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Profile of a Prolific Artist and Master Furniture Designer

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By Louis J. Jean-Louis

Anton B. Berendsen, a highly talented Dutch artist in every sense of the word, has decided to relocate to the Inland Empire to establish The Dutch Studio. This polite Dutchman has gained a reputation as a “Renaissance” man, a revivalist of 17th century art as a painter and a furniture designer.

He is also a sailboat builder, a woodcarver, interior decorator and distinguished photographer.

The Dutch Studio, located at 2712 Maude Street in Riverside, is a gallery that specializes in fine art and furniture designing -- a combination that provides Berendsen with the opportunity to use his skills in painting and furniture designing.

“I have never met such a versatile artist, who is equally proficient in so many fields,” says Mrs. Sylvia L. Jones, an avid art and antique furniture collector, who has commissioned Berendsen to paint a series of old Blue Willow plates for her gigantic collection.

John Louis, de facto manager for Berendsen says, “Whatever a customer wants -- be it a still life, wild life, landscape, seascape, street scene or portrait -- he can do with such vividness and pinpoint accuracy that most people think they are looking at a photograph instead of an actual oil painting. And Berendsen’s limited edition series, featuring the Historic Mission Inn in a way that no other artist has ever done it, will put him in a class all by himself in the Inland Empire,” Louis continued.

Like an emotional moment that etches an indelible mark on one’s subconscious mind, Berendsen’s artistic work as a painter and furniture designer will impress you in a way that you will never forget. As it has been said, of the rarest pleasures in life, are the timeless treasures that bring joy to the beholder. Because of the finishing process that Berendsen uses, his paintings are guaranteed never to fade, to peel or crack, thus bringing years of viewing pleasure and a timeless treasure to the savvy art collector as well as the lay person. These timeless treasures, according to Louis, can be passed from one generation to the next.

Mrs. Jones and Mr. Louis are confident that Berendsen will be regarded as one of the best artists of our time as he gains more exposure and popularity in the artistic community. “And an artist who can design and build any style of furniture, modern, or antique, says Jones, is destined for greatness in the art community.”

Born in Zuilen, Holland, Berendsen had a keen interest in art since his infancy. His father, an antique restorer, introduced him to fine craftsmanship and the secrets of the woodcarving trade at a very young age. His older brother Ian, an accomplished landscape painter himself, taught Berendsen his first painting lesson at the age of five.

However, when the time came for him to choose a career from his many hobbies, Berendsen decided to become a fine sail boat builder. After his four-year study at a “one of a kind” school in Holland, he became competent enough to pursue the love of his life: building more sailboats. He became famous in the land of his nativity for crafting a unique sailboat, known as the Friese Skoetsje, after the tradition of the ancient Dutch Masters. Besides his major in school, he learned blacksmith, architecture and drafting.

In 1985, he and his wife Yelena immigrated to the United States. Since his arrival in this country, this distinguished artist has been painting and designing furniture for art collectors, royalty, actors and entertainers all over the United States and overseas. For instance, a violinist from Anchorage, AK, once commissioned him to paint his Strad. He has also designed furniture for a number of celebrities -- among them is actor Kevin Costner.

Moreover, Berendsen’s colorful paintings have been on display and sold in galleries in the greater Los Angeles area, in Aspen, Palm Desert, La Jolla, Oklahoma City, Jackson, Tenn. and in many other parts of the world. In spite of his numerous accomplishments as a painter, furniture designer and homebuilder, Berendsen is a very humble man.

“I would prefer not to vaunt myself but to let the quality of my work as an artist and furniture designer speak for itself,” Anton said during an interview. “And everyone who comes to see some of my paintings on display at the studio can see what I mean,” Anton said in a soft-spoken voice.

In spite of his outstanding talents and ability to build boats, design furniture, paint, design and build custom homes, Berendsen is an interesting conversationalist who takes as long as it takes to educate his prospective customers about his work. If you prefer, call him personally for a free consultation at (909) 231-0906. And you will be delighted to get to know him.

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