Painting 1000 Petals Requires Blooming Patience

Olivia Fraser

ARTISTS drawn to foreign cultures view things with a different eye. 

The mixing of cultural influences often results in perspectives that are atypical and can be consequently quite refreshing and revealing.

Olivia Fraser graduated from Oxford with an MA in Modern Languages and followed that with a year at art college. In 1989 she moved to India.

She spent her time in the Sub-continent painting the architecture of Delhi, picking up Indian techniques and practicalities along the way.

In this video, Olivia Fraser explains the techniques she used to create one of her recent  highlight pieces, 1000 PETALS, 2021-2 (stone pigments and Arabic gum on handmade Sanganer paper).

Handmade Tools

Olivia learnt how to make her own paper, brushes and paint, using materials and minerals available in the region. The ways of her adopted land were also to infuse her art. Yoga, the vivid colours and styles, and the references in her own garden — serpents, trees, insects and patterns — flowered and flourished on her drawing board.

The details are the devil that Olivia has tamed with a patient approach and much visualisation and meticulous planning.

Olivia Fraser
Olivia beside a couple of renditions of a serpent in her garden.

Carefully plotting each piece before setting brush to paper, Olivia’s methodical approach meant the germination and gestation of an idea took a period of time.

Often, her pieces lead to extensions of an idea as new influences find their way into a work.

Hence, anyone wanting to collect a full set of images for a particular set of Olivia’s evolving ideas can always look forward to more works. Just that you might have to wait between pieces.

Olivia Fraser art
Olivia’s “eyes” keep an eye on nature.

Blending Styles

The hybrid painting techniques she has evolved as a result of being exposed to different locales has yielded a deeply reflective style embracing culture, heritage and spiritual practices. 

In her current exhibition at Sundaram Tagore Gallery (on till 13 July 2024), Olivia showcases her latest pieces that draw upon her experiences in India and delivered using organic and handmade methods.

1000 Petals by Olivia Fraser

See also  Extremes Of Art


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