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The Seal Without Her Skin - SOLD

The Seal Without Her Skin - SOLD

By Frans Wesselman


Woodcut print

Limited edition


Framed size: H: 65cm x W: 63cm




Selkies are also called seal people, the sea people or mermaids. This print is based on a Celtic and Norse marine legend that tells of people who are half fish, half-human. In the water, they are seals, but, on land, they shed their skin and take on human form.


The folktales frequently revolve around a female selkie being coerced into relationships with humans by a man stealing and hiding their sealskin, preventing her from returning to the sea and forcing her to become his wife. Read into that whatever metaphor you like, Feminist or otherwise.


Typically, Frans condenses this narrative into a single, pithy tableau, with spot colour highlighting our heroine and the culprit. We see the innocent selkie and the dastardly sailor holding onto her skin, with the anxious seals and cormorants looking on.


    People and relationships are central to the work of this Dutch-born former art teacher, always based on close observation of the natural world and of human interaction with other creatures.


    Typically, his pictures tell stories - of people doing things, feeling things, sharing gentle humour. His scenes aim to convey the psyche of each character or of a situation. We have to read what's going on and he wants us to think about it, just like he's done: “I need to have my mind engaged”.


    Enchanting wood cuts, etchings and stained glass pieces are often derived from famous poetry, drama, folklore, myths or travel tales, including Shakespeare and Chaucer.


    Other work is from his imagination or from observation. He draws from life models and goes out with his sketch book to capture anything that takes his interest.


    In 1983, Frans was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE).“I'm a painter above all. I love to look at paintings and drawings; I get a lot out of it. You can look at the detail of a picture and marvel at what the artist has achieved by a single brush stroke. That's the satisfaction, when you find the right stroke and it just lights up the whole picture.”


    We show some of his watercolour paintings and limited edition fine art prints in his own mix of wood cut, lino and etching, framed and unframed. We also show a selection of stained glass pieces.

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