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

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!