The Choosing of an Idea by Mikel Olazabal

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Mikel Olazabal

The Choosing of an Idea


146 x 81 cm | 57 1/4 x 31 3/4 in

Oil on linen

  • Best Nude Runner Up

“After completing several large multi-figure compositions, which involved immense amounts of time gathering historic information, as well as the execution of the painting, I felt the need to dedicate some time to a new work that dealt with the simplicity of a single figure in a relaxed and brighter background. Right away I knew what I wanted to portray—the figure of a woman in the air, above the clouds, offering colorful and wondrous gifts. This offering of abundance is portrayed as dancing and extremely delicate butterflies, which in its ephemeral nature are like ideas that flow endlessly.

While developing the image, the middle butterfly evolved into a fairy. It did this in a spontaneous way, without conscious intention and transformed itself into a metaphor for how delicate and frail ideas can become marvelous, rising like the morning star. The details of the image came to me without any effort on my part. They just happened, like how a butterfly passes by.

I hope that I captured this imagined feeling of abundance of choices offered by the muse and that the viewer feels as much joy viewing it as I did working on it.” – MIKEL OLAZABAL