About Lil Olive
I was born in 1958 in Joplin Missouri growing up with loving parents and four sisters. My grandparents on my father’s side were from Damascus, Syria and had a clothing store on Main Street. Both sets of grandparents, my aunts uncles and cousins all lived on our same street, family has always been first and foremost.
My father was very artistic and taught me how to draw at an early age. He would save the cardboard backing from his starched folded shirts for me to draw on. I would escape the chaos of our noisy home at times drawing for hours. This is where my passion for art began. It continued later on in my life. I have always loved art and believe the need for it is inherent in every one.
I graduated in 1980 from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in photography. I worked as a writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education in Washington DC before going to work for Senator John Danforth for two years. I then went back to school receiving an AD in nursing and becoming an RN from Missouri Southern State University. I worked for several years as a nurse in New Orleans while my husband was in medical school and residency until moving to Springfield in 1991. I began taking classes in art at that time at Drury University, and have been painting ever since. I have always been deeply influenced by the 19th Century American Sublime landscape painters and European Romantic landscape painters. The German painter Caspar David Friedrich is my favorite painter.
In 2001 I opened an art gallery in downtown Springfield. Good Girl Art Gallery represented over 100 artists and championed emerging artists. We closed in 2014.
I have participated in several intensive painting workshops over the years at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Co. studying with Ed Paschke, Julie Heffernan, Katherine Alexander, Emily Cheng and Carole Caroompas. I enjoy being home now and painting full time along with working with my husband in the garden and taking care of our animal family now that our children are grown and out in the world.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”
― Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder