Olaf Schneider (b. 1964) is a husband, father of two, and grandfather of six. He studied at the Ontario College of Art as well as Sheridan College. In 1986, while painting large scale billboards for Mediacom he acquired a strong practical foundation that would become integral to his work today.
He is greatly inspired by mentor Ron Grieg and Norman Rockwell.
For Olaf each piece represents an intense exploration and refinement of his personal pictorial sensitivities, especially as they relate to beauty, form, light, and shade. Composition, color, and craftsmanship are all elements that become the building blocks of his work. Olaf is a prolific painter who is inspired by the power and diversity of the northern landscape, and anything that needs a “second look”. An explorer by nature, he travels across North America and Europe to gain inspiration.
“Each dab I make is stimulated by the details that I observe. I hope to see what others miss and then make it compelling. I push and alter the colors to suit my ravenous needs and I love to improvise on the spot.”
Olaf has a passion for a variety of subjects. Through his art, he expresses his love for life and his affinity for vibrant colour.
“I like to use expressive and thick impasto brushstrokes or soft blended strokes to render a sense of movement and texture giving the painting a life of its own. My interpretation of colour also sets the dynamic mood. The tones often range from the darkest to the lightest in an effort to achieve maximum drama. This creative combination is spontaneous and intuitive.”
To keep his mind clear and focused he limits his exposure to all the media ‘noise’ we generally are pummeled with daily. He does not watch TV and restricts his time on the computer. He starts his day with God in prayer and meditation. Painting 6 to10 hours a day is common practice. Equally important to Olaf is continued growth and learning.
“I want to always have an open mind so that new ideas may come in. In the mind of an expert, there are few possibilities, but in the mind of an amateur they become endless. This is a God given gift and I value it greatly. If I am able to bring emotion, understanding, comfort, or joy into another’s life then I am using it wisely in His glory.”