Step By Step Little By Little

Step By Step Little By Little

Now Up For Auction 




Predominantly, this painting is a portrait of The Barefoot Dutchman, however, the artist draws you in wanting the audience to see this as a metaphorical piece. The Artist underlines this symbolism of this art piece by shining a light on the arduous journey it takes for any person who is dealing with mental disorders. This painting depicts the strength of The Barefoot Dutchman, who demonstrates to sufferers of mental disorders, that step by step, little by little, mental stress can be conquered.

The Symbolism

The Artist accentuates a dramatic storm, brewing in the sky, and glowing with fierce vitality and in doing so gives the audience a visual personification of what mental health disorder looks like. The Artist writes “it often feels like brutal clouds of thunder that looms over the sufferer when struggling to navigate through negative mental spaces.” The Artist suggests that The Barefoot Dutchman is walking away from the tempestuous skies, and in doing so, while the storm plays out in the background, he is in fact not turning his back on the issue, rather he is paving the way forward by accepting and dealing with the mental hurricanes. Another feature of the painting is the cosmos of stars at his feet. This is demonstrating the wild and surreal trek that The Barefoot Dutchman has taken, a celestial walk of triumph or a quest of renewing oneself. The Artist is giving the audience validation of this extraordinary journey, of awe-inspiring heights and of unbelievable dimensions. The Artist draws inspiration to name this painting, Step By Step, Little By Little, giving focus to The Barefoot Dutchman’s feet with glowing lights emanating from each step. The Artist expresses “…acceptance always starts with a first step, regardless of how big or small that step is” and The Barefoot Dutchman fulfills this vision having taken many steps for mankind suffering mental fitness. Through inspiration of The Barefoot Dutchman’s journey of walking 2600km from Cairns to Manly barefoot, setting a new Guiness World Record, his steps are immortalised by shining a light on the ever-present pandemic of mental stress with a newly lit pathway to change imminent with forward strides of steps. The Artist gives one more piece to study in this painting, which is the stance and gentle demeanour of The Barefoot Dutchman, although he is the centrepiece amongst chaotic elements happening around him. The observation of viewing The Barefoot Dutchman looking up towards his face, it is evident that this is a genuine humble man. It is the kindness in the eyes of The Barefoot Dutchman and even his gaze and facial expression with easy strides that shows him as being approachable and comfortable having open arms to welcome anyone who needs to talk. This is Step By Step, Little By Little, featuring The Barefoot Dutchman. 


o In the background, a storm is brewing, and he is walking away from the storm, a metaphor for being able to accept and deal with the mental health issues.

o His journey is surreal and so he is walking on space.

o His facial expression is Bohemian and humble because of his nature.

o His feet are glowing to show that every small step is a shining light on bringing about change.

o Colours are dark, making him stand out in the chaos.

About the Artist 


My name is Ebony, and my Artist alias is Ivory. I grew up completely insecure about myself and struggled with seeing my value, so when I started my business, IvoryArtStore, I created an alias for myself; someone who was the opposite of me. A confident and beautiful woman full of creativity to share. Her name is Ivory. I chose the name Ivory because it is a treasure. I saw my works as rare, exotic, and tremendously valuable pieces of ivory. An elephant’s ivory is the adornment that is precious and valuable that belongs to that elephant, and we n awe how an elephant lives in the wild, without us wanting or needing to take the elephant’s adornment for ourselves. Like an elephant who has a natural adornment of ivory, I wanted to create my own ivory to adorn, not only my home, but many homes also. 


My outlet was art, and so I became an Artist. I grew up in a home with domestic violence, and while I couldn’t control my reality, I found I could control my imagination, which became my escape. To drown the pain I felt, I would endlessly daydream about all the things that could make me feel alive and happy! Fantasies about a better life that I deemed impossible to ever be true! I often dreamt of being different versions of myself: An empowering woman who was fierce, yet the gentle presence gained instant heartfelt respect in a room. Another persona, of a strong, spirited, and elegant woman of the wild, living vivaciously and independently with the land. And yet another persona, a woman that had daring fashion statements, commanding a rally with powerful speeches, being talented in different fields, firm in assertion, humble in secret yet a force to be reckoned with. My imagination was the only place where I flourished and so I fuelled my mind by reading novels, studying history, listening to lots of different music genres and going to cinemas to experience big screen vivaciousness of action-packed movies. It came to the point where I could only live so much of my self-esteem in my mind. Being fierce and vibrant on the inside, I was cold and traumatised on the outside. My normal environment was being torn down daily and I dealt with it by shutting myself up and avoiding any spotlights. My first realisation of escaping this paralytic hold was when I discovered my cultural heritage. Although this was a subject of controversy in my life due to racial discrimination, I could now express, through art, the torment and anguish that had enslaved me. My eyes were opened. The women whom I had envisioned that I wanted to be, were strong, dark, and powerful women, all culturally diverse and unique that featured my look! The lush nature I dreamt about living in, was my cultural roots that connected me to the earth of which the adventurous novels and stories I fell in love with, were feeding these archaic bloodlines that was me. I realised, all the things I deemed impossible to be, were actually the most dominant aspects of me, only, I had been hidden from them. Lastly, I found and acknowledged my identity. No more did I need to shy away from being vivacious or artistic, because… this was in my blood! I came to conclude that there was no-one from the past nor anyone in the future who could stifle my artistic flare given that my identity and my bloodlines empowered me to be the Artist that I am. In my discovery of who I found that I was to be, the free-flowing spirit of my artistic flare poured out of my heart where I furiously painted different worlds unleashed and unbridled from my imaginative mind.

To be specific, I paint women whom I envisioned in scenes that are majestic and empowering, leveraging the power of my inner thoughts. I have completed more than 60 pieces of artworks captured on canvas that had escaped from my mind that was oppressed for years. I have in me, many more years of paintings yet to be expressed from my innermost, deepest self. I want to share the power of my wild imagination with others who can identify with my paintings, looking for an escape.





The Barefoot Dutchman, Anton Nootenboom, has recently broken two Guinness World Records (last month) walking “barefoot” the furtherest (on target to reach 3,000kms) and walking “barefoot” non-stop for 27hrs and 36mins over 84kms.  Five months ago, May 2021, Anton began his “barefoot” walking journey from Cairns and will finally arrive at his destination in Manly, this Sunday 17th October in the afternoon.

He is doing this to raise awareness for mental health depicting, it starts with one step towards someone to help.  An artist called Ivory, has depicted The Barefoot Dutchman’s journey in this painting, appropriately named Step By Step, Little By Little Featuring The Barefoot Dutchman which includes a narrative about the painting and a profile on the artist.

Anton posts everyday to his Instagram account of which he has a massive following and many people’s hearts are being touched by his noble walk and purpose, so you will see truckies, people from all walks of life, finding him on the road and stopping to give him food, drinks, home cooked meals, sometimes a place for the night and some share their story of losing someone to suicide.

Gus Worland, CEO of Gotcha4Life, is behind Anton every step of the way and plan to record a podcast series covering mental health.  Anton and Gus will discuss the journey to create multiple connections synonymous with mental fitness.

Here is a link to The Barefoot Dutchman’s Instagram.

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