‘Automatic’ India ink drawing #2

I know that the term ‘automatic’ in conjunction with writing and drawing conjures up the Surrealists and psychoanalysis. I have always been interested in the process, because I am a fan of the Surrealists, and Dada. Many years ago a tried to write poetry in this fashion, but I lost most of the results. And, of course, I like all things ‘Automattic’, because WordPress blogs are what the web is all about.

Recently (see my previous post) I rediscovered the charm of automatic creation. Using a very basic graphic design tool: an ink pen that can only be used to draw lines along a ruler.  I exhibited the results in September 2016 during an art event. In fact I created them on the evening before the opening, because most of my oil and acrylic paintings were not finished in time. People were charmed by the freshness and lack of finish of the drawings. Some of them I coloured with pencil (Faber-Castell Polychromos), and some I coloured with watercolour.

The inspiration of the drawings originates in Italy, and more specifically a journey from Le Marche to Lazio, and Umbria. The drawings are ‘inspired’ by the landscapes and villages, not literal copies, they are concatenations of shapes that popped up during these automatic drawing sessions. The pen, the unstoppable flow of ink, are the main protagonists of these drawings. These pens are created to draw straight lines of even thickness, they are totally unsuitable for fine drawing. But they are great to invent things as you go an to discover the things your mind throws at you.

My mental world is the world of pre-Socratic philosophy, myth, and eternal landscapes, which is also reflected in these drawings. Are they art?

Central corridor of ‘Voorheen de 5 Platanen’ with the 4 drawings.


The pen.
Automatic drawing #3
Automatic drawing #4, “Bagnoregio and Cività”.
Automatic drawing #5.




A free impression based on a visit to Orvieto last summer. In September 2016 I made a series of very quick sketches using India ink and a very old pen used for technical ruler drawing. The pen has a screw that governs the flow of ink. They were normally used for technical drawings, frames etc. I inherited this one from my father, who used it as a typography student.

The ink flows out, and you can’t do much to control it. So you have to move very fast, and preferably without pause, because when you stop you will get a blob of ink. No time to plan, no time to think, just go. A perfect way to create a series of spontaneous drawings with flaws and all.

'Orvieto'. Indian Ink on grey paper. Eelco Bruinsma 2017.
‘Orvieto’. India Ink on grey paper. Eelco Bruinsma 2017.

I used very rough blueish grey sketching paper that I bought years ago and can’t find anywhere anymore.

A series of 4 is now framed and forms a perfect match to the colours of the paneling in the main corridor of the wonderful B&B (or better, D&D = ‘dining & dreaming’: Voorheen de 5 Platenen) of nearby friends.

Eau de Krelis, a visual rant

Eau de Krelis
Eau de Krelis

Sometimes I have these bouts of bad humor. Aaah, can’t help it. Must be the weather.

A Beginner’s Guide to Doomsday Prediction

Unfathomable depths of iconographic variations in never ending combinations. Teach yourself the subtle art of Doomsday Prediction and go forth … from village fair to village fair, from hill to valley, from towne to townshippe, and shakey uppe ye olde publicke opinione.

Image with all kinds of symbols
Beginner’s Guide to Doomsday Prediction



Impending Doom

The End is Nigh (cartoon)
The End is Nigh!



De bibliotheek opruimen 1 – Pieter Teyler, geschiedenis, kunst, vormgeving, Arman, Afrika

Boekcover Arman & L'Art Africain

Dit is een bericht voor de liefhebbers van goede cultuurhistorische boeken.

Ondanks het feit dat we in een ruim huis met veel kamers wonen, beginnen mijn boekenkasten te kraken onder het gewicht dat zij moeten torsen. Ik heb geen zin nieuwe kasten te bouwen. De boekencollectie is opgedeeld in literatuur, voornamelijk Engels, Duits, Frans en Nederlands, in een aparte kamer die – hoe verzint men het? – “Bibliotheek” genoemd wordt; en vakliteratuur, kunst, kunstgeschiedenis, design, filosofie, cultuurgeschiedenis, die zich vooral in de werkkamer/atelier bevindt. De afdeling vakliteratuur bevat ook veel boeken die zijn aangeschaft tijdens het werk aan cultuurhistorische projecten, als handbibliotheek.

Vaak gaat het daarbij om uiterst interessante onderwerpen, maar het zijn geen boeken die mij na aan het hart liggen. Ik heb ze een keer doorgebladerd en daarna keurig in de kast opgeborgen. Vaak had ik ze niet nodig, omdat er elders voldoende informatie beschikbaar was.

Ik heb een selectie gemaakt van boeken van zeer goede kwaliteit, en die moeten er nu uit om ruimte te maken. Deze eerste partij bevat voornamelijk boeken over de Nederlandse Verlichting, Pieter Teyler, en Teylers‘ Museum, maar er zit ook wat kunst, geschiedenis en design tussen.

De boeken worden op Marktplaats te koop tegen redelijke prijzen.

Hieronder een overzicht, alle boeken zijn in zeer goede conditie en, indien aanwezig bij aankoop, voorzien van de oorspronkelijke stofomslag (geen gebruikssporen, aantekeningen e.d.):

De idealen van Pieter Teyler. Een erfenis uit de Verlichting. (2006)

Boekcover De Idealen van Pieter Teyler
De Idealen van Pieter teyler

Koop De idealen van Pieter Teyler op Marktplaats

Nederland 1780-1914.  (2000)

Nederland 1780-1914

Koop Nederland 1780-1914 op Marktplaats

Koopman in Azië. (2000)

Koopman in Azië

Koop Koopman in Azië op Marktplaats

Arman & L’ Art Africain. (1996)

Arman & L’ Art Africain

Koop Arman & L’ Art Africain op Marktplaats

De Exotische Mens. (2009)

De Exotische Mens

Koop De Exotische Mens op Marktplaats

Hoogtepunten uit Teylers‘ Museum. (1996)

Hoogtepunten uit Teylers‘ Museum

Koop Hoogtepunten uit Teylers‘ Museum op Marktplaats

Teyler 1778 – 1978. (1978)

“Teyler’ 1778-1978

Koop Teyler 1778 – 1978 op Marktplaats

Lay in – Lay out. (1997)

Boekcover Lay in - Lay out
Lay in – Lay out

Dit is een heel mooi uitgegeven boekje. Ik hou van het papier, de gebruikte lettertypen, de licht ironische teksten en de gekozen afbeeldingen. Een boekje om nu door een ander gekoesterd te worden.

Koop Lay in – Lay out op Marktplaats

Dat was het voor vandaag. Binnenkort loop ik de kasten weer na.


Artificial dwelling mound #2 (terp)

Illustratie van terp bij hoog water - illustration of dwelling mound at high tide
Artificial dwelling mound #2 (terp). Watercolour on paper. © Eelco Bruinsma 2016-2017

This illustration, or rather impression, is created with black ink from Liquitex and watercolour on smooth all-purpose art paper (Paint-On by Clairefontaine, 250 gsm).

It was done fairly quickly and loosely to match the style of the educational website in which it appears. I always use Rembrandt watercolour paint by Royal Talens. Rembrandt watercolour has a wide range of vibrant, very high quality, and lightfast, colours. There are of course other very good brands, but I have decided to be chauvinistic, and loyally stick with this high quality Dutch brand.

Catching spirits in a box

Woman taking selfie on terrace in Paris
Catching spirits in a box. {Louvre, Paris} EB 2014

Sorting and storing my photo’s I came across this one, which I had already forgotten all about. Having an afternoon off after an exhausting meeting a few years ago, I strolled with my daughter through Paris while we reflected on the cult of the Self(ie).

We went for a coffee in what is probably the worst café in the world, Café Marly, just a stone’s throw from the Louvre. While we waited a very long time for the obnoxious, arrogant and very slow waiter to bring us a cold cappuccino which was brewn from a mixture of sewage and water taken from the industrial port of Le Havre, we observed the ritual of the selfie in all its manifestations. Which was nice.

Our mood was not in the least affected by the bad coffee, and the abysmal hospitality at Café Marly; we shrugged it off, and continued our wanderings through the town.

Artificial dwelling mound

Artificial dwelling mound in the northern Netherlands. These mounds are called terpen in Friesland (Frisia) and wierden in Groningen. They were built to keep people and cattle dry during the frequent floodings of the coastal area in the northern Netherlands, and the northern region of Germany (Ostfriesland). There are many types of these dwelling mounds, but the canonical types are circular (radiair), and rectangular. The circular road, or Ossengang (Ox Road) was used as a route to bring the cattle from the field to the stables. In the first centuries CE the people lived in long houses with their lifestock.
Artifical dwelling mound. Rectangular type. This image represents a later stage. During the Middle Ages the germanic places of worship were replaced by christian churches. Often a church was built on a location that was already a place of worship. These villages have survived relatively unaltered and can still be visited today.

Touch (collage)

touch sensitive - collage
Touch (collage)