ROB SCHOUTEN - Magic Realist Painter

Connection, inspiration and Beauty are the three main objectives to which oil painter Rob Schouten aspires. 

"My work is detailed realism with a touch of magic and at times a touch of humor," the artist explains. "Nature is my deepest source of inspiration, as are quantum physics and the stars of the night sky. Symbolism is the language I use to communicate."

Schouten's paintings reveal an affinity for the sacred nature of existence and create a special experience for the viewer, one which lifts the veil of illusion of ordinary reality and reveals the deeper, spiritual dimensions of life.


Currently there are five works available:

One of the pleasures of hiking in the mountains is seeing the myriad of colors and patterns mosses and lichens make on the talus slope rocks. A particularly striking species of crustose lichen is the bright yellow Rhizocarpon Geographica, or Map Lichen, which grows on exposed rock in areas of relatively clean air. Its slow but constant rate of growth enables scientist to calculate the time of the rocks exposure to the elements.

Map Lichens survive in the most extreme of conditions. So extreme that a specimen taken into space and exposed to 10 days of adverse temperatures and space radiation showed no detectable effects. They are in fact by far the oldest living organisms on the planet. Specimen in the arctic have been dated as old as 8600 years.

A measure of Time oil on panel 168 x 24" $3,600


There are many layers of symbolism to this painting. On one level this is a painting about water, falling on the mountain in the form of snow and melting as the rising sun warms the ice, trickling down to form a lake, then flowing out and cascading down, merging with other streams to form rivers flowing out to sea. On another level the mountain is symbolic of consciousness and the central world axis. The lake can be thought of as the unconscious, because it hides unknown things. The reflection shows that things are "as above, so below". The surface of the lake can be thought of as the mind one tries to still during meditation turning the broken reflections into a whole and also revealing part of the hidden world.

Confluence oil on canvas 40 x 30" $12,500

The grasping of the complete image of the stream inside the squares can be compared to the flash of enlightenment. The idea of the whole image being made up of individual fragments represents the idea that consciousness is transpersonal, and that what appears to be separate and individual is really whole, complete, and one.

Monkey Business oil glazes on panel 18 x 24" $4,200

MONKEY BUSINESS was to be a fairly traditional still life, utilizing various vintage objects. However, as Rob started to choose and arrange the objects they started to tell their own story.

The monkeys and the manikins all represent various aspects of our personality: some happy-go-lucky, some feeling trapped in the gears of life, some feeling sad and hurt, some helping and comforting, some meditative, some could give a hoot. We all try to balance these aspects of our self to find love and happiness, represented by the rose carefully held by the clamp. The crates can be seen as the boxed mental constructs we impose on our life, and the fragments of smiling faces as the joys and temptations from which we try to piece together an ideal whole.


Homage to Gustav Klimt

Dani and the Tree of Life was painted for an exhibition of paintings and sculptures in the style of Old Masters at Froggwell Gardens on Whidbey Island in August '13. 

The painting is mostly based on Klimt's first Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer and would have the Tree of Life as subject featuring my friend Dani holding a tree. When researching Klimt's work further Rob discover his Art Nouveau designs for the dining room frieze of the Stoclet Palace outside Brussels with the Tree of Life as subject and decided to base this painting on this Klimt work as well.


Dani and the Tree of Life - homage to Gustav Klimt
oil on canvas 30 x 30" SOLD


The magical instant when two souls connect in divine ecstasy is the subject of this piece. It is a communion in the holy temple of love and the mystery of creation. The painting inside is inspired by the crab nebula as seen by the Hubble telescope. The bright light from which the stars and galaxies burst forth, and duality is born from ultimate oneness, is perhaps symbolic of the big bang, the sacred moment of creation. The lovers too incarnate from the light, the angel representing Spirit and the woman representing Matter, the ‘conjunctio’ of alchemy. The shroud in front of all this is the local universe we are able to perceive, while hidden behind it the deeper and grander forces of creation take place, giving us only partial glimpses of its magnificent totality.

Return to the House of Becoming
oil on canvas and mixed media $5,000

Return to the House of Becoming
interioir painting 30 x 20"

Return to the House of Becoming
mixed media 48 x 36 x 13" deep


With over thirty years experience and his well-honed skills for detail and design, Rob is able to take the viewer to places imagined as only a magic-realist could. His journey as an artist has been inspired by Escher, Dali, Magritte, and the 19th century Symbolist artists, but even more so by the works of Carl G. Jung, Joseph Campbell and his own studies of Eastern traditions.

Earth oil on canvas 30 x 48" SOLD

Slide show of Original Paintings from 1982 to present  (mixed)

Take a journey through the magical world of Rob Schouten in more than eighty paintings.
A number of these paintings are available as cards and prints on our PRINTS & CARDS PAGE.