FRANS WESSELMAN RE
My interest in art started with the pictures, often cut from magazines which my mother pinned up around the house. Growing up in The Hague, the etchings of Rembrandt and The Hague School were around and made me sneak into the etching room as soon as I got to Art College (also in the Netherlands) After qualifying as an Art teacher and my military service, I left for Ireland and eventually ended up in Britain, where I soon joined the RE. As my artistic interests have become more varied, I am now also a member of the British Society of Master Glass Painters.
Recent Exhibitions include
Awarded Aberystwyth University Purchase Price at Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers annual exhibition 2013
September 2012 “Introducing” Hybrid Gallery, Honiton, two man show
August 2012 “Back to the Future” Broadfield House Glass Museum, Stourbridge, group show
September 2011, Twenty-Twenty, Much Wenlock, solo
October 2011, Gorstella Gallery, near Chester, group show
June/July 2010, McGill Duncan Gallery, Castle Douglas, group show
Twenty-Twenty, October 2009
British Society of Master Glass Painters, 2008, group show
British Glass Biennale 2008, group show.
In 2009 I was commissioned to make designs for the Cultural Olympics project that became “Godiva Awakes”, based in Coventry. This took place over seven days at the beginning of August 2012 when a six metre tall puppet of Godiva was cycled from Coventry to Waltham Forest. I have now been commissioned to design and make eight stained glass windows for the static part of it.
Method of Working
The initial ideas are worked out in scribbles in my sketch books. Once I have a basic composition I start gathering drawings of the various parts, landscape maybe or sketches of buildings or animals. I do go to a life drawing group, but also draw people in the street or use mirrors to work out positions and details of hands for instance. For etchings and stained glass I make quite precise working drawings, for painting much less so. For my colour prints I first make the etched plate, print and off-set this onto ply, which I then cut up like a jig saw puzzle to print the colour from. In the final print the colour is printed first, the etching over the top of it.
In all media I retain much the same style, creating a world dense with people, animals and plants. My paintings tell a story, based on poems and tales or directly on my observations and imagination. However for me it is the story telling itself which is the focus and a valuable function of visual art which allows us to understand and connect human lives.