Crane Birds Work in Progress

Carefully cutting away the transfer fabric which held the original drawing of the crane birds. Next, I will be working on the Dutch landscape, which will have a low horizon. This will be a gift for my bird loving father, who had the luck of seeing a large group of crane birds flying over. An increasing number of crane birds are nesting in the Netherlands, which is great.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Artist & Author

@mindfuldrawing at Instagram

 

Stone Circles

I have be working on this hoop during our journey home, of travelling, crossing two seas. Sailing between the UK and the Netherlands, makes me aware of crossing Doggerland, the fast unexplored and archaeological treasure, that lies is beneath the North Sea. Doggerland was flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500–6,200 BC. It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period.

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More land might be claimed by rising sea levels in the near future. Half of the Netherlands lies beneath sea level.

I wish that I could see what was beneath the water. Stone circles? It must be fascinating!

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Artist, Author & Expat

‘Birds, Butterflies, Fish & Botany’

Embroidery as Art

What makes embroidery art? What is required for embroidery to become a masterpiece? I have read a few books on embroidery but I haven’t come across a reflection on this question. As I am rather new to embroidery, I can only use my fine art (painting) knowledge.


A work of fine art is mostly appreciated for technical and artistic exquisite execution (skill and artistic talent). Having said this, there are many works of art that are regarderd masterpieces because of social, political or purely creative qualities.

For a beautiful piece of embroidery some criteria are similar to painting; technical skill, colour-choice, composition, originality of concept/theme, and quality of materials. Don’t underestimate originality; it is enjoyable and valued to see artisans using their your own source of inspiration. Their artwork reflects their life and their conflict or love for their life living in a certain place and time. Such inspiration creates a unique and uncompromising style or signature.

Blue Tufted Ducks by Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Returning to the question ‘What makes embroidery art?’ Embroidery demands an equal amount of skill as painting, drawing, woodwork, and ceramics. For all artwork counts that more skill leads to increased quality and value.

‘Blue Ducks’ & ‘Green Ducks’ in the series of Tufted Ducks by Paula Kuitenbrouwer.

I used gold thread & various blues plus freehand-stitch, pekinese-stitch, french-knots & openchain-stitch. I always use my own designs, based on my coloured pencil drawings or oil paintings. Occasionally I use my sketches for making lino-prints too.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer

Artist, Author & Expat

‘Birds, Butterflies, Fish & Botany’

@mindfuldrawing on Instagram

Tufted Duck Embroidery

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Remember the lino print that I made recently? Perching Ducks 4It was inspired by observing a Tufted duck couple. Although the stylized style is new to me and not often practiced by me, I enjoyed playing with the intertwining lines. In fact, I enjoyed it so much (it felt positively Celtic) that I copied my drawing and set up an embroidery design.

My preening ducks keep me busy. What wing part is from the right sided duck and what from the left? Nobody knows and that I find the most charming part of this design.

My duckish ambitions haven’t acted out completely and I foresee more playing around with these lovely ducks. In fact, the next embroidery is in the making, as you can see. (By the way, Tufted ducks aren’t green. The male is black-white and the female brown. They have darn cute, large and round shaped heads with a charming tuft).