Artist Representation 2021
‘Paint and Easel are part of my journeys’
Currently based in Geneva, Switzerland, Montse is originally from Barcelona, Spain. It wasn’t until 2006 that she had the opportunity to attend art lessons for the first time. She immediately fell in love with the challenge and possibilities that a blank canvas presents. Since she was frequently relocating to different countries with her husband and children, in 2008, Montse decided to quit her corporate career. From then on, her paints and easel have become part of her journey.
The experiences lived in the countries she has called home alongside her Mediterranean heritage are her key sources of inspiration. A colorful palette and the feeling of gratitude are always present when she paints. Montse’s background in finance and accounting also influences her work, making her rationalize the free flow of the brushstrokes and giving a calculated and structured approach to her paintings. Montse’s artworks blend abstract and figurative styles with geometrical elements in some works and a touch of realism in others.
Her art has been included in international group exhibitions in Europe and Asia and exhibited at the Affordable Art Fair in Singapore.
Lived experiences in many different countries alongside her Mediterranean heritage are key sources of inspiration. Having experimented different mediums and techniques, she is mostly working with acrylics. Sometimes using other mediums or materials in order to give the painting that interesting look or texture and to spark a special feeling, provoking a connection between the painting and the viewer.
Montse Oliver likes playing with locations, airport codes, geographic coordinates, flags, words, hearts and other elements reflecting her “nomad” life.
She truly enjoys working on commissions and personalising paintings that bring treasured memories to her clients, giving the piece a special meaning they can relate to.
Somewhere in the Indian Ocean
Her background in finance and accounting also influences her work, giving a structured approach to her paintings.
Montse Oliver’s artworks blend abstract and figurative styles with some geometrical elements and sometimes a touch of realism.
A tireless traveller, Montse Oliver reflects her emigration process alongside her artworks.
Meet Montse Oliver
1. Tell us why you decided to become an artist?
It must have been the destiny! I have a background in finance and accounting and worked many years in that field, so nothing related to art. It was not until we relocated internationally for the third time that I had the opportunity to join an art school. I started practicing with charcoals, pastels, drawings, but what immediately captivated me was paint and brushes. The feeling that this could develop into a second career came a bit later when a friend bought one of my paintings. I kept on attending lessons, improving my technique and going through the rollercoaster of doubts and emotions that brought me where I am now, totally hooked!
2. What kind of artist do you consider yourself?
A painter that mixes styles, blending abstract and figurative with the always common trait of the use of vibrant colors. My aim is to create “feel good art” and share positive emotions celebrating love and life.
3. Do you have any mentors or advisors?
The closest I have had to a mentor was in Singapore when I joined an atelier art school owned by a Brazilian artist, Patricia Cabaleiro. She helped me transitioning from a very figurative style to a more abstract approach. Thanks to her coaching, my work was succesfully featured and traded well during the Affordable Art Fair (AAF) in Singapore in 2015 and 2016.
4. How is your artistic process for creating work?
I write down the ideas as they come, take photos of colors or textures that catch my attention and gather materials that I think may be useful. When I start a painting I briefly plan it ahead, but I keep making changes all the way until I am happy with the end result. If it’s a portrait or there is a figurative element I take a careful look at the proportions and make the drawing before I start with the paint.
5. Name three visual artist you admire?
I greatly admire the postwar abstract expressionist artists, in particular Yayoi Kusama and Barnett Newman, and also Jim Dine and his hearts. There are many talented artists that I enjoy following online, they are a great source of inspiration.
6. Have you overcome any challenges in your career?
Coming late to this world and from a very different field I have had those moments of self-doubt about the value of my work and if I truly belong to the art community. Luckily, I have a well established group of collectors that remind me everyday that it is worth putting myself out there and show my work
Also, often moving my studio to different continents does not bring the regularity that I need for my practice. On the other hand, this also presents a great opportunity to explore the new place and spark new sources of inspiration.
7. Has gallery representation always been your dream or working independently been more beneficial? Or both?
I think there is room for both. While galleries represent you among several other artists and address a particular public, working independently can allow you to target a different public and/or show different material in case you have a diverse portfolio.
8. Tell us one of the weirdest or funniest moments of your career.
One funny-weird moment happened at the AAF Singapore. I had some paintings on display showing coordinates, parallels and meridians. I had given them a lot of thought to the composition and was very happy about the result. Then a cruise captain approached our booth, asked for the artist (me happy thinking I made a new client) and told me that the coordinates were not positioned properly. “It’s an abstract painting – inaccuracy is allowed” I told him and we had a laugh. Anyway accurate or not I sold all of them during the fair but now, when I add coordinates in a painting, I always remember him .
9. What advice would you give to an emerging artist?
I cannot give much advice but my recommendation is to keep working no matter what, keep connected to the artist community and avoid isolation. Proactively ask and listen and value feedback, even when it hurts, honest feed-back is always a gift, but never ever try to be someone else to please others. Be true to what you want to express.
10. As you reflect, what has been the influencing factors in your art career?
Without a glimpse of a doubt living in different parts of the world. It was the reason I started painting and also the reason I quit my corporate career. The experiences I have lived, the fascinating people I’ve met, the unique daylight nature offers during the different seasons across the various latitudes I’ve called home, the unfamiliar and surprising landscapes or architecture, and even the characteristic scent of each city, have all played a role in shaping who I am, and therefore my art as well. I have been very fortunate to have lived these experiences.
11. What are you currently working on?
I am working on a series of hearts, I also have a couple of commissions on the making and I am penciling ideas for another series of memories while I keep following a very hands on online workshop about collage. I’ll keep you all posted on my Instagram account
Montse Oliver lived in Barcelona, Atlanta, Zurich, Winchester, Singapore and Tokyo. She currently lives and works in Geneva.