Michael Olsen - Beautiful Butterflies

June 05, 2019

Michael Olsen - Beautiful Butterflies

Driven by a love of the 'simple, beautiful things that life has to offer', this remarkable artist decided to quit the life of a retailer and devote his time to his true passion: astonishing art. An enterprise that not only encapsulates Michael's love of hands-on craft and construction: but has led to the creation of remarkable wall-sculptures that now grace the walls of luxury houses, businesses and interiors worldwide.

In this exclusive interview, Wyecliffe joins Michael Olsen for an insight into his unique, meticulous technique.

Driven by a love of the 'simple, beautiful things that life has to offer', this remarkable artist decided to quit the life of a retailer and devote his time to his true passion: astonishing art. An enterprise that not only encapsulates Michael's love of craft and construction: but has led to the creation of remarkable wall-sculptures that now grace the walls of luxury houses, businesses and interiors worldwide.

In this exclusive interview, Wyecliffe joins Michael Olsen for an insight into his unique, meticulous technique.

Tell us a little about your inspiration, for example which other artists inspire you

I appreciate the work of many artists and their skills merely move me to be more creative. Some aspects of my life have remained the same since I was a young man. Do well in life, strive to improve self and business, keep an open mind to the the call of innovation and new ideas. I’m inspired to be a commercial success as well as to uncover innovative ways to present my current concept in new and exciting ways.

Where/how did your butterfly works start out?

The decision to begin creating these works started out 6 years ago when I saw a 3 similar and very large installations in the reception area of a very grand hotel. Unable to unearth the creator I decided to make my own version.

What is your studio like?

The studio I have occupied for the past 6 months is bright and airy. Its a very practical space with a place for everything and (hopefully) everything in its place. A range of worktops, frames for supporting the acrylic panels whilst they are being fitted with the butterflies and tools are placed around the walls. The feather butterflies awaiting fixing are held in plastic boxes in their individual colours on racks. Its a quiet area apart for the racket of an air compressor which I use when ‘dusting’ boxes and panels. It has as peaceful and creative feel about the place. I do miss being able to see the sky as it is an internal room.

What is the trickiest bit of making one of your butterfly works?

Whilst I am an artist, I run a business and trade is my background. I like statistics so that when I look back at how a product has performed over a period of time I can see the trends and (try to ) predict future sales patterns. However because of the almost totally random nature of my present range of works, I have no real idea which colours or layouts are preferred by the public and which of the variants sell better than others. Right now its pot luck but perhaps in the age of the algorithm, I can get someone to write an app for me?

Where did your love of art begin? Who encouraged you?

My knowledge of art is limited and was not kick-started until my mid 20’s. The desire to know more and have a better understanding, was kindled by my first wife some 40 years ago. Her passion and love for the topic gave me an insight into the allegory of art and what the artist might have been trying to convey to the viewer. Seeing works of art became less about acknowledging the skill of the artist but understanding more about what was meant by an apparently obscure or minute image placed within a scene.

If you could hang your pieces anywhere in the world, where would you like to see them?

I have always looked for recognition and kudos. I’m very proud of my work and If I was able to show at the Royal academy summer exhibition I’d have a very very big smile on my face.

Once these conditions are met: the works are painstakingly recorded in our state-of-the-art database system (including advanced location tracking) and extensively photographed by Lucy and the image processing team. With extensive ‘macro’ detail shots utilising the Canon EOS 5DS camera: these shots not only form the basis for internet and print promotions: but form a visual record of the work at ultra-high resolution.

Finally; the works that aren’t immediately selected for the gallery walls (or better still, immediately dispatched to a lucky collector) are archived in our temperature controlled ‘vault’. Stored upright, fully surrounded in custom high-impact expanded rubber: the securely stored paintings are routinely checked and rotated onto gallery displays to ensure they remain in mint condition.

What is a typical day for you?

I rise at 6am most days preferring to get the day going without delay that’s because I love my life. I’ll enjoy a cup of strong coffee from my Italian espresso machine, quickly catch up with the news and then off to the gym for a swim or session with my trainer. I arrive at the studio and check emails, respond where required and get on with creating. Whether that’s new lines, fulfilling orders or trying to generate business the day flies by. I arrive home at about 6 and relax watching TV or playing Soduko until about 7 when I have my evening meal. Probably my most relaxing time of any day is my soak in the bath.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I’ve always been keen on sport and keeping fit and my age has only marginally dulled that enthusiasm. I cycle to work when I can and at weekends explore the countryside on my bike. I still like to run but my knees complain so I keep that to 5K once a week. I swim 2-3 times a week and have a personal trainer once a week. I love film, dance (participating as well as watching) and mending things that get broken. I love to cook.

The effort, thought and passion for art is apparent in every detail of Michael Olsen's butterfly sculptures.With Wyecliffe's specialty art consultancy, Michael can create custom commissions with the full potential of the butterfly models' infinite colours and patterns.

We're very proud to have a premier collection of Olsen originals at our Weybridge showroom. Click here to see the latest collection...

“My butterfly art is both lyrical and realistic. The works convey the beauty of nature as well as a simple spirit-lifting splash of colour. My work brings the beauty of the meadow in the summer into your living room.”






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