The draftsman

To Willem Hofhuizen, drawing was one of the basic needs of life. Whenever he had the opportunity, he took his special fountain pen and started to draw long, flowing lines, which he only interrupted in places where he knew they would be crossed by another line. “Never stop,” was his motto.

In his drawings we see the primal shapes of his other works emerge. With those flowing lines, drawn in utter concentration, he explored how he could best depict his motifs. The results formed the basis for his paintings.

 

This approach represents a departure from "true" expressionism. In his own words: “Although I sometimes allow my subconscious to come into play in the drawing process, I usually try to switch it off as much as possible. The motifs I draw are the result of patient, conscious thought, and they merely serve to give me a reason to paint."

Because of the rich variety of motifs in his work, it is difficult to put a label on Willem Hofhuizen. Anything could catch his artist’s eye, and he was faithful to Cézanne’s adage: "To see a motif is to paint it." But his motifs did not stem from some form of engagement; he painted what was worth painting, purely because it was beautiful or intriguing.