Laurie Olinder’s painted drawings make people happy; the joy she has in creating them always comes through.  Whether it’s because of her cheerful sense of humor, her bright colors, or her life-like squiggles, Laurie’s love of the world around her jumps off the page.  No wonder she wants to celebrate.


     For the past 3 or 4 years, online, Laurie has been celebrating daily holidays, birthdays of personal heroes and even monthly full moons.  With her adept use of Photoshop’s Wacom Tablet, she has found a way to exercise her natural desire to create something new, and often.  Though if anyone asked her why she does it, she’d probably answer, “It’s fun.”  And that comes through too.


With these pictures, you will see that Laurie has also been combining vintage black and white photographs with her decorative painting, so the day’s celebrant becomes the focal point of a colorful, memorializing collage; we get a retro/modern poster of Leo Tolstoy or Queen Victoria, or Michael Jackson next to Charlie Parker.  The imagery in these pieces reminded me of the rock ‘n roll posters that came out of San Francisco in the ‘60’s.


In choosing who, what, or why a certain day should be celebrated, Laurie tells us who/ what /why deserves a special hurray that day.  I like her taste, let her choose.  If it’s International Chocolate Day or Cherry Cheesecake Day, she’s got our mouths watering.  If it’s a birthday shout out to Iggy Pop, Harry Houdini or Harvey Milk, we get a peek at her own heroes, who might be ours too.  And if it’s Green Peas Day, Red Hat Society Day, or the Full Beaver Moon, we learn something we didn’t know before.


     Whatever Laurie chooses to paint, and immortalize, that day, it makes me smile when I look at it.  It’s an instant pick-me-up, a special treat to the eye, a jog to the memory, a warm hello from a friend, a thank you to the universe.  At a time when we can surely use it, Laurie’s Celebrationist Paintings remind us of the things we like and appreciate in life.


It’s nice to be reminded that every day should be celebrated; if that was the norm, we’d all be much happier.  Laurie Olinder’s work points us in that direction.


Tom Murrin