! Lang Leve Rembrandt ! at the Rijksmuseum

I’m excited to announce my submission to a juried competition for a Rembrandt-themed exhibition at the Rijksmuseum! The main condition to be selected for the exhibition Long Live Rembrandt is that one’s work should be inspired by Rembrandt.  This summer, selected artists are going to have the opportunity to present their artwork in the Rijksmuseum!  An expert panel of judges will select the artworks for exhibition in the Rijksmuseum’s Philips Wing from July 15 (Rembrandt’s birthday) - Sept 15, 2019.  Wish me Luck!

After an intensive independent study of the 17th Century’s most prolific self-portrait artist over the last few months, I combined my love for textured art with my curiosity of realism to produce my first ever self-portrait, using oil paints and a variety of unconventional materials (including coffee, marble dust, and quartz-sand). 

At first glance this painting may appear to be just a self-portrait, but, inspired by some of Rembrandt’s iconic techniques, there’s more than meets the eye.  Here’s my concept on how Rembrandt inspired my work of art:

TamikoBraun Self-Portrait with Gorget

Self-portrait with Gorget


As an artist, I explore ways to create paintings that speak to me and others about intellectual and philosophical ideas. The textured canvas of my mixed media self-portrait is constructed using available modern and natural materials, including coffee, sand, and marble dust, to visually communicate Rembrandt’s distinct use of pigment manipulation and texture application. His light-guiding and depth of field inspired me to limit my colour palette and test numerous glazing techniques, creating an atmospheric setting in the piece.

My work offers classical and modern interpretations juxtaposed in one painting. In what looks like a selfie, I’m donning modern day objects, such as sunglasses and headphones; however, I am immortalised by the wearing of a gorget, symbolising my acceptance as a female artist with similar status. Rather than portraying myself as a beautiful woman, I chose to dress myself in masculine clothes to transcend the gender barriers that existed during Rembrandt’s time.

Rembrandt’s face displayed in the background symbolises how a new reality has emerged from the past, but how despite this transition, his techniques continue to influence all types of art today. My artwork thus speaks not only for me, but for artists of all mediums that Rembrandt inspires.

PROCESS/MATERIALS:  To give you a general idea of just some of the materials I used during my scumbling and numerous layering process and how I created my textures on background and on face to reflect age appropriate, scratches in hair and overall depth, lost and found edges and playing with light capture.  I had to do an initial sketch from an quick iphone selfie I took of myself because otherwise I couldn’t see well enough with my shades on to paint via a mirror during daylight nor especially at nights!  If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a note.  (click on an image to enlarge)

  • 100% Linen, 350g/m2, 2cm depth professional quality “di lino Classico” 30x40cm stretched canvas, gesso and sanded.

  • Pencil/Charcoal sketch.

  • Marble dust (Self prepared mixture with water and synthetic-resin dispersion from Guardi) which was applied to canvas in predesigned areas and dried with hair dryer sprayed with water to create textures for the look of weather worn panel and cracks.

  • Coffee glazes set with universal-fixative from Schminke.

  • Quartz-sand from Guardi, 0,2-0,6mm grain dried by fire.

  • Nitram Charcoal grounds mixed with white oil paint.

  • Numerous layers of glazing.

  • Rembrandt artist quality extra fine oil paints from Royal Talen's (Titanium White 105, burnt umber 409, yellow orchard hell 228, ivory black 701, cadmium red light 303, ultramarine light 505, very minimal Indian red 347, Payne’s grey 708 and very few touches of Boesner’s Zinnoberrot 506 oil paint to kiss the lips).

  • Frame was custom-made specifically for the artwork by Boesner’s framing workshop in Forstinning, Muenchen. Thanks Mr. Matthias Mayr!

Time for Reflection

So what are my new objectives this year...

"The Downtown Artist at Large" by © Man One with permission (www.manone.com)

Looking back, I think I must have produced 30+ paintings this past year.  Despite a lot of trials and errors, I was creating and in the flow!  I'm thrilled that many of my works have found wonderful new homes.  That in itself is the greatest compliment and achievement I could ever receive as an artist knowing that my work has touched and inspired another soul.

On a sad note, last week I accidentally got my LEFT pinky caught in a closing subway door and got it broken (totally not cool for a LEFTY) so here I sit at the moment with an oversized cast on my left hand with little ability to move my fingers!  Instead of attempting right-handed painting, I've decided to take a little rest from brushes and canvas but will now focus on another artistic area of interest to me; traveling and photography (I never leave home without my camera. Must be a Japanese thing).

 I'll start my new journey "a new moon, a new place, a new face" in a few days.  My first stop Sri Lanka, then Israel, South Africa....  Looking forward to returning with many new and inspiring ideas.  Happy Trails!  Love you all.  

- Tamiko