A frank and revealing memoir by the son of Australia’s greatest living painter.
Tim Olsen is the son of arguably Australia’s greatest living artist, Dr John Olsen. Son of the Brush is his fascinating, candid memoir of what it was like to grow up in the shadow of artistic genius, with all its wonder, excitement and bitter disappointments.
Tim’s childhood was dominated by his father’s work, which took the family to Europe and to communities around Australia as John sought inspiration and artistic fellowship. Wine, food, conversation and the emerging sexual freedom of the 1960s wove a pattern of life for the family. It was both the best and worst of childhoods, filled with vibrancy and stimulation, yet fraught with anxiety and eventual sadness as John separated from Tim’s mother Valerie and moved away from the family.
The course of Tim’s life has been set by the experiences of his childhood, and by the passion for art he inherited from both his parents (his mother was an acclaimed painter in her own right). His life has always been about art, although he has followed a different path from his parents. Having overcome and recovered from addiction, Tim is today one of Australia’s most respected gallery owners, with a knowledge of art and artists forged from what is literally a lifetime immersed in the art world.
Son of the Brush is a memoir about a son and his father, and what it takes to forge your own identity and chart your own course in life, but it is also about the wider world of art, artists and the joy, inspiration and sacrifices of the creative life.