Annie O.jpg

Annie Olson

"Artist Musings"

Come into my shell with me! My "Artist Musings" will give you an insight into my inner workings and why I create these faux shells and other works of art.

Updated: May 4

I’m sitting here on our couch. CNN is on. Phil asleep a few feet away and Miga, our cat waiting for me to stop typing so she can sit on my lap. The reports coming in on the run off in Georgia. Prompting me to remember this story.



Strange, I just heard the word GARBAGE mentioned. The lies that our president has convinced so many to believe. Without any facts to back up his words. And this story I’m about to relate is all about GARBAGE!


I don’t remember which shell fair it was when I heard this tongue in cheek antidote. Probably the 2004 one. The year Phil and I drove down so we could both attend.



David, Phil’s brother had been going to Florida for a number of years. To escape the cold and dangerous Chicago winter for 3 months. So we had a place to stay while we were there.


I wish I could remember who related this tidbit to me. Maybe Rusty. My dear friend from Texas who won best in show with her miniature shell store.


It goes like this. “The garage pails of the Georgia Visitor Center located when you leave Florida is the best place to collect great seashells!”



The explanation is simple. The ignorance of people from the North being unaware that the pretty shells they picked up and placed in their car to take home wasn’t empty!


Either the original owner/builder of this shell was hiding deep inside or a hermit crab had taken up residence in an unbroken glossy seashell.


You can imagine the snail or hermit crab being roaster alive. But not enough to prevent its flesh from decomposes. And as we all know,


decomposition creates an odor that is repulsive to us and attractive to other life forms ready to recycle the flesh.


If you’ve never had the opportunity to encounter this odor molecular with the help of your nose, you haven’t lived. It has its own particular “color”. It’s own hue in the rainbow of fragrances that our Earth offers to us all.


I can still remember going into the Georgia Visitor Center on our way home with this antidote in my head. Of sharing it with a young woman behind the counter. Taking her card, giving her one of my shells. And telling her that someday I’d write about our time together.


So now is the time. You were cordial listening to this senior citizen.



So right now, January 6, 2021 I’m seeing and hearing about the run off election that is deciding what way the power structure will unfold in the Senate. Looking as if the Democratic wing will have power after a long time.


So no wonder hearing the word garbage spoken as I’m writing about garbage felt strange to me. Perfect timing!


Satire is quite often funny in a wry way. So it is with this story.


Lies, like garbage, also emit a particular hue.


It’s always odd for when I sit down to finally write an essay. Having something come along to add its own voice to mine.


Pink Eagle (Annie)




By the way, Miga knows I’m done writing and is now on my lap


Updated: May 4

Phil and I got back from the Farmer’s market. Phil gets out so little now; an outside place to go and be with people, in spite of The Virus.


When we came home, I saw this package outside the front door. Didn’t know we were expecting something.

I pick it up and instantly know what it is when I see COA!


My article has finally been published - extra copies for me.




These are photos I took an hour ago. They will not be so easy to read. The words I wrote weren’t easy to write either. Keep that in mind. But I think it’s real important for you to see the magazine itself. Do read how long the COA has existed. Why they started in the first place. What I’ve been reading every three months for years now. Not hard for any of you to see why I joined The COA a long time ago.



Let’s imagine the 5 year old in me seeing the article with my words and photos of my shells/my art. Trying to act grown up as I write this.


So much more I could say. But for now, I’ll leave it at this.


READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON MY "ARTICLES" PAGE

Updated: May 4

My spelling is so bad! My husband Phil and I do a simple crossword puzzle in the newspaper every morning. And it is a source of humor for him to see how creative my spelling will be. Glad I can make him laugh.

I’m going to take some pictures after I finish this blog. Pictures of all the artificial flowers I have in our home. They are all over the place. Some better than others. But surely much more real now than when I was young.


It’s been a strange journey with these shells. Not quite real. Not quite artificial.

Just like the flowers of plastic and silk, time has improved my shells. I look at the ones I did 25 years ago and I’m shocked! They are so crude! I wrote an essay a few weeks ago on the concept of perfect. This fits my shells.


So like the 4 minute mile!

The record was broken when I was a kid. I think. After that, only mili seconds could be shaved off.


Once I got it, I have continued to get a bit closer to perfection. But I’d be hard pressed to be able to distinguish between shells I made 10 years ago from the ones I create now.

Now it’s all about how to display them. How to do others things with them.

I’m like an artist with paint. Each brush stroke, a shell.