Monday, 30 August 2010

Artist of the Week - Frans Wesselman

Frans Wesselman produces paintings, etchings and stained glass work which often tell a story. People are central to his work, which is also based on the close observation of the natural world. Frans works from his studio extending over Shropshire to the hills of the Peak District.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
In Holland, as an art teacher. It taught me to draw, and a lot about theory of education, which I found very interesting. But I never really enjoyed teaching and only did it for a year.

When and where did you first want to do what you do?
When I was 17, when we were living in the South of the Netherlands.

One favourite living artist?
Ana Maria Pacheco, because she draws and creates worlds in which beings communicate with each other in strange ways.

One favourite historical artist?
Rembrandt, for his empathy with human nature.

Where do you get most of your inspiration from?
Literature, things I see, things my girl friend tells me, things that just come into my head.

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had.
Definitely what I am doing now, painting, etching and making stained glass

Do you work mostly on your own? Have you had any interesting work related collaborations?
I do work mostly on my own, but have recently got involved with an Olympics related arts project that requires collaboration with all sorts of people, from architects to carnival designers.

At age 18 who most influenced your style?
Leonard Baskin, an American wood cut artist.

How much do you bend your 'vision' to suit the marketplace - if at all?
I have “lightened up” a bit over the years.

Who would you say buys your work?
Mostly professional people, often towards or in middle age.

Where and what is your studio?
At home, which is a large Edwardian attic surrounded by tree tops and with a 40 mile view towards the Peak District.

Do you have a good work/life balance?

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

If you could be doing anything else what would it be?
I’d be a baker.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world which would it be?
The Groeningen Museum in Bruges.

Please list any exhibitions you have had in the past 12 months.
Solo show at Twenty-Twenty, Much Wenlock.
Group shows at Bankside Gallery, London; RWA in Bristol; Gorstella Gallery, Chester; Printfest, Ulverston

Frans will be showing his work at the Brighton Art Fair in September.

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