Today’s work of art is one that I own and is hanging on the wall in my kitchen. It’s by a local artist, Rik Olson, who’s an illustrator as well as a fine artist. Olson has a studio in Sebastopol and I’ve been to it a few times during the annual Sonoma County Art Trails, where artists open up their studios two weekends each year. The title of the work is The Saint of Beer.
According to his website:
For many years now Rik Olson has created strong graphic illustrations for corporate, advertising, and publishing clients. He is well known for both his black and white and color work in scratchboard, pen and ink, acrylics, linoleum cuts and other media. He is especially well known as one of the few living masters of wood engraving and has taught that art to appreciative students for over ten years. His work also hangs in a number of fine arts galleries, chief among them the Graton Gallery.
Rik’s work has been used for logos, packaging, brochures, advertising spots, textbooks, books, editorial, wine labels, web sites, signs, illustrative maps, and just about any other use you can imagine.
And here’s his biography:
A California native, Rik received his B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. He has studied under such masters as Barry Moser, John DePol, Richard McLean, and Ralph Borge. He has lived, studied and exhibited in Italy, Germany and the U.S. His influences include the years he lived in Europe and currently the beautiful countryside of Sonoma County, California. He enjoys pushing the envelope in printmaking and has recently been working on editions of multi-color linoleum cut prints. He recently took part in a fund raising event where the works of ten artists, whose over-size prints were printed by an actual steamroller, were featured.
Rik and his wife, Brita, live in rural West County with their two dogs and goldfish. He also participates in ArTrails, the annual artist open studio event in Sonoma County and invites you to visit his studio.
His stuff is great, and he’s become one of a handful of artists we like to visit each year. We’ve also bought several of his linocut prints, one of a starry night seen through trees, a winter moon seen through a bare tree, a Steller’s Jay and some poppies.
There’s not much more biographical information online, but there are several online galleries of his work, including these at the website of his agent Ann Koeffler, another rep., Tom Maloney, and at Folio Planet. There’s also a Steamroller print he did for a charity auction that I saw in his studio the last time I was there.