4/25/20242 min read





Desert Treasures: Elizabeth Mary Cusiter Bruce's Vibrant Camel Paintings Embody Humility and Heritage

Elizabeth Mary Cusiter Bruce is a Scottish artist who has been living in Dubai since 2012. Her passion for discovering the emirate has been translated into a series of artworks that capture the essence of the people and the elite racing camels that she has encountered along the way. Elizabeth is a graduate of Gray’s School of Art, Aberdeen, Scotland, and was awarded The Patrick-Allan Scholarship during her time at Art School. She started her professional career as an Art Teacher before moving to Dubai to pursue her career in painting full time. Elizabeth has exhibited her work in various galleries in Scotland and Dubai.

Art has always been a significant part of Elizabeth's life, and painting requires love, energy, focus, and commitment. She believes that every line and brushstroke is meaningful and purposeful, evoking sentiments and reminding us of feelings associated with idyllic times. Walking in the desert and being connected to nature stimulates her senses, and encountering camels in the vast, rhythmic landscape fills her with peaceful thoughts and overwhelming feelings of thankfulness. Elizabeth loves to capture the individual charismatic personalities of her camels. She also transforms them from a more traditional palette of browns and beiges to contrasting bright, bold, and vibrant colors. This pop art style conveys the jovial and fun-loving feelings she has for camels.

For Elizabeth, the camel is a sacred creature, a gift from God to humankind that provides much of what Bedouins need to survive in the desert, including transport, milk, food, protection, and clothing. She believes that the spirit of the camel teaches us to appreciate what we have rather than focusing on what

we do not have, to stay happy and satisfied. Painting camels connects Elizabeth to the local community, and she feels grateful when her paintings are successful.

Camels are also mentioned in the Bible. These beautiful creatures are sometimes hard to find in the vast area of barren, sandy landscape. Not only are they camouflaged by blending in with many beautiful colors of the sand here in the UAE, they also have a dune on their back, which helps them to roam around the vast desert without being caught.

Camels are symbols of humility, willingness to serve, and stubbornness, and they have been used in medieval art and sculpture to represent these qualities, largely because they are trained to kneel to receive heavy loads. Camels' colors blend in well with the warm and contrasting landscape of the UAE.

Elizabeth's camel paintings reflect her personality, inspiration, and respect for the culture and heritage of the UAE. Although the colors, light, and atmosphere of her home in Scotland are very different,

Elizabeth loves painting and drawing contrasting topics, such as the quaint villages where she was brought up. She treasures her time in Dubai and all the experiences she has had and invites us to share in her joy and passion.