Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Marcel Olis Photos

It's been fun hearing from people all around the world that met had my grandfather, or were researching his life.  I am way behind in sharing all of this information with you.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a chance to go through some of his photos at my Dad's house.  After moving to California, Marcel worked a lot in the movie industry.  Not surprisingly, we came across several autographed photos of actors from that time.

Here is a photo of his studio which was located at 3807 Riverside Drive in Burbank.  It was very close to all of the movie studios at that time.  He lived in California from 1943 to 1953.

I chose this photo of him because it is a photo I remember seeing from my childhood.  When he did self-portraits, they were always serious.  I would imagine that it was part of the era, and the way things were done.  But, I think he would have chosen this photo to represent him.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Marcel Olis exhibit in Toronto, Canada

In 2014, I was contacted by a lady researching Dorothy Stevens, a Toronto artist during the same time that my grandfather lived in Toronto.  She provided a link to a published article about an exhibit for the Ontario Society of Artists.  It describes Marcel Olis as having entered both Sculptures & Paintings into the exhibit.

The article was published in "American Art News" on April 10, 1915.

The article describes his paintings as "full of characteristic vivacity and imagination."  As a sculptor, the article mentions that "he is worthy of note and should be a welcome addition to local artists' ranks."

The article reminded me that Marcel was a pupil of Gaston La Touche (1854 - 1913).  According to Wikipedia, La Touche made the acquaintance of Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet between 1877 - 1879.

Here is the article by Irene B. Wrenshall

Marcel Olis Paintings discovered at Auction in Renton, WA

Since starting to write about my grandfather, I have been fortunate enough to have been contacted by people all around the world who knew him.  Many of them have sent me pictures of his work.  I wanted to share them with you over the next several posts.

These 4 paintings were discovered in either Canada or Washington at an estate sale.  Larry Mroczek of the Mroczek Brothers Auctioneers informed me about the sale.  They were sold at live auction on August 23rd, 2012.  Here is a link to the auction site:  https://new.liveauctioneers.com/catalog/31441_fine-art-asian-silver-and-20th-c-auction

I would love to hear from the new owners of these paintings!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Marcel Olis - Trying to Reconstruct his Early Years

I find the details of my grandfather's teenage years the most fascinating - unfortunately, it is also the least documented. Although it is difficult to reconstruct the details of his life before coming to the US, I will do my best here.

We believe he was born in June 17, 1890. He lived in France from a young age. He has a French-Basque heritage, and we know his formal surname in France was Olis Velasco y Nevarro (or possibly Olis Velasco et Nevarre).

Growing up, I had heard tales of Marcel coming from a royal family, and that his family tree is displayed on the wall in the main library in Paris. Knowing that tales become taller when told to a child, I am going to assume, without investigating, that these are exaggerated. Someday, I hope to travel to Paris to see for myself.

To the best of my knowledge, Marcel had only one sister. I don't know much about her except that she became a Nun in the Catholic Church, and lived her life serving the Church.

We know that Marcel studied art at the Sorbonne University. Shortly after graduating, he traveled to South America to the Straits of Magellan to construct a statue there. He had won this opportunity from a competition at the University. He was only 16 years old.

During World War I, he became a mercenary pilot for Belgium. One of the most interesting things I found was that his pilot's license number was in the 300's. This translates to him being a very early adopter in aviation.

I will close with a very interesting story... I came across a pen & ink drawing done by Marcel that I vaguely recalled seeing before. My dad explained that Marcel was shot down & captured by German troops during WWI, and that he had escaped by disguising himself as a peasant. Later in life, he created this pen & ink drawing from memory. It captures the German prison camp - which strongly resembles a castle - and a small figure in the foreground carrying a shepherd's staff. Fascinating! Isn't it!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marcel Olis - My Grandfather

Many of you might not know about my grandfather, Marcel Olis, who was a famous artist. I would like to begin a series of blog entries documenting his life and accomplishments as seen through my eyes.

Marcel Olis was born at the turn of the century in France, and passed away on May 16, 1953 in California. His life story is simply amazing! From studying art at the Sorbonne University in Paris, to shooting down a famous German flying ace in World War I, to being one of the first artists to work with color photography and film, his life reads like a fairy-tale. My biggest regret is that I never meet him because he passed away long before I was born. But, I grew up listening to many stories about his life.

When I was a child, hearing stories of his life was typical. Now that I have grown, and experienced all that it takes to build an art business, I am in awe of all that he accomplished. So, I am setting out to tell the stories from his life in order to celebrate his life, preserve the information, and to learn even more about him. I hope that you decide to follow along, and enjoy these amazing stories.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Art-A-Fair in the OC Register

There was an excellent article in the Orange County Register on August 2nd about Art-A-Fair. Be sure to take a look at all of the photos...


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Posting Prices Online

Should I Post my Prices Online?

When it comes to posting prices for your paintings/sculptures/etc. on your website, there is a plethora of opinions.

Alyson Stanfield has discussed this on a blog post from 2004: http://www.artbizblog.com/2006/04/when-to-post-prices-for-your-art.html

I think it all depends what your business plan is, and the relationships you have established with your galleries. While I am okay with posting my prices online, I would never compete with a gallery that is carrying my work. If a painting is being carried in a gallery, I would not show it's price on my website, making sure that the viewer is directed to the gallery for inquires about the painting.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences concerning this topic.