John Olsen’s Sea Paintings

After the artist spent several years in Europe, he returned to Australia. As explained in a video at the NGV exhibition, most Australians live around a saucer — from Bristbane around to Perth — following the coast.

Starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale’s backbone — John Olsen

This explained the paintings on display connected to the sea which shifted from vibrant yellows and oranges to sea hues.

By this time, I was wrapped in the man’s work. Previously, I’d only seen reproductions in art books. Standing before his large paintings in the National Gallery of Victoria was an awe inspiring experience.

Childhood by the seaport — John Olsen