• A Barn in Tennessee, 2013
  • CGC Kukui, West Pacific, 2007
  • Delhi Rapids, 2014
  • Five Swans, 2016
  • Gut Trinken und Essen
  • Magura Woman, 2010
  • Miller Barn Two, 2016
  • Pride of Baltimore II, 2015
  • Seagull, 2015
  • The Kiss, 2012
  • Miller Barn, 2015
  • The Red Boat, 2015 – Jamestown
  • Totally, 16 x 20, 2016

David Stuart Hoornstra
Painter, photographer, designer, illustrator, writer, action figure.

This site is about creating art I love. And hopefully, enough others will love it enough to help 
me along. I’m not into trendy edginess or abstract. I’m into pictorialism with the emphasis
on landscapes, ships and the sea, people and objects with a story. 

Welcome to my new-style site with more old-style art, shown bigger. There's no menu; it's
more like a buffet. Scroll down for five galleries of my paintings. Further down you’ll find
work in progress, photography and commercial art.

No image on the web can compare with seeing the art in person, and most people want
to meet the artist behind the painting.
 Art fairs are great for this. 
Click My Art Fairs (top) for the schedule. If you can’t catch me at an art fair, you can
arrange to visit my studio.

When I get to it, you’ll probably see videos of my painting process and maybe a blog.
Sign up below for email announcements of new works and art-fair schedule updates.
My Facebook page gets updated more often but the pictures show up better here.
You can order high-quality reproductions of my paintings as well as Greeting Cards.
I keep a few of my best
 in stock ready to ship, and bring them to art fairs. 
Click this Prints/Prices link to open a PDF file in a new window. 
Prints from the Photography section have their own price list in that section.  
At the bottom you’ll find a section called My Life as an Action Figure.
It’s about the stuff that keeps me active, mentally, physically and socially.

Galleries: Oil Painting

Clicking thumbnail opens the gallery in a new window


Oil on canvas


Oil on canvas


Oil on canvas and panel


Oil on canvas and other natural media

Still Life, Floral, etc.

Oil on canvas

Owning art: about originals and Reproductions

Owning an original

An original oil painting should do what a photo cannot. Even the best “giclée” print on canvas cannot match the subtlety and intensity of real oil paint. Capturing the transparency of glazing effects is simply not possible, not to mention the three-dimensional quality of impasto. And even the best print will fade before oil paint, which can keep its glow for centuries. 
The Provenance sticker on your original will remind you to have the painting revarnished once every century. Varnish is not as durable as oil paints once they have polymerized, about six months of drying time. Varnish should not be applied before then.

Purchasing a reproduction

If for whatever reason you cannot own the original, a reproduction is a good choice. “Reproduction” implies matching the original as closely as can reasonably be done.* My printers use “Giclée” technology to print in high resolution directly on real canvas, with a no-fade life well over a century. At a glance, with a coat of varnish, these reproductions can be mistaken for an original. That’s why I add a data block at the bottom of the image. When the canvas print is stretched like the originals on wooden frames, the information shows on the back as shown above. NOTE: with “giclée” there is no limit to the number of perfect prints. Thus the only value in a numbered, hand-signed “limited edition” is based on artificial scarcity. I don’t do that.
* If the original is on canvas, so is a reproduction. If you print it on paper, it’s only a photo, not a reproduction, of the original.

Other Galleries

Work in progress

Oil on canvas: images showing stages in the painting process


Illustrator, Photoshop, natural media and combinations


Galleries in progress: images from the West Pacific, Britain, America


Advertising concepts, artifacts, even buildings. 

Medieval” artifacts

From SCA and related activities.

Get updates and announcements

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Contact me

All questions, comments, and commission estimate requests will be promptly answered.
You can also order reproductions and cards through this page.

My Life as an Action Figure

Fencing is my “98-pound weakling” story. It started me on the path to confidence and excellent health. Sea duty in the Coast Guard helped a lot too.  Swordplay inspired adventures in travel and history scholarship. Perhaps the most important thing I learned is how absolutely essential physical activity – especially leg work – is to one’s state of mind. I’m still learning and trying to give back through teaching. 

Modern Fencing

Teaching a 2015 Ann Arbor Sword Club (AASC) class.

I started in 1963 in Sault Ste. Marie with John Bailey, who later became a master. I became his assistant coach at age 17 and have not quit teaching for more than a couple of years since. I currently teach at the Ann Arbor Sword Club and the Ann Arbor “Y.” Between 1973 and 1985 I competed intensely, including five trips to the Nationals. Now, maybe two tournaments a year.


At Saline Celtic Festival with favorite opponent, Matthew Stewart-Fulton (r).

Fencing led me to the Society for Creative Anachronism, which does medieval re-creation from armored combat to courtly revelry. A great deal of research and painstaking re-creation is done without a rule requiring it. Earlier I was active in manuscript illumination and event design; since 1995, mostly armored and rapier combat. The SCA led me to medieval scholarship. Links below.

Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA)

Teaching at the first Michigan HEMA gathering, hosted by A2 Sword Club.

Dr. Jeffrey Forgeng came to Ann Arbor in the mid 1990s with his historical swordplay research well begun. By introducing it to us, he triggered the Sword Club’s rebirth on the ground floor of a movement now hitting its stride worldwide. With his historical, linguistic and swordplay expertise, Jeffrey’s translations of medieval “fechtbücher” make him a top authority for HEMA. 

History and the Sea

They let us “hale and draw” on the Pride of Baltimore II, ’06. Painting on site.

In the Coast Guard I served two years “before the mast” on a slow freighter to China – literally – and never quite got the salt out. Visits on HMS Victory and USS Constitution, plus six times through Patrick O’Brian’s 20 sea novels haven’t done it. I want to be ready for the next chance to stand on a rolling deck or go aloft. In the meantime I am painting more maritime subjects, some historical.