Timon Hagen 

Amsterdam  The Netherlands     

Herdruk weer beschikbaar!

Timon Hagen & Andrea Travaglia
Art Thread From A-Z

An exploration of ideas stemming from art & art education

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Funny work, also somewhat sad -in poetry I’d call it comic elegy.  John Hennessy

He scrapes everything off until he comes to the bare essentials. Leo Vroegindeweij

Starting up
Small art work
My notebooks
Outside my notebooks
Eggshell Porcelain
Porcelain reliefs
Moving Drawings

Starting up

In May 1978, when I was 20 years old, I was accepted at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. The Rietveld by then was a national oriented art academy where you could study fine arts and design. I was accepted at the department of fine arts, in the painting and printmaking program.


Rietveld graduation work, oilpaint on carton,1983

The program consisted of figure drawing and still life. We were trained to represent reality.  To reach this goal we used charcoal, waterpaint, oilpaint and printing techniques such as woodcut, etching and lithography. The teachers didn’t force us to represent reality exactly. They liked it when they could still see the brushstrokes in our paintings.

The painting and printmaking program was limited. No crossovers were made to other mediums like sculpture, ceramics, photography or film. In the eighties, postmodernism didn’t play a part at the Rietveld.

Small Art Work

Since I graduated in 1983 from the Rietveld, I created small art works. These consisted of drawings, linocuts, oil paintings and works made out of metal.


Rowing, linocut, 5x8 cm

Two sitting, silver, 2 cm high


Around 2010, almost thirty years after graduating, I started to make large works. These art works can hang on the wall or hang freely in an open space.

Bathtub, plywood, private collection,  table Piet Hein Eek

Busride, polyester, design Vincent de Rijk


Mostly all of my artwork is based on tiny drawings that I make with a fountain pen that my father gave me when I was 15 years old. Ironically, my father didn’t give me the pen as a gift because he wanted to encourage my artistry. He simply gave it to me because he received a better pen from his work place.

In the beginning, I only used the pen for writing. For my drawings, I mainly used lead pencils. But since lead pencil drawings were difficult to reproduce, I started to use my fountain pen.



My notebooks

I make my drawings in a notebook that children use to write their school exercises in. Once I am satisfied, I take my drawing out of the notebook by using a scanner and Photoshop. Drawings I am not satisfied with remain concealed in my notebook. Drawings I am satisfied with start a new life outside of my notebook.

Notebook, detail, 20 June 2016 

Shoveling, edited drawing

Outside my notebook

Once I take my drawings out of my notebook I can use them for whatever I want. I can make ceramic prints (decals) out of them and apply these on porcelain or earthenware. By doing this, I transform my drawings into objects that you can hold and play with.

Moped, unglazed hand-formed porcelain, 2016

Hello / Konichawa, 2015


Almost thirty years ago I made an art notepad for my friends and family to use. On each page, there was a different drawing that I had taken out of my notebook. My friends and family could use the notepad for whatever they liked. They could keep it as art or use it.


Notepad pages

Two friends of mine who happen to be poets started to write lines of poetry, on their own accord, to accompany my notepad drawings. 

going up, going down?
that’s the question.

Maarten Doorman  www.maartendoorman.nl

let’s head for the sun.
Ilse Starkenburg www.ilsestarkenburg.nl


Later on I started to work with one of the poets, Ilse Starkenburg. This became a more elaborate cooperation that resulted in a series of postcards.

DECISION / I am very handy / from now on I am very handy 
example postcard; text: Ilse Starkenburg

Eggshell porcelain

Eggshell porcelain is known for its fragility. This fragility makes this kind of porcelain perfectly suited to put my drawings and lines of poetry on.

er is een hoek in de kamer waar je nooit komt er zijn dingen die je nooit zegt

in every room there is a corner that we never go to and there are things that we leave unsaid

text: lse Starkenburg
eggshell porcelain, 2017

eggshell porcelain, 2018


I have always been interested in patterns.

After I graduated, I started with simple patterns that were made with a simple linocut technique. First, I would cut out the image. Then I painted the lino by hand using different colours. I discovered this hand painting technique by myself.  However, I am almost certain that this technique has been discovered by others too. But I have never seen similar examples until now.

Lusaka restaurant, linocut on Nepalese paper, 5x8 cm, 1989

By train, linocut on Nepalese paper, 5x8 cm, 1990

Later on, I started making patterns in Photoshop that can be used for weaving.

At my computer, weaving design, 2015

Tulips, weaving design, 2015 

Porcelain reliefs. What do colours add?

While making reliefs in porcelain I noticed that every time I added colour to the works they lost most of their expressiveness. I didn’t understand why this happened. Perhaps the colours took away the subtle differences in shadow? It might be because I had to put in the extra effort of getting the colours just right.

Boatride, Amstel River, porcelain, 4x6 cm, 2017

Man with golden suitcase, porcelain, 2x3 cm, 2017

Moving drawings

Driving around in a circle, Atelier Moreno  www.ateliermoreno.com

Almost two decades ago a friend of mine helped me animate my drawings. Unfortunately, I lost those animations. But recently, another friend made a new animation for me. She called this animation: Driving Around in a Circle, but I prefer to call it: Everything's Gonna Be Alright.