Allison Olsen produces multi-layered and elaborate compositions which create imagined environments using various forms. The improvisational quality of Olsen’s painting stems from her response to organic compounds found in natural environments. These forms are derived from plants mined from forested, uncultivated areas of the forest floor. The gestural shapes and lush color promote analysis over time in these richly dense compositions. The work persuades the viewer to self-reflect in a time of isolation.
“As I work, I let the media lead, and then I respond. As I add paint, I make choices on where to go or what to do next. Almost like terraforming. I start to build these layers into complex atmospheres that hold pockets for the viewer to explore. For me, painting is a process of letting go and escaping. These spaces become sacred because of their intimacy. Each mark and layer of color is a reaction to the world around me. Adding, subtracting, covering, revealing, the process is one of discovery,” Olsen said.
In these large paintings, which are oil on panel, light comes from the background to promote a sense of journey. The viewer must find their way through the dark foreground to get to the light, much like daily life. Depression has been a big obstacle in Olsen’s life, and painting has always been her main method of therapy.
See more of Allison Olsen’s work at her website: amaranthineartist.weebly.com.