the work of Paula Kuitenbrouwer
Rembrandt seems peaceful watching the canvas on his easel…
On the easel of Gustav Klimt are the paintings he dreamt…
The word ‘easel’ is an old Germanic synonym for donkey. In the Latin ‘Asinus’, we hear ‘ass’ (donkey).
An easel supports a canvas or painting. It is a humble piece of furniture; a few horizontal and vertical pieces of wood nailed together. Its plainness and instrumentality earned it its name ‘easel’ (i.e. donkey). An easel isn’t pretty nor noble, it carries our stuff like a donkey carries our stuff too.
It is said the easel was used by Egyptians. It took a long time before frescos and murals lost their glamour and artists started to work with painting boards and canvasses. Fast forward to the Renaissance, we see mobile easels changing dramatically the way painters work. Artists abandon their studios to work in the open air, catching the light, movement of the water, the clouds and waving grasses like no one has done before. The easel helps to create individual artists and new painting styles. Despite its achievements, its name has never been upgraded. Easels never look proud. To me they look often a tiny bit tragic and tired, like overloaded donkeys.
What are your thoughts on your easel?
© 2013, essay and photographs, Paula Kuitenbrower, All rights reserved
PAULA KUITENBROUWER ~ is a Dutch nature artist living in The Netherlands and sharing her work with us on her blog, Mindful Drawing and on her website. In addition to art, Paula’s main interest is philosophy. She studied at the University of Utrecht and Amsterdam. She has lived in Eastern Europe and in Asia. Paula says that in Korea, “my family lived next to a Buddhist temple. In the early morning we would hear the monks chanting. During my hours of sauntering with my daughter through the beautiful temple gardens, I felt a blissful happiness that I try to capture in my drawings.” Paula sometimes teaches children’s art classes. She lives with her husband and daughter and close to her father. You can view her portfolio of mindful drawings HERE.