about personalities and relationships.

The exploration and revelation of character has been and remains a life-long commitment and a thoroughly gratifying pursuit.

Download Resume Here