about the artist
Time is a strange thing. For instance, I am not aware of a specific time I realized I was an artist. My father, Phil Oliver, a career graphic artist and successful watercolor painter, encouraged a vibrant imagination and 'way' of seeing the world around me—in colors and shapes and awe at the sheer beauty of God's creation. This way of seeing artistically has always beckoned me to try to capture this beauty on paper or canvas. But, love and marriage and twenty years of raising four wonderful children followed, and time got away from me. The too-soon death of a dear friend shattered the illusion that I had a 'someday' to pursue my artistic desires and time suddenly felt fleeting and precious. Putting everything aside, I decided to pursue growth as an artist and the very next morning I got my first commission ("Check, Double Check"). This was the moment, in time, I realized my longing was a gift, in the true sense of the word: given by my Creator for His pleasure, and mine. I began the process of cooperating with Him by 'opening' the gift and enjoying the thrill and challenge inherent in developing it.
Currently, I am enrolled at Tacoma Academy of Fine Art for training in the Classic approach to realist painting. Shortly after enrolling, my youngest son (in college) suddenly passed away and life became…contemplative. If not for Jesus I would have stopped seeing the value of life, much less the beauty. My teacher, Tim Mansen, encourages me to continue creating when grief would otherwise paralyze me and helps me understand that cultivating the gifts that God gives us is our worship of him.
God is the author of my story and the keeper of time and I marvel that the gift He gave is my sanctuary, my healing, and my place for worshipping Him. In the truest sense, this gift has brought me life. Sharing it with others is my way of proclaiming how good God is, all the time.