Minimalist or Maximalist Art?

It is time for a little corner of the world-wide-web that solely showcases my art. I will keep my old and trust website online because its essays and articles still receives daily visits (around 180.000 visitors so far and still counting).

This site is my new studio. Lots changed during the pandemic and I noticed, consequently, that my studio and drawing style changed too. Although I still love working on full colour, minimalist commissions, I also have moved into the direction of maximalist monochromatic artwork. They are full of symbolism, full details, hardly any place of my drawing pad is left untouched by my pencils. I love it because this new style offers endless enchantment.

Minimalist Art

Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design, especially visual art and music, where the work is set out to expose the essence, essentials or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts.

One can never foresee what inspiration does to one’s artistic path. I wrote about Ma, the Japanese negative space principle and my minimalist approach and painted -for instance- this Carrion crow at the height of my minimalist art-making.

Carrion Crow by Paula Kuitenbrouwer
Carrion Crow

I was fascinated with leaving things out and -consequently- allowing viewers to fill in the negative (empty) spaces with their own projections and narratives. Open space allows viewers to imagine what is happening, and that often says as much about ourselves as about the painting. Why is the Carrion Crow looking in this specific direction? Is there another bird? Did somebody just drop a sandwich and the Carrion crow thinks ‘easy lunch’? We know it is autumn because of the colouring of the Rowan branch. There are emerald green, soft orange, and deep red leaves. The painting shows a diagonal composition from the crow in the upper right corner to the deepest red leaves in the lower left corner. But there is plenty of space open for your narrative.

Maximalist Art

Maximalist art is a reaction against minimalism; an esthetic of excess and abundance. Maximalist art uses lots of bold colors, patterns, textures, layers, repetition, detailed intricacies, serif fonts, luxury materials, and ornamentation. There is very little—if any—white space.

With my maximalist drawings, I find myself working more in monochromatic tones, using super sharp pencils catching the tiniest details. I fill my drawings to the brink. There is less imagination required from the viewer, but one can endlessly play with details. There are so many insects, flowers, and animals, a good writer could fill up many pages with short stories about all that is happening within my maximalist drawing.

It is lovely to work on several projects and commissions, alternating between minimalist and maximalist styles. Needless to say, I accept minimalist and maximalist commissions.

I will upload more blog-posts soon, for now stay well and contact me should you need art, advice on making art, illustrations, or commissions.

Paula Kuitenbrouwer


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