Gustav Ykema's artworks including paintings, drawings, photographs, sketches, etc.

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The Artist

Gustav Ykema

The purpose of posting this site was for me to expose my art journey with anyone interested in how such a journey develops from youth to maturity and novice to experience.

My goal is to enter all my works from early teenage to present.

The artforms will include photographs, drawings, paintings, sketches and poetry.

This site remains a work in progress, and my wish is to ultimately display a semblance of progression

About Me


Born in Apeldoorn, Province Gelderland, The Netherlands, grew up in Kitchener, Province of Ontario, Canada.

I always tended to gravitate towards the arts. The images that are displayed, on this site, are intended to show my artistic journey. The content is all relevant to my experiences starting in grade 2 when my father gave me his Foth-Derby camera. Building this site is a journey, in its self, as I dig into my past, while creating my future works. I will continue to add content from both these sources.

My moeder en vader lived in Amsterdam op de Keizersgracht during the war. That was the early connection I had with Amsterdam. My mother would tell me stories of their life in the Netherlands. So, after college I went to visit relatives, in Amsterdam, and decided to stay and work. For a time I lived op zolder by my aunt and uncle. During this period I walked the city any free moment I had. My uncle had lent me his camera and off I went making photos of everything and anything. I can truly say Amsterdam was etched into my heart. This was the spark needed for me to restart my artistic journey later on.
Learning photography at an early age was the start. I started drawing with pencil, doodling in all my school notebooks, and even painting a mural on the family basement wall. My father gave me his compass set and with his help start me to understand perspectives and create technical drawings. In college I studied Theatre Arts. Interacting in the theatrical world with other creative minds and personalities was where I grew up emotionally and creatively.
I had done a number of drawings, all of which I did in pencil. There was a moment where there was a need for colour, so water colour pencils became the tools. I had tried pastels to give me a more solid colour but noticed abstract was not the direction. At this point I changed over to present day acrylics medium.
The later water-colour period is where the scenes turned to Amsterdam. I believe, as I was now living back in Canada, my heimwee for Amsterdam started the present journey. Oddly enough I can’t pin down how some of my development occurred, but my goal is to grow in this art form without intentionally copying others techniques.

I’m at a point where I would like to expand my subject matter. Therefore I’m asking anyone, following my site, if they’re willing to submit a clear photo of a scene from their lives that means something dear to them. With your permission to paint that scene and post it on my site.

Some of my paintings take much time to finish and I must also be selective. Please take no offense and be patient.

Thankyou for your interest.