In the foreword to Olivera Cejovic’s 146-page compendium of artwork, Greatest Golf Legends and the Open Championship Winners, former R&A CEO Peter Dawson writes: “It is an absolute pleasure for me to introduce Olivera’s GolfArt. The quality of her drawings is of the highest order, and golfers the world over will instantly recognize her subjects.”
Given the book’s subject matter, and Cejovic’s obvious passion for the game and its champions, it’s astonishing to learn that she wasn’t introduced to golf until 2011, at the age of 36. Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now the capital of Serbia) but living the last 22 years in Montenegro, Cejovic watched with great curiosity as her husband Branko swung steel sticks at a white ball that a family friend found in his basement. “It looked fascinating,” she says. “I wanted to try.”
A few swings was all it took. “I became very interested and went back to the meadow, a park, any small space, every day,” she says. “But my pure passion for golf became complete when I discovered it is based on the greatest human values. That was when I understood golf is not just a game; it is a way of life.”
The Cejovics own an advertising company, but for the last five years Olivera has devoted herself to GolfArt, sketching with colored pencils based on images by photographers Tristan Jones, Joe Velotta, Frank Foehlinger, and Bernard Brault, with whom she works closely. She creates her artwork in a home studio and keeps all the originals for Branko. Limited-edition prints, available at oliveragolfart.com, range in price from $100 to $2,700; she occasionally accepts a custom commission.
Olivera is devoted to the game, watching the Serbian SK Golf channel and promoting golf in Montenegro. She formed Javorje GC on a small parcel of land around the family’s summer cottage in Durmitor National Park (it uses short-distance Birdie Balls, donated by company founder John Breaker) and co-founded Golf Club Knjaginja Milica, which was officially registered with Montenegro’s Ministry of Sport last May and currently has 58 members—but no course.
“I am sure people who live in countries that play much golf may think this story sounds strange, maybe stupid,” says Olivera. “But for me, it is an amazing experience. Thanks to my GolfArt, our golf club, and golf on TV, I can live with golf 24/7.”