Olivera Cejovic is an artist from Budva, Montegro who is able to capture special moments in golf through her work. I first came across Olivera on social media and made a mental note to contact her about an interview. After two separate people wrote me suggesting that I include her in the Golf Art section of the site, I had to make it happen! The power of social media never fails to impress me… A fan of golf art in South Carolina can chat with an artist in Montenegro (between Serbia and Albania)! This interview was conducted via email, and although English isn’t Olivera’s first language, I left words relatively unedited. I want her voice to come through, and that voice could have been lost in editing. She has a serious passion for golf art and the emotion that she is able to capture in her artwork is amazing. I hope you enjoy the interview and if you want to see more of her work, visit Olivera’s website here.
— Olivera Cejovic (@oliveracejovic) May 6, 2016
Q. How did your interest in creating golf art begin?
Almost 10 years years ago, my husband came home, and with a such a joy, he told me that he played golf on some meadow near our hometown – for the very first time in his life. After a while, I also start to play. What mostly amazed me, is that I realised that golf is not just a some simple game – golf is way of life. And like most of people, I fall in love in golf – because of all great values and etiquette that golf promote.
One day, my husband, asked me : “can you create some golf painting for our home?”
Something that will remind us all the time, on this beautiful feeling when we play golf. And that was it. I created one, then another and another … and another piece of GolfArt for my husband. After a while, he told me that my GolfArt is something very special and unique, and that my obligation is to share my GolfArt with people all around the globe – with people who really love and enjoy in golf.
I opened Twitter Account, and I start to share my GolfArt. And that was one amazing experience. After a while, I meet such a huge amount of amazing people, and they love what I do and support me so much. So many great words, so many sincere compliments, so many positive emotions. Soon I realised that rest of my life will be dedicated to GolfArt.
Last couple of years, my passion for GolfArt creation, was become – obsession. I started to create so many different golf moments and golfers, I read so many articles about golf (especially about golf history), and after a while I have dream to create one Artistic GolfArt Book dedicated to the greatest golf legends. I feel somehow that it is my obligation to, in a some way, with my GolfArt, pay tribute and thank the greats of golf.
Q. I see that you currently live in Montenegro. Most people don’t associate southeastern Europe with golf, but tell us about golf in the area. Where do you go to find the nearest course?
Well, this is one interesting and for sure unique story. Yes, I live in beautiful Montenegro, one of rare counties without any golf course. We even do not have some driving range. Maybe you will be surprised, but I never saw in my whole life – real 18 holes golf course.
Last year, first time in my life, I played golf on one small golf course (9 hole GC). I will remember every second I spent there. First time I saw in live : fairways, greens, real flags, real cups … That was amazing and beautiful experience for me.
Here in Montenegro, we have some meadows, where we try to play golf. My husband and his friends, regularly play golf and they enjoy in every moment. I play once or twice a month. Not enough, but I am so busy with my GolfArt.
And you are absolutely right, this part of Europe is not associated with golf at all, but I hope that one day, we will have golf courses, our kids will be able to learn and live with golf, and maybe one day, this part of world will be recognised – by one lady who was so passionate, that she dedicated huge part of life to GolfArt.
Q. You have series that cover golfer’s swings, special moments, and more. Each piece feels alive and active. How do you choose your subject matter?
As you know, we artist, have that privilege, that can choose our subject for our creation. What I really love is freedom, that I can choose some golfers, that personally for me, having some special meaning.
And let we be straight – all of those great golfers, deserve our deep respect and attention. Behind all of them is such a hard work, so many sacrifices … and all of them make so many for golf game. They all deserve big admiration.
But like in life, I have some of my favourites: Seve, Arnold, Norman, Player, Vardon, … I have HUGE respect for those golf legends. They live such a great golf trail and make from golf one amazing and great game.
And also, like a female, I try to promote great lady golfers. Those beautiful and unique ladies, deserve respect and admiration, too.
What mostly attract my creative nature is golf swing – some unique moment – with such a explosion of so many various emotions. This is something that awakens my creative spirit.
Q. Do you think you’ll ever venture into landscape drawings? If so, put me down for one of the Old Course!
Well, I have couple of golf landscapes – one of them is dedicate to Home of Golf (St Andrews). But this is not something that attracts me. I am sure that I will never be some landscape Artist. It is simply a matter of character and feelings. If I had to choose between a amazing landscape or a some unique golf moments – I always choose second. Why?
Well, for me, those golf moments, are really something completely unreal, special, unique, and if you wish – surreal. All that charge of different emotions – mental, emotional, physical … is something that amaze me from the beginning. Golfers in action – audience behind, are something that attract me, and tickle my creativity. It’s hard to really describe with words.
Q. Tell us about your golf art book and the support from the R&A. What was it like to have Peter Dawson write the foreword?
I will be honest and will tell you that I will never have enough chance, to express my deepest gratitude to Mr. Peter Dawson. Will never forget, his amazing support, and all what he does for me and my GolfArt. But the whole story about this great experience is more then amazing.
Like in TV movies, I found some e-mail address of R&A, and I decide to send mail to them, but I also decide to send one mail directly to Mr.Peter Dawson. After a while – I received e-mail … and guess what – personally from Mr. Peter Dawson. That was something that change my whole life. He was short, but with so many great words, he support my intention to create one unique artistic book, dedicated to greatest golf legends and The Open Championship.
And thanks to Mr.Peter Dawson – I create that unique GolfArt Book. And my dream come true. He help me with everything, and I must express my gratitude to Getty Image who give me permission to use their great photos for my GolfArt creation.
Another great person, that help me and support me so much was Angela Howe (Golf Heritage Secretary, R&A). She is really one exceptional lady.
And imagine, that such a great persons, support me … one simple ordinary lady who live so far from the golf world … You know what – that is greatness of GOLF – I am sure that golf not only promote people with great values – golf also make that we all become better persons. I told once: I never meet some persons who become worser because of playing golf, but I meet many people who become better person just because of golf.
“Golf has probably kept more people sane than psychiatrists have” – great sentence from Harvey Penick Little Red Book.
I hope that my GolfArt make people feel happy, fulfilled and positive.