Peony Time

Pioenroos print met pioenroos

A real Peony, a printed Peony and notice the one on the Korean flower vase.

Tulpen en Pioenroos peony print.jpg

Peony and Tulip art prints of pencil drawings by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Beach treasures

Beach treasures. Before you think Paula has painting pebbles, I didn’t. That awesome white stone with that intricate wine red pattern, that is dried seaweed. Nature is a great artist.

Desk with 3 prints I.jpg

On a desk with 3 art prints by Paula Kuitenbrouwer.

Dog Sketch

And my darling daughter drew this cute dog. I framed it straight away. My daughter’s shop is at Etsy too, click here to say hello by giving her perhaps a whole lot of hearts?



My Etsy & my Art Shop.


Lotus Plant Drawings: Botanical and Symbolic

Two Lotus Prints

Lotus Plant’ & ‘Lotus Pond with Tortoise’

by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

In preparation for the upcoming birthday of the Buddha, I have drawn two different views of a lotus plant. Much venerated in Buddhism, the lotus is one of the ‘Eight Auspicious Symbols’. It is also a delight to draw, as the textured leaves and petals of the plant encourage the kind of finely-detailed observation and drawing work that give richness and texture to an image.

For my first drawing, ‘Lotus Plant’, I researched and focused on all the interconnecting parts of the plant. Most drawings and paintings of the lotus concentrate on the flower itself; the next part, the stem, is submerged and thus often merely hinted at. And the roots, although many of us will be familiar with them as edible parts of the plant, are rarely depicted in art, since they grow deep in the muddy bed of the pond.

For a Buddhist, this concept of living in three mediums – mud, water, air – signifies a progression. The soul journeys from the muddiness of materialism, through the water-world in which we live and experience our daily, day-to-day lives, and thence beyond, to enlightenment in the ethereal world of light and air. That these parts are all connected, roots to stem, stem to flower, is reflected in my drawing.

My ‘Lotus Pond with Tortoise’ shows the flowering plant, partly in water, and blooming just at the surface. A tortoise, resting on a rock, looks up at the lotus. Such a bright and beautiful flower is an inspiration to all who see it, tortoise as much as human.

In Asian culture, tortoises are sacred. The longevity and tenacity that they symbolize seemed to me to be a wonderful way to celebrate what the birthday of the Buddha means. We need to live long and work hard to reach enlightenment. And if the ageing process is enlightenment in slow motion, as John C. Robinson describes in his book ‘The Three Secrets of Ageing’, then my combining of the symbols of enlightenment with those of longevity expresses this process.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Lotus (Botanical) at Etsy

Lotus with Tortoise at Etsy



Artists Inspired by Nature Treasures: Sybille Tezzele Kramer, Liliya Tereshkiv, Lois Mathews and Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Sybille Tezzele Kramer, Liliya Tereshkiv, Lois Mathews & Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Sybille Tezzele Kramer:


Italian born Sybille Tezzele Kramer draws inspiration from her direct surroundings in Sud-Tirol. Sybille shows her appreciation for weeds with her drawing, named Erbacce/Unkraut. Notice Chamomile, Poppy, Alchemilla, Foxtail grass and Dandelion. Also, notice the smiling face of the weeds. Weed smiles because it is stronger than all the poison that is used. And why using it? Why do we categorize some plants as obnoxious weeds and others as ornamental plants? Why do we say some stones are pebbles and others are gemstones? Sybille creates a three-dimensional effect by drawing a heliocentric composition. Read more about this lovely drawing here. Sybille’s Erbacce/Unkraut/Weed is available here. The original Erbacce is touring through Italy as a mobile exhibition ‘Lo Sguardo Obliquo’.

Liliya Tereshkiv:

Liliya Tereshkiv, a Ukraine born artist, also living in Italy, is the woman behind Sorriso Design. Liliya shows us how nature inspires her by picking up leaves and pine cones and looking at the blue sky. Here is her lovely Etsy shop full woodwork, jewellery and home decoration. Have a look, you will be surprised. More of Liliya’s nature photos are here.

Lois Mathews:

For years I’m enjoying the walks Lois Mathews records at her delightful blog  Sketching on Whidbey Island. If there are sketches directly inspired by nature, they are Lois’ water-paintings. I don’t like to sit in front of a screen, but that all changes when I read Lois’s records and nature studies. Did I just feel a bit of fresh air? Or did I hear a songbird? Do I noticed footprints on the walking track? Lois’s nature journal enchants me.


An empty wall, wood and driftwood treasures and a few of my prints. I’ve put them together for a playful exhibition of a few of my prints. My birds and butterflies feel perfectly at home in their natural environment.

There is nothing definitive or pretentious about this, I can add and remove things without damaging the wall. There is bark of an eucalyptus tree, a honeysuckle knot, pine-cone branches, driftwood, some wooden pegs and prints.


Paula at Etsy

Paula at Amazon Handmade

An invitation to have a look at my work…..


I invite you to have a look at my portfolio at Etsy. A good thing about having a online shop is that it gives you a quick and pretty overview. So, hop over to Etsy and have a look.
My portfolio is also at (

At Etsy I sell affordable prints and originals are at

Pumkin with butterflies by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

And here are recommendations and reviews:

“Lovely item and a very helpful seller – many thanks!”

“Shipment was very fast and the product was very high quality. Thank you – I’m very pleased”

“What GORGEOUS ARTWORK you do! I always wished I was more artistic, I love to draw but only have limited talent in that way. I love you depictions of nature, just beautiful! Thank you for sharing that”.

“Hi Paula, I love your drawings and looking at them I can really feel the quiet moments and simple pleasures we can get from nature. Very calming, indeed! Many thanks”.

“You are a wonderfully talented artist Paula with a beautiful technique for making tender images that warm my heart to look at. Thank you”

“Paula, like you I love nature but you have an amazing capacity to capture nature at it’s best with your wonderful drawings. My best wishes for your continued success – people will fall in love with your wonderful talent”.

“The detail shown in the drawing of the Tawny Owl is amazing. This is another amazing piece from your Collection. Warm regards”

“Paula, I loved your nature arts. I do like stumbling upon feathers once in a while and collect them for their beauty. They seem like magical gifts from nature”.

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New drawings and paintings are regularly uploaded



Gift Cards




Pumpkin Fall Autumn Harvest Halloween Fine Art Card

Autumn 2012 copyright by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

On show, my Pumpkin, Fall, Autumn, Harvest, or Halloween drawing. Cards are printed too. Let me explain you the theme and composition. This year I’ve combined garden birds, two Parus major ‘chickadees’, with fall fruit: pumpkins, apples, and acorns.
Last summer I’ve been hoping to find a Stag Beetle. I couldn’t find one, so I was happy to draw one. It slowly makes its way to the acorns and apples.

The chickadees in our garden give us constant delight and inspiration: they are dominant, noisy and funny. I can’t stop looking at their wonderful colours.

At the end of our street, there is a pumpkin patch. It is so nice to see the orange spots growing bigger every time we drive pass it.

Acorns…well, they keep us awake at night because they fall on our roof. When it is windy, we run to our front door with our hands covering our heads, afraid to get bombarded by them.

I’ve aimed for a diagonal composition. The Stag Beetle guides your view from down-left to up-right, to the last upright leaf of the big orange pumpkin. Normally I would put big objects in the back, but I liked the large orange pumpkin to dominate the drawing. The small green one offers depth being positioned behind the big large pumpkin. My signature is hidden in one single straw.

I wish you a lovely autumn season.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Pumpkin compositions by Paula Kuitenbrouwer


Dark or Light Backgrounds?

I have been exploring the ‘Colored Pencil Painting Bible: Techniques for Achieving Luminous Color and Ultrarealistic Effects’ by Alyona Nickelsen with much interest. As a consequence I’ve done some thinking about dark and lighter backgrounds and how to fill space.

‘ (…) Busy backgrounds, filled with bright colours that compete with your focal point, will make your viewer tire quickly. There are a number of ways to avoid this potential pitfall. One of the most common solutions is to carefully consider the effects of negative space in you composition. Planned use of negative spaces can help to highlight your main idea- and in effect both unite and balance your composition’.

Nickelsen shows a drawing done by her with a black background and recommends; ‘ The strong black background creates a quite area, allowing the eye to glide playfully along the edges of the three pieces of fruit (….)’.  I see this often: compositions with strong black backgrounds.

I see so many art blogs with black backgrounds and I am afraid I feel rather ‘negative’ when I see a potential lively background showed as a negative black space.  It makes me think of what I have learned studying Golden Age floral art. The artists of that time started with dark backgrounds and it worked. Floral paintings were much admired. Nevertheless after a while lighter and deeper background became fashionable.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Tulip, oil paint, by Paula Kuitenbrouwer)

I like to show a flower painting that has a dark background. The flower vase stands deep in the dark and there is a strong focus point. It is pretty but after a while you start to question: where is the flower vase positioned? I would like to walk around it, how would the back look? Wouldn’t it be pretty if the viewer (me) is able to imaginary walk around it without having the feeling to disappear into the night?

Here is a fabulous flower paintings by Jan van Huysum with a dark background.
A negative space works, but it has a limiting effect: your view is directed and focused yet lot of the painting remains a mystery and stays hidden in the dark. After seeing many black backgrounds, I like to see a flower bouquet in a large open space. I like to look at it from all the cardinal directions. Because I can not step into a painting I like the painter to suggest to me how it would be if I would walk around the flower vase and enjoy even the tiniest flower at the backside. Have a look at later floral paintings by Jan van Huysum that deliver that effect..
This bouquet is situated on a balcony and the viewer enjoys a view on a garden. And so it this painting by Jan van Huysum…

I agree with Nickelson that the eye needs a focus point. It need to be guided to the most outstanding or interesting part of a painting. But the mind can handle much more than a focus point; the mind likes to explore and wander. After being glued to the focus point my eyes need a horizon, a different perspective, a bit of an adventure. The Golden Age floral painters understood that and experimented with lighter backgrounds and far horizons.

The viewer needs a focus point, yes. But is he is also able to handle much more as long as the background is in harmony with the rest of the painting. Be aware. Don’t choose automatically. Consider all your options. Do you prefer darker or lighter backgrounds? And why?


Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Paula Kuitenbrouwer sells original drawings at