Frans Wesselman

Frans grew up on the outskirts of The Hague, Holland, a child of a large family. Having spent his early youth catching sticklebacks, rushing around on bikes with his friends and brothers and scouring the beach for treasure, he developed a liking for visual art. His parents insisting he should do something he could earn a living with, he initially trained to become an art teacher. Later, after doing his military service, this was followed by a few years at art college specializing in photography and printmaking.

After a short spell as a teacher at a secondary school, he decided to move to the Republic of Ireland. Apart from having a wonderful time, he developed his printmaking and did a variety of jobs, technician at a local art college being one of them.

In 1979 he moved to London where he was first employed as a commercial screen printer, then as a screen printing instructor for unemployed school leavers. He meanwhile continued to develop his printmaking, concentrating on etching, and was elected an associate of the Royal Society of Printmakers in 1982. From then on he started to exhibit more regularly and decided to concentrate on his work in painting and printmaking.

In 1986 he moved to Shropshire, the following year he was elected a full member of the Royal Society of Printmakers. For the next four years he demonstrated etching at Art in Action, taught an adult education class in watercolour painting and worked on his paintings and prints, now also inspired by the landscape, livestock and wildlife around him, resulting in a series of colourful bird prints that became very popular.

In 1993 he received the Robertson Prize for Printmaking, in 1996 he executed a print commission for Shropshire County Council, in 1997 he was involved in a lottery funded painting-and-poetry project at a Telford primary school.

From the early nineties on his work became more concerned with people and became more narrative in content. This led to further exhibitions and a spell as a part-time care assistant in a residential home for adults with learning difficulties.

In 1998 he was Artist in Residence in the Potteries museum and Art Gallery, in 1999 Printmaker of the Month in the Leicester Museum and Art Gallery. In 2001 he received a commission for a limited edition print from Galerie Inkt, Den Haag, The Netherlands and was awarded the Drawing Prize of the Society of Graphic Artists.