(Cyclamens and Apples 2005)
(daisies and pears 1978)
She recently sat for a portrait by Ben Quilty, which won this year's Archibald Prize, here it is.
Olley was a figurative painter of great skill, who produced wonderful still lifes, which seem so old fashioned these days and yet full of life and light and substance. What, really, could be more wonderful than a perfect bunch of flowers and a bowl of fruit sitting in the sunshine.
(spare bedroom, 1970, which is at the Lismore Art Gallery)
She always struck me as a very determined person, not at all a flighty scatty artist. And I love her food \ flower combinations. Others include cornflowers and pomegranates, cliveas and mandarins and ranunculas and watermelon).
(Quinces and Marigolds 2005)
The older you get of course the more you can get away with saying what you want. I love this quote of Olley's:
'I’ve never liked housework. I get by doing little chores when I feel like them, in between paintings. Who wants to chase dust all their life? You can spend your whole lifetime cleaning the house. I like watching the patina grow. If the house looks dirty, buy another bunch of flowers, is my advice.'
(from the biography by Meg Stewart you can read a review of this here).
She certainly took her own advice because here she is in her studio:
The Sydney Morning Herald's obit is here.
One of my ambitions in life, if you could call it that, is to reach such a ripe age, say what I want, paint what I want, and clean when I want (or not).
(all still life images from Eva Breuer)