An Art Gallery In Castle Douglas, South West Scotland, Selling Contemporary Work By National And International Artists and Makers and Scottish Paintings From The 19th Century Onwards.

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artworks by  Frans Wesselman

When I was a little boy, my interest in visual art was kindled by my mother pinning illustrations, cut out from magazines, onto the wallpaper. They were done in a kind of Arthur Rackham style, presumably to children’s stories, though I don’t remember the subjects. But they were drawings, graphic art.

Ever since drawing has been the basis of all my work. I studied hard to learn to draw and now I use it daily, to sketch objects, landscapes, animals or people and to design paintings, etchings or stained glass. This dialectic relationship with the visible world, this looking and interpreting,  is enriching in its own right and has obviously fascinated people through the ages as ancient cave paintings and rock carvings testify.

What fascinated me also about my mother’s choice was that they were illustrations, they told a story in lines rather than in words, and that too has had a great influence on me. I soon found out that there were artists, like Rembrandt, like Picasso, like Manet, who were more powerful story tellers, but the story telling itself is still for me an important function of visual art. It necessitates thinking through the motives, the lives, the emotions of the characters depicted, which I find in itself absorbing. Then one has to decide how these emotions and feelings are best expressed on the artist’s little two-dimensional stage so as to, finally, make the link with the viewer. So that, while sitting all alone in the studio, I am engaged with a whole world of people, animals, plants, weather.

After working for many years as a painter and etcher I saw, on a chance visit to Salisbury Cathedral, Gabriel Loire’s beautiful “Prisoners of Conscience” window, which, besides the graphic, story-telling aspects, had the most glorious colours. I decided to try my hand myself at this wonderful medium and, finding a certain ease in dealing with glass, have now completed many commissions while still exploring further possibilities.

I continue to be excited by all aspects of stained glass, love to study old windows but enjoy investigating modern developments just as much and find that what I learn in stained glass enriches my painting and etching and vice versa.

In 2009 I was asked to do some work on “Godiva Awakes”, an Olympics related arts project based in Coventry. This has now got its funding and I will be working to help realise it, next to my own work, till 2012.

Creative Scotland