Olivia attended Columbus College of Art and Design’s five-year BFA program where she majored in Illustration as well as taking every Fine Art course that could be squeezed into her semester’s tuition. After working for five years in the LA film industry as a conceptual designer, the pull to create her own work through the means of painting was too much to resist. She cut up her credit cards and moved to a cabin in the mountains of Utah to paint full-time.
In 2007, Olivia, formally known as “Holly Mae”, moved to Seattle to pursue her creative endeavours in the Northwest. In 2008 she lived in Malawi for 4 months while painting the amazing people, returning twice in 2009 as her love for the country grew. Since 2010 she has been painting in Haiti, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and most recently Kenya.
Olivia has now been painting full-time for fifteen years. In that time her paintings have been shown in museums and shows all over the country as well as winning several national awards. She currently has work exhibited in galleries in Park City, Nairobi, and in Dubai. At present, Olivia lives on Vashon Island, Washington with her 3 year old daughter and her husband.
"The paintings that I create are a direct reflection of the experience I am having. I simply see something that creates movement, stirs something that feels like California Poppy orange or a particular note in a song that brings forth tears of recognition. A giddiness rises in the chest and a “yes” that is curious about a mother holding her child to her chest, or the way light comes through a blackberry bramble.
By being present I am aware of hundreds of times a day when this movement occurs and as a way to express the excitement, I am moved to paint."