Robert Alan Olason
original works of fine art
Showing Mother Nature all paved over (except for the nipple-greens where the golfers play)
Artist's Statement
Biography
Resume & contact info
Sadlack's & other dives
A Portrait
Eastern Traffic
Animated Poems
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“Big Knees," the painting in the banner, is a literal interpretation of the observation that, while most of us know why Mother Nature is all paved over (so the traffic can move), less well known is; if you follow the traffic, eventually it moves to the end of Mother Nature where it falls off into the abyss.

It's all so complex...




"Wake Forest Country Club," digital Image

Paved over
This piece is one of a series where nature paved over is the theme.  These are images I've tried to make homey and familiar but disturbing. Stylistically, they came out mannered and surreal. (I meant to do that!)









'Home," 48 in X 60 in, acrylic on canvass.
Sub-urban Life
Of specific interest to me is the role transportation and land use play in society and the conflicted feelings we have toward materialism. In our drive to find our own little piece of the garden, in the idyllic beauty of nature, we drive toward a future that we see but do not want, isolated and trapped, alone with the thing we love, our car.








"South Myrtle Beach," 28 in X 34 in, ink on paper
The Cost
I hope these paintings cause the viewer to consider the cost of suburban life -- with a bit of humor to help the medicine go down.







"Car and Driver," 24 in X 24 in, acrylic on canvas

"The Birth of Hattie Scarlotte's Child"
A 5'x8' acrylic painting illustrating an incident that occurred on the morning of January 9, 1893, the coldest winter on record, in the cellar of O'Briant's store, down in "Smokey Hollow"  (the other-side-of-the-tracks before there were tracks). A disreputable place, a "refuge for criminals and coloreds" according to the Durham Globe. A place where the homeless went to die. As did Hattie Scarlotte, 20 years old, about to give birth.

She had gone to a Durham magistrate three months before claiming that an Orange County State Representative named John Knowles was the father of her child and as she was destitute, requested that Knowles provide her with $40 for the child's welfare. "Squire" Gunter wrote to Knowles to appear before him but Knowles never replied.

So the young woman, alone and without hope, crawled into the cellar of O'Briant's store to have her baby. She and the newborn child, both dead, were found the next morning.

Three months later, in March, 1893, long after Hattie and her un-named baby were buried in a pauper's grave, John Knowles appeared before a Durham magistrate along with two close friends, substantial lawyers like himself, all of whom swore that it was not Knowles who soiled young Hattie Scarlotte but rather the Mayor of Hillsborough, who, a friend testified, was personally seen lying with the woman "beneath a large oak."

The painting was completed and signed on January 9, 2010, the 117th anniversary of the birth of Hattie Scarlotte's child.



A couple watercolor style studies for "Hattie."