Margaret Olley was an icon familiar to most Australians. She was outspoken, infectious with her energy, extraordinary in her benefactions, but primarily a painter of great talent and prodigious determination. She focused particularly on still life and interiors. Olley's painterly voice was honed and shaped by a great passion for her heroes of European art: Vermeer, Chardin, Bonnard, Vuillard and Morandi. Not that she neglected landscape altogether, as shown by her early depictions of Brisbane and New South Wales, later Newcastle and Sydney Harbour. This book takes us on an incredible journey from her formative years in Queensland to her final period of work in Sydney, until the very end of her life, as she completed a suite of paintings for her last exhibition. Barry Pearce has been a friend of Olley for nearly thirty years, and organized her retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1996. His essay and conversations with the artist recorded here, along with contributions from Edmund Capon and Philip Bacon enhance the pleasure of the journey.