Born in a working-class family
- father was Mason and mother owner of "De Welvaert" a grocery store where despite the name all ends
were knotted also because the store looked more like a public welfare "avant la lettre". Saving human
lives intuitively formed at home;
what I could use a few times; thinking of Jeroen my biggest "performance" ever, without knowing,
it was so intense, so deep from my heart. I lived a fantastic
youth despite of that fire I caused at five.
With my three sisters it was a happy life full of humor and amazing jokes of which my pupils later in the classroom - with tales - still thought back of our delicious tomfoolery. Of which the nanny - that neither read nor write, but she felt not on her mouth – has been often the victim.
My young life °“Mechelstraat 17” in my Londerzeel – I was doing all sports; only to swimming I had to hate just like the water in the bath did to me (I say it now, else my sisters tell it anyway )- was full of art – father could just draw a horse and my mother the portrait of Cardinal “Suenens”. The most beautiful art - music is; my ears only hear it is beautiful - came from mother at the piano.
As 10-year old boy I sold my first painting to an art expert from Antwerp who was encouraging me to do further. "We still are going to hear from Frans". To study was previously playing football in the garden more than drawing a ball in a book. When at the High School they started to call me "Frengen” my artist name comes to explain. Studies in art of course are not inevitable although for a working-class family with 4 children it was not so easy.
I started with the "Famous Artist School" from NY. In this course I enjoyed comments from teachers Al Parker, Norman Rockwell a.o.
Later I was going to the "Academy of Art"; immediately all people saw my soul belongs to this, where my spontaneity drove above -they noticed to my colors even the birth of my son. I got there a great deal of fun, entertainment and recognition: so they reward me with the "Langbennprijs" of most deserving student and a summa cum laude in painting and sculpture. I went back a few years later even in a
B(r)avo time to the “applied- art”. My work also came in a collection of an Honored secretary of State.
I found out what I had to paint to be selected and to please the jury. It was precisely this aversion, that everything was possible with paint and at some events – by the honesty; that I feel strongly about in my soul - also when it could harm myself (e.g. my own minimize my earned awards; what my wife Lydia gradually learned me not to do!)– that I fell on my experiments.
The discovery of my new technique "fumagine" and the exploitation of it ( in Wemmel near to Brussels ) opened up a whole new world. The figurative painting with a flame was born. Unique in the world – this happens not all days in the own habitat; outside a lot of awards, some collectors and the 2nd/250 place in an Internatinal contest ( end 2012): it drives me to think … and you, thank you.