Happy Struggle

I like to share a website that I just discovered. Many very interesting essays about the perception of art and more! See below.


First I want to show you some details of a big artwork that kept my mind busy day and night. I vividly remember my struggle to make this drawing in Chinese ink with a fine pen. A happy struggle though…




Art, far more commonly than is recognized, uses visual metaphor to depict the process of its own creation in the artist’s mind. There are many stages in the conception of an artwork in any media, each with its own specific character. Some, like the initial meditation on a theme, can be relatively passive; others far more active. The process of transforming a mental image into a specific composition can be particularly frustrating and has often been described as a great struggle. We have all experienced at one time or another the agony of a writer as we try to express ourselves in words; artists and composers must do the same with images and sounds. Works of art are not pretty pictures without meaning. They are full of profound thought. The internal effort involved in placing that thought into an image – articulately, concisely and elegantly – can result in a full-scale battle within the psyche. We, the audience, may find that difficult to imagine when the end-result appears so effortless.

read more on http://www.everypainterpaintshimself.com/theme/creative_struggle/


Note: at the ARTCONNECTION in the menu on top of this page you can find a few new links to other artists! Click there if you like to meet them!



Let’s dance… or draw!

We’re fools whether we dance or not,

so we might as well dance or … draw

I made this woodcut in 1974 after having observed the dancers at the balletschool for a few weeks. I remember that I made many many fast sketches, trying to store each of their movements into my memory so that I could visualise them later again, while working out the final drawing for a woodcut.

The Act of Seeing By Drawing


“Doctors-in-training who took art classes while in medical school appear to have better skills of observation than their colleagues who have never studied art, according to a research from Harvard Medical School”

At the cafe in Antwerp                                  At the cafe in Antwerp, 1978







Today I started looking through some old drawings and sketches and realise again the importance of sketching from observation daily. It’s the fundamental building block of the artist. Keeping a sketchbook is the best way to help my skills grow. I have several sketchbooks in different sizes and I always used to keep one in my bag when I went out. Like a photographer who takes his camera. I know it’s important to pick up this habit again. I’m planning to make at least one sketch a day. Actually anything can go into my sketchbook. Ideas and thoughts as well, not only visual impressions. I should not worry too much about getting things perfect as drawing and any type of art is about the experiments and the trial and error of working things out for yourself.

Artist Frederick Franck states that “the glaring contrast between seeing and looking at the world around us is immense; it is fateful. Everything in our society seems to conspire against our inborn human gift of seeing.” Learning to observe people, places, and activities in the world can make us better. 

My Student Flat, 1978                            My Student Flat, 1978
Male Figure drawing, 1978               Male Figure drawing, 1978
Antoni, 2007                                               Antoni, 2007