Painting in a direct manner with vivid colors and bold brushstrokes, the joy for me is in the creation, but the enthusiastic response of viewers validates my efforts. Beauty surrounds us, but we are so busy hurrying and scurrying around, we seldom pay attention to it. In my work I seek to portray the beauty in everyday things--everyday scenes--to encourage viewers to take a moment to appreciate the way the light falls on a garden path or the brilliant colors in a simple vase of fresh-picked flowers. Color excites me and I love to emphasize it. __After years of sporadic efforts in learning to paint, in 1987 I took a workshop from Ray Vinella in the mountains north of Taos, New Mexico. Inspired by Vinella and the awesome setting, the more I painted, the more I was consumed with a desire to create beautiful images. Painting every available moment, I read art books constantly and studied paintings in museums and galleries. Additional workshops with Vinella and other noted artists such as Kevin Macpherson, Don Ward, Gay Falkenberry, and Ron Rencher followed. __Two of my greatest honors are to have been invited to exhibit at the Biennale Internazionale dell`Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy, and Texas State Society`s Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington, DC. My work has been juried into numerous state and national exhibits and can be seen in galleries in Vail and Colorado Springs, Colorado, Salado, Texas, and my studio/gallery near Austin.__One of the greatest joys associated with my artwork has been my involvement in establishing a scholarship program for young people of Juticalpa, Honduras. Using "my dream" to help them realize their dreams is so rewarding, and at the same time so humbling. You may read more about the scholarship program on this website by clicking on the "Honduras" tab._ Oliver lives with her husband, Jim, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country west of Austin. Their six children and all but one of their ten grandchildren live in Austin and the Hill Country.