Here I present my recent art: abstract contemporary and colorful paintings on paper and on canvas. My original paintings and watercolors are for sale worldwide. The images of my art you can download for free in high resolution on my Flickr-account.
I am a contemporary Dutch painter from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. My name is Fons Heijnsbroek. I paint dynamic abstract art: Abstract Expressionism. I create my painting since 1990.
Modern abstract colorful art
watercolors & paintings for sale
my paintings grow spontaneously
I label my art as 'intuitive abstract painting' because it covers well how all kind of images come to life spontaneously into my art.
Intuitive and free art means to me, I have no image in store when I start to paint. Because it is the image which calls itself into visual life, during the process of painting. Of course I as an artist must be open for their calling, and I must keep myself aware of everything what comes up and asks for a place in the picture. This is the side of intuitive free and abstract painting, free and agile images coming from some 'place' beyond me as artist and as human being. This is the very dynamic and unpredictable processor, operating in my act of painting.
don't give it a name, I don't talk about, I even stopped thinking about it. It just happens and I show my gratitude by painting images which come to me.
On the other hand I myself must be aware and use my individual history, my grown attitudes, emotions and collected experiences. These form the basis on which I have to make my visual decisions again and again. That is my own responsibility in the creative process. I am not an empty hollow mind; I learned and lived bij watching and looking and trying, year by year. And yet I must keep my mind open to the new and visual sounds coming to me as free birds, as representatives of the unknown; it is a living paradox .......
- So my abstract painting itself grows from free-wandering intuition; it speaks only in the language of images and visual imagination, often beyond myself. This is the area where I transcend and opens myself for new views and pictures which come to me. Painting lies in the twilight between the known and the unknown. I am not mastering the painting; on the other hand, I am not only the victim who just can follows the sound of the universe. It lies between! And the point is: there does not exist a fixed point. That is what art is about, I presume.
Abstract colorful painting of
Dutch artist Fons Heijnsbroek
Fons Heijnsbroek, born in 1951, is an artist from Amsterdam who has been painting abstracts since 1989, first on canvas and since1996 also gouache on paper. His aim is to create free, modern, abstract paintings with lots of energy and vitality. His work shows a progressive transparency and openness. He wants to produce abstract paintings that portray a feeling of optimism, hope and life force. He creates modern, complicated pictures with various layers and internal spaces; he challenges the viewer to wander freely through the painting to find a personal route in the created picture.
Dutch landscape paintings
His abstract and often colorful paintings are created spontaneous - not from any predetermined idea or image. At first, round about 1990, Heijnsbroek used the Dutch landscape as a basis for abstract painting. But, after some years his abstract art developed spontaneously, often with a strong emotional aura / atmosphere. Even so, his art still shows a strong connection to the Dutch atmosphere of land, water and sky that he loves so much.
new areas in abstract painting
Fons Heijnsbroek has a spontaneous, free and direct style of painting with impulsive use of paint and long periods of just looking at the painting. He destroys a large number of his gouaches / watercolours on paper because they do not fulfill his ideal. Destroying a lot of his art has become an integral part of his work process. For him the possibility of destroying creates the chance to allow “the moment itself” to appear freely and without much limitations into his work.
After 2007, under the influence of Albert de Wilde and Paul Werner, lines begin to have more freedom in his painting, especially in his abstract watercolors. In Heijnsbroek’s art the line is usually organic, but now becomes confusing and aggressive, in order to open up new areas of abstract painting. Sometimes the paper tears opening up a new perspective. His wild lines want to keep moving without reaching their target; they fight against strict areas and shapes. To Fons Heijnsbroek, modern abstract painting means continuous journeying to discover new areas.
a painting artist's dialogue
From 2006, a next step in relinquishing his identity started; an intense and enduring painting relationship grows between Heijnsbroek and his colleague Ben Vollers. The two artists paint together and react on the spot on one large painting: ‘A free dialogue in image and paint’. The result is a series of large expressive and colorful paintings. Both artists are strong and direct; their aim is to arrive at an integration of their free coming impulses within the painting. This cooperation lasted till 2009.
Recent years Heijnsbroek has arrived at a point where he looks back on his own development in abstract painting. He is almost 60 years old now, and have painted since 1990 in an abstract free art style. He has to find out new lines for himself, in or outside the painting proces.
- a collector’s view -
I have been collecting modern abstract painting since around the mid eighties. Colour and abstraction has, more or less, always been my guide. In the beginning I went for the colourful work of the Cobra artists. Allthough I could never afford to buy an original Karel Appel, I did acquire a couple of art pictures from other Cobra artists. Later on I expanded the modest collection with art of other artists who where painting with an even so colourful palette. Later on my taste of art was shifting towards more and more abstraction. At first, colour and composition were the main focus. Some abstract-figural elements might have been present in those days. But now my focus lies mainly on the complete abstract art.
Through artlease compagny Artolive I accidently stumbled upon the work of Fons Heijnsbroek. It was love at first sight. Unfortunately (but not for Fons!) many of his paintings were already sold but there was one painting that caught my eye which was still available. It was a large abstract colourful canvas. Immediately I measured the wall where I had the painting in mind and contacted Fons to arrange a viewing at his studio. When I met Fons for the first time there was a warm welcome and a common interest and when I saw the painting in real I bought it immediately.
What I like about Fons' art, and good abstract art in general, is that your eyes can wander all over the painting freely. There is no pause, no stop, no recognition of any figural element and no point to focus on. Just admiring the whole painting. If there is a point of focus on any painting you tend to stare at it and by doing so you skip the rest. Not in Fons' paintings. His paintings are holistic and free works of art. Your eyes travel all over the whole canvas without any limitation. Like travelling to the unknown, it never bores. Every time you look at the picture it is a whole new journey.
Through Fons Heijnsbroek I met Ben Vollers and Daan Lemaire. Both artists share the same ideas about abstract painting and naturally I became interested in their work too. Daan paints colourful paintings on canvas and works on paper. It is not as abstract as Fons' work but they are very balanced, colourful and narrative. In 2006 Fons and Ben started literally a painting joint-venture. Together they worked on the same canvas and by doing so they had to give in, let go, anticipate and react on each others brushstrokes. This resulted in a complete new and exciting co-operation with beautiful abstract painting results. One of those paintings is now hanging on one of the walls at home, in my livingroom!
owner of many artworks of the three artists
Interview with abstract artist duo Ben-fo
on modern abstract fusion-art
* There is a great similarity between you two painting together and jam sessions in free Jazz. Is that what you are doing when you paint together - is it like spontaneous free jazz, in paint?
What we do is improvise freely on one canvas: not particularly on an existing theme, and not one at a time, but together, on the spot, we continuously react to one another with brush and paint. We do not have a concept beforehand, no theme; we start totally blanco. But, we do have one another’s input to react to. For instance, Ben makes a line and Fons takes it further, or puts down another line or changes the colour etc. Apparently we understand each other’s way of working. Jam sessions in Jazz are very much here and now, reacting on the spot, the question, the answer; that’s very similar to what we do with paint. One starts an idea and the other can react.
* Jazz musicians often have a standard as the basis for a jam session, what about you two?
We’ve got all sorts of stuff in our heads, amongst other things the art of painting and the images of that. In that way we are also similar to free Jazz musicians jamming. They use previous jazz. They improvise on an already existing, well known number, a standard, that every well versed jazz musician knows. In the same way we are familiar with abstract expressionism, but also with painting expressively and landscapes, we write and talk about the art of painting without turning it into a concept!!! What are our standards? Well, not only the famous toppers within abstract expressionism. But we have them in mind. But also the city, the light, Van Gogh, Soutine, Ruysdael, Corot, Guston etc.
* What do you have in common in painting?
Something we have in common in our individual painting is that neither of us make a preliminary sketch. We both paint directly and freely onto canvas/paper and react to that whilst painting. When we work together as Benfo, we offer one another images that the other can react to in an associative way. We both experience that this way things happen on canvas that we would never have made individually. The other is necessary in order to extract yourself from individual shortcomings in your own imagery. It can only be done in acrylic paint, a paint that is direct and dries quickly, so can be painted over easily.
* What aspects are of great importance in the process of painting together?
Apart from the free spontaneity and the interaction to one another, there is the aspect of consciously constructing and destructing and consideration/thought. Considering whether the painting will make it, whether it will meet the promise of possibilities or intentions. At that moment we both feel that something is possible, that the painting could turn out well, but we’re not there yet! It’s the moment the painting tells us something and, it’s up to us both to understand. The painting has it’s own free life, it has come to life through us and now it demands that we do this or that. Often, we have to let it go for a bit – distance ourselves in order to recognize the question. We both know there is a moment when we have to paint carefully, with consideration. The phase of free associative painting, wildly, is over - which is by the way just as important. Our painting is a construction, in the sense that there must be cohesion and the various parts must work towards a whole. A structure, let’s say architecture, balance, contrast. In between all that is our freedom; but the final painting must be more than that. Otherwise it’s a failure.
* What does Ben do that Fons would never do?
Ben puts down areas/space, almost automatically. Fons nearly always starts with a construction in lines. Ben paints his spaces/areas with strokes, mainly in white or black, with further strokes so they don’t cover the canvas completely; his lines are often zigzag. Fons’ lines are often flowing and more organic. He often puts coloured layers over something already present, so the colour of that particular area is changed. Fons uses the colours yellow/green/violet/purple more often and Ben more often uses black/sienna but also yellow, dark blue and often lots and lots of red. But all that was six months ago and is probably old hat. In that respect we consume one another!
* What about mutual trust?
There is mutual trust that the ‘other’ watches and continues to work together and make keen judgments in the picture-making. Of course we’ve know one another’s individual work for years – which gives us a good common basis.
* What are your criteria for a painting to be a success or not?
We each have the conviction that a painting should be more than pleasing or nicely painted. We both see that we want to go further. There is no embarrassment between us when trying out something unusual; we can put down something impulsively without worrying about what the other thinks of it. There has to be some risk, otherwise the painting would be a failure for us anyway.
* What is your position in present day abstract painting?
A great deal of what we see around us makes us think that abstract painting is too slick, with too much emphasis on a ‘pleasing’ abstract painting. We are on the wilder side of abstract and free painting. It seems that we think that an interesting painting can’t be slick. As a viewer you have to make an effort to get into the created art picture, plough your way through. On the other hand, we offer a painting that one can actually get into freely with one’s eyes; we are offering a serious visual image. A slick painting excludes; there is no opening, no entrance. We want a painting to have its own ‘inside’. That’s what we mean by a painting being finished; there must be an ‘inside’ apparent in the painting; the painting has the right to existence because it gives visual form to that ‘inside’.
interviewer: Jean Homacher