Contemporary realism still life -
In “Tempus Memores I” (acrylic on wood panel, 19 ½ x 19 ¾ in.), a Scottish Straight cat sits next to an antique Delft Blue ginger jar.

Meet this week’s top Realism Today Ambassador, contemporary still life painter Lorena Kloosterboer.

Dutch-Argentine artist Lorena Kloosterboer (b. 1962, Netherlands) creates contemporary realist still lifes, focusing on glass and ceramic pieces, sometimes accompanied by birds. Lorena’s compositions are infused with symbolism and reveal her desire to capture the fascinating interactions between colors, light, shadows, textures, and reflections and unite them in visual poetry.

During her thirty-plus-year career, Kloosterboer’s artwork has won numerous awards and has participated in over 150 gallery and museum exhibitions in Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Kloosterboer also enjoys writing about art and fellow artists. She has published a book titled Painting in Acrylics, publishes essays, and writes introductions to art catalogues.

Lorena Kloosterboer currently lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.

About “Tempus Memores I” (shown at top)

The cat enjoys symbolic duality, always balancing two opposite values simultaneously, such as light and darkness, rest and action, recklessness and caution, good and bad, yin and yang. In particular, the cat represents independence, curiosity, and courage.

Moreover, the gray feline embodies the spiritual realm and represents guidance from the beyond. The covered Delftware jar is a universal symbol for the Mother Goddess, due to its characteristic qualities related to holding, immersion, and pouring. Allegorically, it contains the cosmic waters as the Feminine Principle, the Life Source.

Tempus Memores means ‘Time to Remember” in Latin. It symbolizes the importance of taking the time to reminisce, to celebrate and mourn, and to reflect back on the past and learn from our experiences.

Contemporary realism still life -
Lorena Kloosterboer, “Tempus ad Requiem XXIX,” acrylic on panel, 12 x 15 ¾ in.

Lorena Kloosterboer, “Tempus ad Requiem XXIX”: Two male zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) perching amid elegant blue-and-white patterned dinnerware.

According to recent studies, a significant proportion of zebra finches prefer life-long relationship bonds with a same-sex partner.

Finches symbolize fidelity as well as happiness, appreciation, high energy, and optimism. The flight pattern of the finch — never straight but more like a joyful dance — reminds us that life is a journey and that we should enjoy all the milestones along the way instead of solely focusing on our end goals.

Tempus ad Requiem means “Time to Rest” in Latin. It symbolizes the need for a time and a place to rest, to come to terms with life’s hurdles and replenish our energies.

Contemporary realism still life -
Lorena Kloosterboer, “Tempus ad Requiem XXX,” acrylic on canvas, 27 ½ x 11 ¾ in.

Lorena Kloosterboer, “Tempus ad Requiem XXX”: A crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) perched on a Chinese craquelé vase decorated with ancient text.

The crow enjoys complementary symbolism — on the one hand it’s associated with the mysterious magic of spiritual guidance, while on the other hand it’s the archetype of the mischievous trickster. Both these representations are related to the gift of perception, personal transformation, flexibility, and fearlessness.

The hand-painted craquelé vase with traditional Chinese writing shows a passage of a divination from the I Ching — also known as the Book of Changes, China’s oldest book, dating to around 1000 B.C.E. Due to its observations, the I Ching is considered an influential text offering inspiration to the realms of religion, psychoanalysis, literature, and the arts throughout the world.

Learn more about the artist and her contemporary still life realism at

Related > Browse portrait and figure workshops in the style of realism here.

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