Frans van Hoppe

Most of what I know about art I learned from my dad. He was an enthusiastic expressionist painter with an honours degree from the Kunst Academie of Amsterdam.

From when I was 7 years old, he used to take me outdoors to paint in oils. He showed me the sunlight reflecting from leaves and trees and houses and water. He taught me to draw, to work with pastels and to play with watercolours.

In 1968 I came to New Zealand and found a vacancy in Mercury Bay Area School in Whitianga. I taught Art for the next 22 years. At that time you could find a lot of good potters in the Coromandel, so I learned to turn pots on the wheel, I learned to make my own glazes and to make sculptures.

I gave evening classes in drawing, painting and pottery. These evening classes produced a core of enthusiastic painters who eventually became an independent group of artists called: "the Whitianga Art Group Inc." On retirement, I became a full-time potter and sculptor. In 2005 I swapped clay and potters wheels back to easels, oils, brushes and palette knives.

My inspiration is drawn mainly from the surrounding nature. The Coromandel landscapes and seascapes are awe-inspiring at any time. Everybody loves the beaches, the boats and the bush. I will never get tired looking at them and painting them. My paintings are strong in colour and structure. Colours express emotions of awe, fondness and admiration. Colours make you feel at ease with the waves in the water, the waves of the grass plumes, the motion of a diving seagull and the wind in the branches.

My work can be seen in my studio at 101 Robinson Road, Whitianga, in the exhibitions arranged by the Whitianga Art Group and occasionally in “Mosaic” (Whitianga Art Gallery) and in the Thames Art Society Hall.

Address: 101 Robinson Road, Whitianga