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I picked up my first paintbrush in 1967. I was a beginning freshman at KSTC in Emporia, sitting in a painting one class with my first brush, wondering how to hold the dang thing. Mr. Richard Slimon took pity on me and explained the working end of the brush was the hairy-end and the wooden part was the handle. I’ve been learning ever since. I still have a long way to go. After earning my degree and becoming a teacher, I spent 43 years in the classroom. Over the years, I have worked with thousands of students, explaining to them the anatomy of a brush and how to hold it. I still thank Mr. Slimon for that shared knowledge.


If pressed to pigeon-hole my work, I would say that I am a colorist with abstract expressionistic tendencies. Sometimes I incorporate the real with the unreal by using splashes of color and definitive lines. In many ways, I’m still that goofy 18-year-old freshman that first sat down in a painting class so long ago. I never over-plan a painting. I let the painting evolve on its own

terms, telling me what to do next.

Message from the artist

Archie Oliver

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