Unfolding Entities, Realms, Perspectives, Transformations and Resonances...

Friday, December 9, 2016

Deep Sea Patience

abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Deep Sea Patience, 50 x 50 cm acrylic on panel, © Olivier Hijmans 2009

"The risk of movement
Colors protect each other
Until that moment"

There was a time when I used to write a Haiku (or pseudo Haiku) with every new painting. This Painting dates back to 2009, a golden oldie indeed.

Titled 'Deep Sea Patience', this work reveals a scene that is both dynamic and tranquil at the same time. It is like a very specific puzzle that might drastically fall apart when one of its individual elements is removed.

Or, more anecdotally, you can imagine a slightly frightened fish in the upper center of the picture, trying to hide behind a colorful coral and other sea creatures. The art of camouflage and natural harmony at the same time. But what if it moves..?

To me, this painting combines a sense of peaceful harmony and colorful danger into one reality.

This painting is not for sale on Saatchiart, I might offer it as print on demand, though.

Saturday, December 3, 2016


Photo by Olivier Hijmans
Dried Sea Urchin

There is something to the number 5. Apart from us having 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot, the number 5 is mathematically very interesting. It features in both the prime number list and the Fibonacci sequence for example. Then there is the ancient notion of the "fifth element" or "quintessence"...

But the number 5 also quite often appears in nature. Look at the sea urchin for example. Or starfish. Or leaves. Or flowers... as is examined in an interesting article by Japanese mathematician Yutaka Nishiyama.

The above picture is of the inside of a dried sea urchin. Beautiful esthetics here. To me, the star shape evokes a sense of unsurpassed freedom, expansion and scope. The number 5 gives rise to near endless architectural possibilities or morphological varieties.

Very often, I find the number 5 appearing in my art as well... a piece of music consisting of 5 parts for example, or using 5 distinct classes of sonic material. And in technical terms, I usually describe my art (both the sonic and visual) as an interaction and unfolding of 5 core elements: Entities, Realms, Perspectives, Transformations and Resonances.

Last but not least, my son is 5 years old now, an age at which a child starts showing him or herself in very outspoken ways.. 

In other words: Gimme Five!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Climate of Change

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Climate of Change, 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2015
A snapshot of an ever changing landscape, moving from desert to forest, from warm to cold.. Like many of my landscapes, this panorama shows multiple horizons, being less linear than it appears at first glance.. just as the human mind itself and our perceptions..

You can see the swirls of weather shaping the surroundings. The distant sun has witnessed many changing climates come and go, persistently carving and polishing the never finished sculpture called Earth..

I painted this in December 2015, now giving it the long awaited release it deserves...
For sale on Saatchi Art.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kite at Eagle Peak

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Kite at Eagle Peak, 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2015

Mountains always have my attention. Is it their solidity? Their overwhelming appearance? The way they play with light? Their vistas? Probably all of the above.

Kite at Eagle peak is a painting I made in 2015. It is now for sale on Saatchiart.

Eagle Peak is the mountain top where the Buddha is said to have expounded his teaching called the Lotus Sutra. This is regarded his most important teaching, in which he declares all life to be inherently endowed with the highest potential for wisdom, compassion, courage, happiness and fortune.. no ordinary message indeed.

So I used this single fluttering kite as a symbol for this state of absolute spiritual freedom, as it playfully dances around this serene mountain top. The moon is there to witness the show.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Future music

Olivier Hijmans, sonic and visual art
My studio 

Last summer I moved my electronic music studio into the atelier I'm grateful to be able to use. It has transformed into an inspiring art space, where I compose and paint, looking out over the historic city center of Leiden...

I took the above picture on October 13th, which is a very significant date for me. My father, from whom I inherited my interest in music, passed away on October 13th 1996... A composer, father and socially committed person, he will always remain a great example for me, standing tall like a majestic mountain in the uncharted landscape of my life.

Now, exactly 20 years later, I finally summoned all my courage to start composing music on a daily basis. For real. For the first time. Ever.

So I decided to dedicate to my father the piece I'm working on right now. It will embody my World view, my gratitude toward my father and my mentor, and my resolve toward the future.

It is called "Indara-Mo", which is Japanese for "Indra's Net". This is a Buddhist metaphor expressing the fundamental interconnectedness of all life and the universe. Do check out the story, it's so beautiful, and its implications so important...

My wish is to compose music that transcends what I have learned, expresses a new paradigm of interconnectedness, and resonates with people's hearts...

I will write more about this in the near future.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Wing

Abstract painting bij Olivier Hijmans
The Wing, 60 x 60 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016
Flapping feathered wings, making wind, moving and navigating through a complex World, breathing life into stillness..

Silver light is shining at us from a distance, revealing colors in a clouded realm..

There is a particular depth and dynamism in this painting, that I'm trying more and more to achieve. The warped triangular shapes are a recurring entity in my work. I find them to be elegant and vibrant elements from which to build harmonic structures and movement. The jagged line in the center adds to the gestural contrast as it disappears into the distant shimmer.

For sale at Saatchi Art.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Saatchi Art

It's been a while since my last blog post..
But I am very happy to share with you that my painting 'Reach Out' has sold to a collector in Scotland, and that my work 'Desolate' was featured in a collection by Saatchi Art's chief curator Rebecca Wilson. I am very grateful.

It is a wonderful thing about this age to be able to share one's art online with so many people around the World.

You can check out my space on the Saatchi Art gallery here

I'll be back soon with more updates!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Mont Sainte Victoire

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
"Mont Sainte Victoire" 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans, 2015
Cézanne's famous series about Mont Sainte Victoire has been a great inspiration for me. Having attended many Buddhist summer courses over the years near the village of Trets, overlooking this beautiful mountain, I have formed a deep connection with this area. The specific herbal scent, the dry summer heat, the sounds from the valley, the ever changing color and lighting of the mountain... It really is a very special place. Cézanne knew that, and I also experienced it very much.

Though the mountains in this painting are not quite the shape of the actual Mt Sainte Victoire, this scene is an expression of the area and everything I experienced there, as projected from my heart and observation.

For sale on 

Friday, August 19, 2016


Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
"Energy" 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016 
There are those days when, suddenly, a lightbulb ignites over your head, bathing you and your tired face in the refreshing light of a great new idea. Like, for example, the day I realized I should integrate my music studio with my painting studio, which had been in two separate and slightly impossible places.

It is the pure energy of creativity that lights the bulb of ideas. Like the Buddhist teacher Nichiren Daishonin said: "..a candle can light up a place that has been dark for billions of years."

New ideas are always already there, in a latent state of potentiality, stored non locally in the cosmos. We just need to resonate with them and light the bulb so we can see them... right?

Thursday, August 4, 2016


Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
"Inversion" 40X40 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans, 2016
In what at first appears to be a raging sandstorm, we may suddenly find a well balanced freeform symmetry. Even stillness. There is a careful yet playful mimicking and inversion of shapes in a shared space of mutual respect.. A mild anarchy perhaps. Again, there is this hint of a double horizon, and a kind of inversion layer above which directions change and color contrasts increase.
The rolling hills in the distance have seen these aerial formations assemble and disperse time and again...

There you go, another freeform analysis of a freeform painting. I enjoy my intuitive workflow.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
"Departure" 30x30 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans, 2015
Time to reflect on a painting I made last year. One of my personal favorites, actually. It may look as sad as it looks playful. There is a clear interaction between light and darkness here... there is a sense of emergence and disappearing, hope and fear, perhaps, or loss and gain... Sometimes in life, the curtain just opens to a new phase, which inevitably entails a drama of welcoming new developments and parting with current situations, tendencies, or relationships. Through our tears, we see the first blurry glimpses of a new reality.

From a deeper perspective, it is this "cycle of birth and death" of life phenomena that reinforces our vitality and refreshes our perspective. The trick is not to be afraid of the shadowy figure standing in the distance when the curtain opens, and to have the courage and seeking spirit to enter a new paradigm.

My personal conviction is that from time to time one does need to fundamentally question one's World view, and therefore also reconsider the anatomy of one's inner World as well. Even the hardest rocks on Earth were completely morphed and moulded by the immense forces of the elements, time and transformation. Likewise the thickest of walls in life can be broken through by the power of determination, courage and wisdom.

Are you prepared to see what's on the other side?

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Dragonfly, 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans 2016
It has been a little quiet in my blogosphere, as I've been away for a bit. A short journey to the beautiful and peaceful island of La Palma (Canary islands) has deepened my resolve and perspective as an artist. At one point, while taking a swim in a pool there, I was accompanied by an elegant deep red dragonfly of a type I had never seen before. It seemed to follow my movements back and forth the pool, examining me as I was examining it.

Anyway, now I'm back in the blogosphere, and I'm very happy to present to you a work called 'The Dragonfly', that I had mysteriously made shortly before that encounter on La Palma. Very curvy and abstract, it combines and elaborates upon various elements in my previous creations. Aesthetically, I'm trying to find the sweet spots in the realms between smooth and jagged lines, gradients and carefully articulated colors, space and congestion, abstract and figurative, movement and stillness.. and so on. It's all there, and again, it leaves enough room for interpretation.

Still, many people immediately seem to identify an dragonfly in this scene. And once you've seen it, that is what it becomes. Very interesting, because aesthetically there are many parallels between this painting and 'Blue Morpho', which I made three years ago.

I particularly like the idea of a dragonfly being depicted in this work, because like in Blue Morpho, the scene seems to integrate the shape and movement/behaviour of the flying creature into a singular entity. You and how you walk are one and the same, aren't they? The curved wings become the swirling flight path and vice versa...

The dragonfly is incidentally one of my favorite animals. Apart from their obvious beauty and color, I find them very interesting because they are of very sturdy and old evolutionary design. They were among the first winged insects that came into being around 300 million years ago. Also they have amazing flight capabilities.. a great source of inspiration for artists and engineers alike.

It will shortly be for sale on Saatchiart.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Blue Morpho

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Blue Morpho, 20x20 cm acrylic on panel © Olivier Hijmans, 2013
Some years ago I found myself walking along a hidden coastal forest trail at the far end of the island of Bocas del Toro, Western Panama. The heat was blistering, cicadas' chirping was deafening, huge waves were crashing on the deserted beach. Just when I thought nature couldn't get any more intense, a wonderful shiny blue creature suddenly appeared out of nowhere, dancing through the air, right past my face, to disappear before I could even attempt to follow it. It was a big Blue Morpho! A beautiful butterfly that is featured in many myths and legends in Latin America. Then another one appeared and vanished even more swiftly...

Back home I decided to try to capture the impact of my encounter with these Blue Morphos in painting. Their swift and gracious choreography, their intense blue hues, and their effortless symbiosis with their surroundings. While painting this I realized that sometimes shape and movement truly become one.

I now cherish this small painting at my desk as a personal favorite.

Prints are for sale at Saatchiart.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Reach Out

Abstract landscape painting by Olivier Hijmans
Reach Out, 60x60 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans, 2016

I do enjoy painting wide landscapes and horizons. In the early days, it was hard to believe or understand that another land might exist beyond the horizon. But we had a strong sense that there would be something there, though we had no idea what those lands would look like and who their inhabitants were. Ships sailing to the edge were destined to fall off of the face of the Earth, many feared.. a now very illogical scenario to us of course, freely flying around the globe and across the continents.

Still, I imagine we cherish the same perspective when gazing at galactic horizons in outer space.. Some of us do have a hunch that ET civilizations might exist, and some believe we have been visited by some of them. Yet many will claim our ships, or theirs, would never be able to break through the light-speed barrier, let alone safely cover any intergalactic distance..

This I find to be a very fascinating paradigm. Are there other Worlds out there? Will we ever be able to reach out to them? And when we do, who and what will we find? Our interaction with an ET civilization would most likely not be very linear. It would probably be mind bending, uncomfortable, exiting, and deeply transformative to both. Their World may somewhat resemble ours, or it might be a completely upside down experience to us. Even the most deserted desert might contain a hidden wealth of life, and the cosmos might turn out to be teeming with life, like a fresh green forest in spring. Maybe one day our Blue Marble will be their Blue Marble and vice versa. Fundamentally and playfully engaging in the struggle to reach out to each other, all connected in the eternally flowing river of existence...

For sale on Saatchiart.

Monday, May 2, 2016


Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Undefeated, 40x40 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans, 2016 
This was no easy painting, and I did almost give up halfway on this one. So I'm glad I decided to persist and struggle. We can see a little smiling candle flame courageously trying to burn it's way through several layers of obstacles. Or we can see a couple of fragile wings trying to lift a pile of basalt blocks and a giant teakwood table into the nightfall. From another angle it might be a bunch of thoughts frantically trying to cling together... Either way, this is a scene of friction and possible breakthrough. An homage to the spirit of 'never be defeated'!

With a touch of Cubism..
And for sale on Saatchiart.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Harp

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
The Harp, 40x40 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016

If you look closely, you may discern the contour of a harp, a huge brown wooden celestial harp, suspended in space. Emitting unbounded colors and tones that travel across all borders in all directions. The harp was one of the favorite musical instrument of my father, to whom I owe my interest in music and art, and so much more..

For sale on Saatchiart.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Abstract landscape painting by Olivier Hijmans
Precambrian, 40x40 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans 2016

Since there are obviously no photographs of prehistoric times (unfortunate as that may be), there is no limit to our imagination as to what our planet may have looked like in long gone eras. To me this painting evokes a sense of the unlimited life potential of Earth in, say, the precambrian era..
A scene so distant in so many ways, and yet so vividly dancing in front of your eyes.. this image reveals many layers, colors, movements, perspectives and atmospheres. Also, it makes one wonder what "happened next".

Soon for sale on Saatchiart.

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Desolate, painting by Olivier Hijmans
Desolate, acrylic on canvas, 40x40 cm © Olivier Hijmans, 2016
Has this lone black tree lost all its color to the mountains? Is this a scene of hope or despair? Can the sun still warm these rolling hills? What's behind those distant peaks? And what's that black ball doing up there in the clouds? ..Many questions to be answered about this panorama. Again, a conscious choice can be made here, projecting either a barren and cold realm or a gentle tale of early spring onto this canvas. Even the most desolate of places could spring to life under the passionate glare of our willful eyes... For sale on Saatchi Art.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

For Sale on Saatchi!

Now that spring has finally arrived, I'm very happy to announce that my paintings are now for sale on Saatchi art. Please check it out, enjoy, and watch the portfolio grow!

You can buy original works there, or order a print on demand on canvas or fine art paper.

Saatchi art is a very comprehensive site with tons of great art on it. It's a great pleasure taking some time to explore the unknown out there...

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth, painting by Olivier Hijmans, 2015
Spaceship Earth, acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans 2015
What do we have here? Floating above the Earth.. some unidentified entity, emerging from or approaching the blue surface? Or lines and structures launched from the moon in all directions? An unseen connection between our home and outer space? Humanity reaching for the stars? The scope of this scene is simply as wide or narrow as the World view one projects onto it.
The idea of Earth as a spaceship is a tantalizing one. In the words of Buckminster Fuller: "I’ve often heard people say: ‘I wonder what it would feel like to be on board a spaceship,’ and the answer is very simple. What does it feel like? That’s all we have ever experienced. We are all astronauts on a little spaceship called Earth." What's more, he even wrote an operating manual for it!
I've painted this in 2015, hoping it will trigger some cosmic perspective in the beholder. What is this little blue home in the vast blackness? What is our responsibility for it? Can we treasure it? Will we able to reach out as one united civilization and contact our cosmic neighbors..?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Threefold World

Abstract landscape painting by Olivier Hijmans
Threefold World, 70 x 70 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016
In many of my landscape paintings, like The Climb, it may be hard to figure out just exactly where is the horizon... as may be the case in some areas in life as well, or in how we see the world around us in terms of understanding.

This painting, titled Threefold World, takes that kind of perspective to a new level. Sky becomes movement becomes ground becomes horizon becomes sky. There are basically three landscapes or realms here, and it's up to you to define how they are connected. You can follow the vertical line in the middle, though, and see where it takes you.

The Threefold World also refers to a similarly titled Buddhist concept, which describes the World as we know it as consisting of the three realms of Desire, Form and Formlessness. Very interesting indeed.

Meanwhile, in this painting there appears to be some overarching undulation going on, which may almost lead one to believe that these various layers of mountain ranges and horizons are actually moving, and may even transform into another perspective.

Using this kind of panorama as a mirror for ourselves, one thing it teaches us could be that it is never our exact current circumstances that matter... it is our ability to see their dynamics and to creatively transform them.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Sandscape 3

Photo by Olivier Hijmans
Sandscape 3
Playing with sand is nice, playing with sand and a camera is great, and playing with sand, a camera and editing software is even better... Now this pic is admittedly staged and overstyled. It looks like one of those polished eye candies from Instagram, and that's exactly where I put it. Overstyled or not, I enjoy exploring the realm of sand-photography, even if it means going over the top once in a while. The interplay of light, texture, erosion and color. In this case four little mollusks are featured, each with a unique color and perfectly spiraled shape. In time, they will be part of the sand they're floating on now, further enriching its diversity and depth of color... because that's one great myth about sand: that is monotone. It most definitely is not, as Dr Gary Greenberg beautifully reveals in his close up photography of sand.

Monday, March 7, 2016


Painting by Olivier HIjmans
Earthrise, 20 x 20 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans 2014

 "We went to the Moon as technicians; we returned as humanitarians"

-Edgar Mitchell

On February 4th this year, Sir Edgar Mitchell passed away. He was the 6th Human being to walk on the moon. Like many astronauts who had the unparalleled privilege to gaze at entire wonder of the "blue marble", Mitchell was awestruck at the sight. More than any other spacefarer, he was able to articulate his profound experience and insight at seeing our distant home suspended in star-filled blackness. He describes in detail how he experienced the fundamental interconnectedness of al things in the universe, including his own body and mind. It was a very personal and very physical as well as spiritual experience. He even said it felt as if the entire cosmos was like one living entity, and that it appeared to be conscious. Back on Earth, this experience triggered his thorough search through scientific and eventually mystic literature to find some sort of 'documentary proof' for his actual experience, and he even went on to found a scientific research center for consciousness studies. A very interesting, sincere and well-informed man, Mitchell was also very outspoken on the 'ET issue', stating that he had sufficient inside information to conclude that "we have been visited".

In any case, seeing the Earth from outer space generally seems to open one's mind to the infinite preciousness of life and nature, the insanity of war, the pointlessness of such concepts as 'borders' and, at the same time, it seems to evoke a sense the great cosmic potential of Human civilization. In the words of Edgar Mitchell: "Thát's a 'wow'..."

I painted 'Earthrise' in 2014, and have now decided to dedicate it to the late Edgar Mitchell, whose integrity, research and vision will always be a great source of inspiration for me.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Warp 5

Pebbles & Clouds, photo by Olivier Hijmans
Warp 5
Took and slightly manipulated this pic today in the completely soaked garden of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden. Pebbles & Clouds would be an apt title, and it fits nicely into my "warped surroundings and reflections" series. Again, as I noted earlier, the central idea of these disorienting pictures is to fold dimensions, amalgamate elements, and achieve painting-like qualities from an otherwise ordinary scene. Or in other words, to transform a mostly unnoticed reflection into an otherworldly realm. To me, photography, or visual art for that matter, is not so much about technique or object.. it is about vision.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Meeting

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
The Meeting, acrylic on panel, © Olivier Hijmans 2010
That time and that place
Harmonious and awkward
They happen to be

'The Meeting', which I painted in 2010, has always been personal favorite of mine. But why? I think it is precisely because in certain respects it playfully deviates from my 'regular' style, though only slightly so. It is one of those scenes that has what I call a 'slow fade-in of humor', meaning that the longer you examine it, the funnier it becomes. To me it represents a happy bunch, sort of awkwardly posing for the occasion, yet assuming a kind of natural and effortless harmony together. Sometimes there is this beautiful and unexpected rhythm or resonance within a group composed of seemingly random people, showing that indeed they would have been randomly composed, except for this occasion. Or something like that. I guess I am referring to what is explained in Buddhism as the distinction between the 'provisional' and the 'true' nature of a person or a situation. I will stop here, because this painting could make me go on for many pages..

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Climb

Painting by Olivier Hijmans
The Climb, 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016
Mountains have always been a source of inspiration for me. I love mountains. Perhaps because where I live, we don't have any. To me, mountains are magic, massive, majestic, magnetic entities. They call out to me: "Climb me!". Whenever I see a mountain or mountainous landscape, I get exited. And I want to scale it. And when you do, I found three things generally happen: You get to enjoy the wonderful vistas and colors of the land, unfolding under your feet step by step. Then, to your great challenge/annoyance you get to find out that there's always yet another peak beyond the one you're looking at. And when you pursue, you'll get this irreplaceable sense of fulfillment. In the end, I feel mountains teach us to challenge ourselves, broaden our horizons and become unshakable...

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Square One

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Square One, 40 x 40 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2015
My recent take on Cubism. Quite literally. This is about as abstract as it gets for me. (Except for this one perhaps..). But I love the nevertheless very organic nature and depth in this painting, if I may say so myself.

A longtime admirer of Mondrian, I have always been touched by the power of Cubism. There are a few Cubist works by Mondrian and Picasso that can even move me to tears when I stare at them for a sufficient length of time.. this actually happened to me once in the great Guggenheim Museum of New York, which is a work of art in its own right.

I can be very clear about this painting, called Square One. There is no hidden mandolin or accordionist to be found, and no attempt to depict anything whatsoever. But there is music. A huge realm of music.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sandscape 2

Photo by Olivier Hijmans
Sandscape 2
Another one in my sandscape series. Only a gradient to black was added to get more articulation. More to come...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How I started painting

Painting by Olivier Hijmans
Olo Ba-te, 40 x 40 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans 2008
Today I felt like sharing this golden oldie. In 2008 my girlfriend and I visited the Kuna Yala region of Panamá, and its people, landscapes, seascapes and atmosphere made a very profound impression on me. Back home, I could not help but somehow express its enigma. In fact, that's what started me painting. Up to that day, I had never really imagined myself becoming a visual artist, so I am infinitely grateful for that travel experience...

The guide in the museum of Kuna history showed me a kind of flying saucer, made from two halves of a coconut and some sticks. They called it 'Olo Ba-te', if I remember correctly, and the story attached to it was that several hundred years ago, the Kuna had seen this U.F.O hovering in their skies. Many aspects of Kuna history are exceptionally mysterious and hard to trace, adding to the magic of this little slice of paradise in the North of Panamá. This painting is dedicated to the Kuna people.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Yesterday I told you about my 'Warped Duck' picture. Well, I decided to walk my words and put it in paint today:

Abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
Duck, 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016

Once again, this was the 'Warped Duck' image leading up to the painting..:

Photo by Olivier Hijmans
Warped Duck

...Which in turn was derived from the following original, showing the colorful non suspecting unabstracted duck:

Photo by Olivier Hijmans
Original Duck

In a way, subconsciously, I already sensed the potential painting at the moment I clicked the above picture. I actually remember the intuition and taking the picture for that reason.. which means that the latent painting was already there. It's very interesting how, depending on our sensitivity, an entity like this becomes manifest. Perhaps the painting opens a window on the inner world of duckness?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Warped Duck

Manipulated photo by Olivier Hijmans
Warped Duck
Using very simple means, this pic shows just how easy it is to turn a simple photograph into an abstract painting-like reality. In fact, often it is playing around with natural images like this (a colorful and non suspecting duck floating quietly in a pond) that triggers a starting point for my paintings.. where is the tipping point toward abstraction? What makes an image move? What has become of the duck..?

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Photo art by Olivier Hijmans
Beach! Great artist's duo Water & Wind are never finished sculpting this work of sand art lining the edge of a continent. Who knows, I might do a little series of sandscapes... This one is slightly filtered to show more shine and shadow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Will It Fly?

Painting by Olivier Hijmans
Will It Fly? 40 x 40 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016
A question one might ask oneself whenever launching something new..: Will it fly? Is my endeavor hindered by a glass ceiling, unfavorable winds, poor coordination or other sabotage of sorts? A study about certain shapes, harmonies, gradients and colors, this painting suggests a scene of struggle. A most vital struggle. The struggle to break free..

Monday, February 15, 2016

Warp 4

Warp 4,
Warp 4
The untouchable
Keeps together in stillness
Drops from solid skies

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Warp 3

Warp 3, photo by Olivier Hijmans
Warp 3
The third preview for my new photo series around 'Warped surroundings and reflections', a.k.a. 'Warp'. This one is composed of two pictures of the same scene, with multiple filters. Drawn a bit more into the abstract realm, these trees, that were actually water reflections, almost seem to be on fire.. People who know me will understand that, of course, I wíll be trying to blur the line between photography and abstract painting at some point...

Friday, February 12, 2016

Make Sense?

Warped surroundings and reflections, photo series by Olivier Hijmans

Like I mentioned in my post Winter Warp some days ago, I am preparing a photo series around the idea of "warped surroundings and reflections". Of course, one aspect of the magic of photography is the freezing of time, another is the warping of space or folding of dimensions. What I am trying to achieve with a pic like this, is to draw the viewer into a somewhat omnipresent position... a viewpoint from which one does not specifically look AT something from a defined perspective, but where the viewing and the viewed become a singularity. Meaning, you are everywhere in this image, and the orientation of reality within the image changes according to what part you're looking at, and what dimensional interpretation your eyes are projecting on it. Make sense?

Thursday, February 11, 2016


Tunnel, abstract painting by Olivier Hijmans
"Tunnel" 40 x 40 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016
Not something I particularly remember, but I was told that 'tunnel' was the first word I uttered as a child. A very unlikely first word to come from a toddler, but perhaps it was because at that time my parents took us kids on an adventurous trip along the coastline of Norway, crossing through countless tunnels, carved out of countless mountains, revealing new landscapes on every exit. That must have made an impact.

Passing through a tunnel... the speed, the sound, the descent, ascent, the sudden fading and reappearing of light... is a very unique sensation when you think about it. It's like being pulled into a corridor away from an old reality into a new one, no way back, not knowing what is at the other side and then being thrust into that new World, once again out in the 'open', which, interestingly, was my own son's first word.

My son looked at this painting and I asked him what he saw. He replied without hesitation: "a tunnel'.
I agree. To me, it depicts the exciting moment when you're about to exit a long tunnel, the anticipation of seeing the first glimpses of light coming in from a new realm, a new life... winking at the cycle of birth and death.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Prime Point

Painting Prime Point
"Prime Point" 40 x 40 cm acrylic on canvas © Olivier Hijmans 2016
Everybody needs a 'prime point', right? An invisible inner compass, a personal anchor into that particular moment when you first realized what it is your life is about. When you really determined to make something happen. A central and safe vista in your life where you return to, whenever you get into trouble or doubt, from where you can gaze at the panorama of your reality without fear or error. The more you climb 'Prime Point Hill', the more spectacular the scene becomes...
What is your prime point?

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Herbie Hancock on Buddhism and Creativity

"...and I hope all of us can agree that we are all artists playing the music, writing the script or painting the picture of our lives.." -Herbie Hancock

Seriously, I have nothing to add to what Jazz Legend Herbie Hancock expresses in this talk, given as part of a Harvard University lecture series. Please take the time to watch this full hour and ten minutes... it's so worth it. It is really encouraging to sense the incredible life condition of this great music pioneer, with whom I share my mentor in life, Daisaku Ikeda. And as an artist and human being, I will take Mr. Hancock's profound words to heart.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


"Reconciliation", 30 x 30 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016
After long deliberation, I decided to title this painting 'Reconciliation'. At first glance, it appears to be a ruffled bouquet of flowers floating in mid air, or balancing in a vase. On closer inspection though, one can see a solemn figure standing with it's arms wide open, ready to embrace another figure waving gently right in front of it. The scene then becomes one of complete entanglement, where the embrace itself is like a dancing bouquet of flowers, standing in darkness but aiming for light... caressed by the four elements of fire, earth, water and wind..

Winter Warp

winter warp
Winter Warp

To continue the "winter theme" for a bit, this photo I took a while ago I call 'Winter Warp'. It's part of a new series I'm trying to develop around the idea of "warped surroundings and reflections"... using the power of perspective, folding a perfectly ordinary scene into a non-linear reality that appears to be more than 3D. Celebrating the freedom of disorientation and amalgamating wood, water and what have you into a painting-like structure where separation and distance are transcended.. More to come.

Friday, February 5, 2016


"Wintersphere" 40 x 40 cm acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans 2016

Even though no snow has touched my feet so far this year, out of my brush flowed this silent wintersphere last month.. piercing cold, ice cracks and uneaten berries in the top branches of a lonesome tree that keeps repeating to itself: "winter always turns to spring"..

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Key

"The Key", acrylic on canvas, © Olivier Hijmans, January 2016
Off to a dramatic start, my first painting of 2016 took a slightly wild turn compared to previous work. Some see death, some discern a keyhole toward a new day.. In the midst of the storm, just where is the line between smooth and harsh, fun and fear? Do we glide along or do we move against? As always, awareness is the key.

Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 40 cm

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Kuon Ganjo

'Kuon Ganjo' Means 'time without beginning'.
It was exactly at that moment when, out of the blue, this new blog appeared into the great unknown.
Welcome to a journey into the work of sonic and visual artist Olivier Hijmans!