Greg Olsen has depicted the figure of Jesus Christ in countless paintings, but there was always one piece that was missing from his portfolio: a nativity. But thanks to a tight deadline and a lot of inspiration, Olsen finally checked this item off his artistic bucket list.
He wanted his piece to have that magical effect that accompanies Christmas, so he set out to capture it with vivid colors. “Christmas is very much about color!” he says. “The sparkle of ornaments and tinsel, the flare of colorful packages and bows. This painting gives a nod to the theatrical Christmas spirit, especially in the costumes of the wise men. I made an effort to use light and color as devices to help your eye travel through the painting, while always returning to the focal point of the Christ child.”
Instead of trying to put a new twist on his nativity, Olsen tried to enhance the traditional scene of the nativity. “I wanted the image to feel familiar,” he says.
And no word could more aptly describe this scene than that: familiar. The intimate yet ornate portrait brings viewers right into the stable, giving them a glimpse of what it may have been like to see the Son of God come into this world. Olsen’s Nativity can be found in a new book titled Stars Were Gleaming, available now at Deseret Book stores and deseretbook.com.