Oliver has established himself as a successful landscape artist, painting exclusively in watercolour. Having never been to art college, and not having received any formal art training Oliver is entirely self-taught. He spent many formative years drawing in pencils and ink, giving a firm grounding in the skills of observation and draughtsmanship, which he sees as invaluable; “I make no attempt to convey a strong sense of abstraction in my work – I have always loved drawing and I feel that this discipline underpins my paintings and will always be evident in what I do. I love the sense of realism that accurate drawing brings to a composition.” In spite of that structure Oliver’s watercolours are loosely worked giving an impression of the scene; “To me watercolour is best when it is allowed to run free without being over-worked. Achieving this within the confines of a realistic approach is a balancing act, but I always try and provide the viewer with a sense of the place, not a rigorous study of every blade of grass! I love working with watercolour and find that it is the perfect medium for capturing the cool Northern light we have in the UK. We rarely see vivid Mediterranean hues, but often scenes are a combination of soft browns and warm greys which lend a sense of calm to the landscape - watercolour is brilliant for capturing that."
With Oliver’s work we explore the impact of light, the weather, and the seasons and how these combine to achieve paintings that are evocative and atmospheric; “As a landscape artist my inspiration comes from being outdoors where light, smells, sounds, and textures all combine to deliver an outstanding sensory experience - the atmosphere of a place, if you will. My aim is never to simply describe a scene, rather to create a painting that provides an experience of the place. For example, even the humblest of outdoor sketches can take me back immediately to the moment I first created the image – I recall the distant hum of a chainsaw in the valley, or the mellow, damp smell of decaying leaves on the woodland floor in autumn. The art in creating an atmospheric painting and a satisfying experience for the viewer is to somehow translate these sensory moments into colour and brushstrokes. The only way to do that is to be outdoors in the landscape, experiencing it and learning from it. I aim to convey that in my work and I trust that you find as much enjoyment looking at my paintings as I did in creating them!