Artist, Paul Olson, has been discovering the nuances of the Arnold Arboretum’s collections since he first passed through its gates in 2011. A landscape painter for decades, Olson explores the grounds with sketchbook in hand, typically in the early morning hours. His goal is to be unencumbered by any agenda and open to what the light of the day presents. In 2012, he had an exhibition at the Arboretum titled “Drawn to Woods.” The expressive ink drawings in that show were all completed en plein air—on-site in the open air.
In this new exhibition, Olson brings his on-site observations into the painting studio to work in color, reflecting on his real-world experience, but searching for that delightful sense of childlike discovery found in nature. These works on paper and canvas also feature paintings of bonsai from the Bonsai and Penjing Collection.