About Anton

September 2011

About me and my paintings

Summarised, my painting is the result of my curiosity: ‘How and why are things actually as they are’. Again and again I’m very curious about the result of the overall picture and its details; and it’s not uncommon for the painting itself to evoke these, sometimes even giving the overall picture a different twist.

Oil painting is a suitable medium for me because the long drying time on the one hand offers room for correction while on the other hand requires some planning of the sequence. This usually takes months. Weeks in advance I’m working on an idea with sketches, resulting in the final design.

Anton Fransen

Until 1984, my favourites were in turn Rembrandt, Vermeer and Claude le Lorrain. More recently I have taken great inspiration from the pre-Raphaelites and also from modern realism.

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I was born on the 10ᵗʰ of June 1945, my parents were Theodorus (Dorus) Fransen and Maria van Oeffelt.

After my studies I worked in the textile industry for forty years, and I did so mostly with enthusiasm. Quality and innovative practice have always been my main concern, and I look back with satisfaction since my retirement in 2007.

Besides the textile profession, my hobbies include playing music, painting and drawing. My experience across these fields is a similar kind of ‘interwoven’ imagination. Music and drawing started during my primary school years while I’m self-taught in painting.

The interest in music stems directly from my father’s infectious enthusiasm. The horn became my great passion; ‘Horn player as alter ego’ wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Originally made out of a horn rather than from brass, this instrument, with its current rich shape and grand sound, can be both extrovert and introvert, its timbre always romantic; ‘Das Waldhorn is die Seele des Orchesters’, Robert Schumann said.

To me, music is a visual source of inspiration for subject, content and emotion, but also with regard to the craft itself; painting is like I imagine composing to be – note by note, measure by measure, carefully fitting into a phrase.

This brings me to the topics of my paintings; often Greece plays a role. I don’t have a classical background. However, the interest in antiquity goes back to my first history lessons. Greeks and Romans in particular still fascinate me, although the emphasis has shifted over the years from warfare, through art, to philosophy. Even though I’m not too familiar with Greek, I use it in descriptions accompanying my paintings. Apart from the fact that I like the alphabet, Greek words and word snippets often arise from thinking and reading about origin, coherence and meaning.

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