Christmas Postcard of Hope and Peace

With much pleasure I have designed and drawn a Christmas card that looks like a Medieval illuminated manuscript. After buying and leafing through a wonderful book on Dutch artists painting Italy in the 17th century, I felt inspired by Pieter Monickx and Karel Dujardin’s artwork to create a border in which Josef and Maria travelContinue reading “Christmas Postcard of Hope and Peace”

Mandarin Ducks

Colourful mandarin duck watercolour paintings have been added to my Etsy shop. As well as a mandarin duck textile print functioning as a freehand embroidery pattern. The large composition consisting of an Asian landscape, a lotus pond, a turtle pond, and mandarin ducks was lovely to make. I felt inspired to make it after visitingContinue reading “Mandarin Ducks”

Floral Triptych (Bloemen Drieluik)

What better than receiving a request to draw a floral triptych of lush spring flowers during the Corona lockdown? After the monochromatic under layer, working on these large Arches sheets (41- 61 cm), adding many layers of colour, felt like wandering through a lush garden. The contrary was true. We were home most of theContinue reading “Floral Triptych (Bloemen Drieluik)”

Mandarin Ducks (Aix galericulata) by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Dutch Heritage Nieuwe Gracht Huisjes (Utrecht)

Follow the progress that I make drawing three lovely houses located at the Nieuwe Gracht, Utrecht. This large drawing demands much patience because these three pearls are full details. I will update this blogpost regularly. For videos on this project, visit my Instagram account @mindfuldrawing. Contact me for questions and commissions.     Paula KuitenbrouwerContinue reading “Dutch Heritage Nieuwe Gracht Huisjes (Utrecht)”

The Sorcerer of Trois Frères, Ariège France

Let me introduce The Sorcerer discovered in 1960 in Ariège, France. He has been regarded a mythical figure, a shaman, leading a ritual dance. The fact that he directly looks at us as if he is interrupted, is remarkable. Why is he doing that? My method of getting to know him better is through drawingContinue reading “The Sorcerer of Trois Frères, Ariège France”

Hercules Statute Utrecht Netherlands

In my hometown of Utrecht, on two Rococo houses alongside the ‘Nieuwe Gracht’, stands Hercules holding the sky onto his shoulders. The ancient story goes that Hercules has taken up the firmament for Atlas allowing the old Titan a brief moment of respite to take up one of his labours. I had to correct Hercules’Continue reading “Hercules Statute Utrecht Netherlands”

Holly or Ilex

Holly has a strong cultural resonance. We use it as a Christmas decoration since the Victorian times. In pagan times, it was customary to bring holly boughs in to decorate the house. Holly was a powerful fertility symbol and was supposed to protect a family against ill-fortunes. Holly planted near a home was regarded asContinue reading “Holly or Ilex”

Desborough Iron Age Mirror Drawing & Essay

In 2017, I followed ‘Who were the Celts?’ at Oxford Department for Continuing Education. I enjoyed it fully although it was a time consuming course. The grey mass inside my skull felt ignited and many synapses were acting like happy fireworks flooding my brain with endless inspiration. There was one essay that I had toContinue reading “Desborough Iron Age Mirror Drawing & Essay”

Two Mandarin Duck Couples

I like to show you two different mandarin duck drawings. In traditional Asian culture, mandarin ducks are believed to be lifelong couples, unlike other species of ducks. Hence they are regarded as a symbol of love, affection, and fidelity. The first drawing is titled Matchmaking in Heaven. It shows a mandarin duck couple in a lotusContinue reading “Two Mandarin Duck Couples”

Forest Scene: Mandarin Ducks Resting on a River Bank

The mandarin ducks (Aix galericulata) have carefully chosen a place to rest. They seems to blend in with the dark background, thus if necessary, they will respond quickly by taking to the waters and thus escape predators. The river is calm, the forest is rich in sounds and smells, and all is well. The reflectionContinue reading “Forest Scene: Mandarin Ducks Resting on a River Bank”

Bruntenhof Gate Utrecht

My ‘Gate to Heaven’, a lovely gate is located not too far away from my home, at Bruntenhof, Museumkwartier in Utrecht. In real, there is no flower vase, just pavement in front of this gate. I received some feedback, stating: ‘There is a great difference between a photo of this gate and your drawing. AContinue reading “Bruntenhof Gate Utrecht”

Auguste Rodin & Camille Claudel at Three Inches Challenge

Participating in a creative challenge is about exploring new drawing skills. A challenge needs to be a challenge, doesn’t it? I found Three Inches, at #mindfulartstudio of Amy Maricle, which is about working on 3 square inches. I decided to do a study of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel’s artwork. The insight that I gainedContinue reading “Auguste Rodin & Camille Claudel at Three Inches Challenge”

Crossed Bison of Lascaux: Art Study Through Drawing

The two bison of Lascaux (Dordogne, France) are eye-catching cave paintings made about 17,000 years ago. I liked them because they are testosterone filled beasts but at the same time, they look cute with their large, round bodies and skinny legs. During my study of this painting, I found five interesting features. First, the twoContinue reading “Crossed Bison of Lascaux: Art Study Through Drawing”

Rachel Ruysch and Prosperous Floral Bouquet Studies

I have studied some Dutch Golden Age painters in the past, and Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) was one of my favourite painters. She painted very well, but she also had ten children! It bemuses me how one can paint so exquisitely and have ten children (therefore a minimum of ten pregnancies). One may assume that sheContinue reading “Rachel Ruysch and Prosperous Floral Bouquet Studies”

Abundant Acanthus; A Lovely Gift for a William Morris or Plant Loving Person

‘Abundant Acanthus’ with plant motifs by William Morris and me. Here are the ‘work in progress’ photos and musings. I have drawn this large graphite drawing with so much pleasure despite that I became dizzy from all these swirling botanical patterns. But isn’t elegance worth a bit of suffering? Take care and don’t forget toContinue reading “Abundant Acanthus; A Lovely Gift for a William Morris or Plant Loving Person”

New Work in the Making

I am working on the successor of ‘Praising Plants‘, ‘Ode to All Oak Trees‘ and ‘Sophisticated Succulents‘ and returning to William Morris for inspiration. For years, William Morris didn’t appeal that much to me because I was still under the influence of my study of Dutch Baroque floral painters. They, as no one else, couldContinue reading “New Work in the Making”

Commission Postage Stamp (Postzegel Tekenopdracht) and Cancellation Mark

Do you remember that I designed a Postage Stamp with two swans, a lotus flower, and a dragonfly? I used them on my correspondence. I added one on a postcard from Oxford to my father in the Netherlands. It received a Royal Mail cancellation mark, which feels like its design has been approved by RoyalContinue reading “Commission Postage Stamp (Postzegel Tekenopdracht) and Cancellation Mark”

Prehistoric Women Figurines

To deepen my understanding of female prehistoric figurines, I have set out to draw a few of them. Clockwise starting with tge middle-lower sitting woman, you find Courbet Venus, carved in a seated position, about 14.900 years old. Followed by the Venus of Polichinelle, carved in green steatite, 27.000 years old, found at Grimaldi. TheContinue reading “Prehistoric Women Figurines”

York Minster Cathedral Drawing

This is a drawing that I made while staying in an apartment opposite of York Minster (Cathedral). I enjoyed studying all York Minster’s wonderful, elegant, and whimsical details with and without binoculars. I was especially charmed by some stonework that wasn’t symmetrical and I thus set out to capture it by standing in front ofContinue reading “York Minster Cathedral Drawing”

Ode to All Oak Trees

Ode to all Oak Trees After my ‘Praising Plants’, a large graphite drawing that was sold rather quickly, I decided to continue with botanical theme-drawing and thus I designed ‘Ode to All Oak Trees’. This drawing has a large oak tree as it centre piece, decorated with William Morris botanical motifs and leaves freehand drawnContinue reading “Ode to All Oak Trees”

Cernunnos Inspired Stag in Ancient Worlds

The oldest (Celtic) god is Cernunnos, depicted with the antlers of a stag, seated cross-legged, associated with animals, and holding or wearing a torc (is a large rigid or stiff neck ring in metal, made either as a single piece or from strands twisted together). Not much is known about Cernunnos but interpretations identify him asContinue reading “Cernunnos Inspired Stag in Ancient Worlds”

Bookplate History Books Ex Libris

I drew an engaging Ex Libris is for those who study, love, writes or owns (history) books. Or books on Prehistoric Peoples, Celts, Anglo Saxons, Viking, Medieval or Renaissance books. It shows many areas of interest starting at the Prehistory (top), following anti-clockwise with Saxon-Viking, Medieval and Renaissance border.  The inside patterned border is inContinue reading “Bookplate History Books Ex Libris”

CUSTOMIZED EX LIBRIS or COMMISSIONED BORDER FOR CERTIFICATE

I have drawn with Derwent graphite and Graphitint a border for an Ex Libris, a book plate, that can be used for other means as well. I enjoyed making this border so much and it ignited my imagination. This happened because I started with the border, something I haven’t done before. Normally, I plan aContinue reading “CUSTOMIZED EX LIBRIS or COMMISSIONED BORDER FOR CERTIFICATE”

Postage Stamp Design

    Recently, I found out that one can buy online postage stamps. It is very handy but such ‘post stamp’ appears to be a sudoku-like 9 square code that you pen down in the upper right corner of an envelope. Handy but disappointing, especially when you enjoy receiving a neatly handwritten envelope with anContinue reading “Postage Stamp Design”

Art Nouveau Ex Libris Commission

    With much pleasure, I designed this Ex Libris or book-plate in Art Nouveau or Jugendstil style.  I consulted art books that I had almost forgotten about and I enjoyed updating my knowledge of the Art Nouveau movement. I decided to draw a tree, a window for (your) name, hills, a stream, and ofContinue reading “Art Nouveau Ex Libris Commission”

Graphite Drawing: In Praise of Plants

This is a large graphite drawing (about the size of A3) beautifully and softly rendered, titled ‘Praising Plants’. I have set up this drawing as a way to show gratitude towards (house) plants. They provide us with oxygen, hence the text ‘Thank Your for your O2,’ a word rhyme that names oxygen by its element.Continue reading “Graphite Drawing: In Praise of Plants”

The Woman or Mother of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf was created circa 28.000-25.000 BCE, in Lower Austria. I have drawn it from 3 sides. It is an 11.1-centimetre-tall (4.4 in) and I made sure that the Venus of my drawing is exactly 11.1 centimetres tall. What do you see? You see a faceless woman with large breasts, big hips, missingContinue reading “The Woman or Mother of Willendorf”

Man of Mander

To reconnect with nature and with the past, we recently visited a few burial mounts near Ootmarsum in Twente (NL). This is a protected archaeological site and visiting this sleepy site feels as if one enters a thin place. Here was found the ‘Man of Mander’, a shadow figure in stone (body imprint in stone)Continue reading “Man of Mander”

A Bardic Storytelling of the ‘Celtic of the West’ Model

I am much impressed by Celtic art and as a result of being so inspired I have summarized the Celts from the West Theory in a ‘Celtic’ artistic style, as a way of Bardic story-telling, in which we aren’t sure what is fact and what is story-telling.

My Celtic Art Project

My Celtic Art Project  This is my contribution to my “Who are the Celts’ course at Oxford Department for Continuing Education, week 5 ‘Celtic Art’ (2017). At the end of a demanding study week the participants were challenged to make their own Celtic art, a drawing, woodwork, or poem, whatever your prefer. I managed to finishContinue reading “My Celtic Art Project”

Prehistoric Hands Invite and Confirm Communication with the Dead, by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Synopsis: Prehistoric positive and negative hand-prints weren’t made by accident, they tell a story of communication. Red hand stencils testify of prehistoric peoples attempting to contact deceased tribal members; white hand images mark successful communicating with the dead. Positive hand-prints are stencilled with red ochre; white hand images are achieved by adding pigments around aContinue reading “Prehistoric Hands Invite and Confirm Communication with the Dead, by Paula Kuitenbrouwer”

Stonehenge Essay

For me it is a great honour that my essay on Stonehenge was re-blogged on Wiltshire Local History Forum. I hope you will have a quick look by clicking on the link. https://wiltshirelocalhistory.org/2017/05/22/stonehenge-through-art/ Should you be interested in reading my essay ‘Stonehenge through art’, I am willing to print it and send it to youContinue reading “Stonehenge Essay”

Ma, a Japanese aesthetic principle, in my three bird drawings

I’d like to show three paintings in which I have incorporated Ma, a Japanese aesthetic principle. Ma is described as ‘an interval in time and/or space’, thus referring to empty spaces, vagueness or abstraction. Empty spaces, in which nothing seems to happen, are full of possibilities. How do my three birds deal with Ma inContinue reading “Ma, a Japanese aesthetic principle, in my three bird drawings”

Koi Carp, Koikarppi, Cyprinus carpio, Koi fiŝo, Niŝikigoi, 비단잉어, Carpa koi

  Koi carp, or more specifically nishikigoi are a group of fish that are ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Koi carps are mesmerizing. People are willing to pay big money for a pretty carp fish. An ‘Agasi’, the blue koi,  isContinue reading “Koi Carp, Koikarppi, Cyprinus carpio, Koi fiŝo, Niŝikigoi, 비단잉어, Carpa koi”

The Soul: Painting the Unpaintable

The Soul: Painting the Unpaintable On an altarpiece owned by the Catharijneconvent Museum in the Netherlands, we see Mary and Gabriel; an Annunciation, of course. But the Annunciation is shown in so many paintings that it requires us to make an extra effort to see how remarkable this painting is. Let us talk you throughContinue reading “The Soul: Painting the Unpaintable”

Portret van Martinus Antonius Kuytenbrouwer

Portret van Martinus Antonius Kuytenbrouwer by Johannes Christiaan d’Arnaud Gerkens (1833- 1892). Click here to see it enlarged in the archives of the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam. The portrait shows a good looking young painter. The painter looks down, which is a bit unusual but his facial features stand out wonderfully. The portrait looks almost modernContinue reading “Portret van Martinus Antonius Kuytenbrouwer”

Guido Reni (Bologna 1575-1642) St Joseph with the Infant Jesus

Guido Reni (Bologna 1575-1642) St Joseph with the Infant Jesus Guido Reni lived from 1575 to 1642 and painted mostly in Rome. He ran a busy studio engaged on commissions from many Italian cities. Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Reni was, as a child of nine, apprenticed under the Bolognese studio ofContinue reading “Guido Reni (Bologna 1575-1642) St Joseph with the Infant Jesus”

Motherhood by Kuytenbrouwer

Martinus Antonius Kuytenbrouwer (1777-1850) was a Dutch soldier and painter of  animals and landscapes. His first exhibition was held in 1813 in Amsterdam followed by more successful exhibitions. Horses played a major role in his work as a painter, most likely because as an officer he dealt with horses daily. M.A. Kuytenbrouwer was a memberContinue reading “Motherhood by Kuytenbrouwer”