Ottelien works primarily in painting and drawing, as well as in ceramics and sculpture. Her work is figurative, typically depicting entwined figures, often in a garden or forest setting, influenced by her interest in classical drawing and mythology - although she takes a fresh perspective outside of a ‘male gaze.’
Her paintings are distinct by their fresh, drawn marks that flow; they are pleasingly balanced with technical accomplishment. In her recent paintings, she uses ‘oil-bars’ a large pastel-like medium which is made from solid, oil based-colour, a mixture of pigment, oil and wax. However, unlike an oil pastel, it’s translucent colour, and tends to be much larger in size. These allow the artist to apply colour quickly and expressively to a canvas, as if drawing.
During lock-down, Ottelien had to relocate back to her parent’s home in France, leaving her with limited opportunity to work on canvas. Instead, she has turned her attention to ‘Japanning’ a form of lacquer work. Here you’ll find her flowing figures in gold and black, in a technique first used in Europe and the USA in the 17th Century.
Ottelien completed her foundation year at Oxford Brookes University, before graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 2016. She then attended The Sotheby’s Institute of Art in 2019.
Most recently, Ottelien was the 2020 Artist in Residence at Bankside Hotel, London in collaboration with Contemporary Collective. She was a painting finalist for The Signature Art Prize 2019.