remembering a landscape as negative of a film

remembering a landscape

fooling around with an idea

Lately, I’ve been painting several landscapes, with which, on the whole, I am quite satisfied. However, they are not landscapes, as I often used to do in the past, that I painted in the wild, but rather a play around with ideas or set pieces.

Since I also fall back on earlier work and thus on memories, it seemed interesting to me to include the aspect of memory, remembering the past – as old guys like me often do 🙂

The composition as such is in no way exciting or anything special. But it was precisely the simplicity that I found challenging and so this theme can be found modified in some painting phases over the last 30 years.

remembering a landscape as negative of a film
remembering a landscape – the negative of a negative

Unfortunately, I have never dealt with photoshop and therefore my gimmick is technically flawed. The original looks like this:

remembering a landscape

From my point of view, some parts of the picture reflect the ephemeral, the memory, or the imagination quite well.

I actually like the second draft for this gimmick better because it looks more nostalgic and reveals more inner life.

remembering a landscape as negative of a film

Two earlier works that I have on hand approached the subject in the following way. These were works on rice paper with Chinese ink and colors.

two rocks communicating ink on rice paper
moonlit landscape by friedrich zettl

Earlier landscape paintings: landscape paintings



22 responses to “remembering a landscape”

  1. mic avatar

    👌👌👌🖼️📷 perfect

  2. Zettl avatar

    Thank you! I am glad you like it!

  3. swabby429 avatar

    The results are epic.

    1. Zettl avatar

      Thank you so much! Happy to hear not all my time I spend with painting is wasted time 🙂

      1. swabby429 avatar

        Any time spent tinkering and practicing is not wasted time.

      2. Zettl avatar

        Yes sure! I also think that working creatively slows down the mental aging process. And that’s a lot. And the fun is a bonus, so to speak.

  4. Martha Kennedy avatar

    This is a fascinating series. In terms of personal taste, I like the one on the bottom (“Thanks, Martha for the very useful critique!”)

  5. Zettl avatar

    Thanks, Martha for the very useful critique!

    1. Martha Kennedy avatar

      Ha ha ha! 🙂 Last night I was looking through the news and found this article. What struck me was the illustration at the top.

      1. Zettl avatar

        Thanks, Martha for the link! Once again nature has copied my art 😊

        If that’s not the case, maybe it’s because I’m still working on the archetypes as I mentioned before. The book by C.G. Jung, I read very slowly – a luxury that I indulge in – and that I often reflect on for a long time. The compositions in painting, but also in music, are a topic that is particularly close to my heart at the moment. Therefore, a look through two trees or hills … and an object that newly enters our field of vision is a pattern that is represented much more often than we are initially aware of.

      2. Martha Kennedy avatar

        It seems almost to be a visual representation of yearning…

      3. Zettl avatar

        Thanks! I am glad that you see it that way! In the next few days I will show a small series of the same idea, but implemented differently.

  6. elvira797mx avatar

    Amazing! Beautiful an so cretive. Thank you for share your art.
    Best wishes.

    1. Zettl avatar

      Thank you for your kind words, Elvira! This means a lot to me. All the best!

      1. elvira797mx avatar

        Thank you Zettl, you are so talented!
        All the best too.
        Take care.

  7. designflagstore avatar

    Beautifully honoured and remembered… beautiful photos also. ❤️
    designflagstore –

  8. Auden James avatar

    Would you say that this new painting of yours is an “ideal landscapes” in a certain sense? And would you say that, in contrast, the earlier landscapes were less subjective and more objective—or rather the other way around? I. e., do you consider “archetypes” to be more real than actual types?

    Fascinating works, as always, by the way!

    1. Zettl avatar

      Thanks for the kind words and the question! These are very philosophical questions. I will try, but would like to point out that other ways of looking at things are also ok too. The more abstract a picture is, the more interpretations it allows.
      If a picture offers the viewer the opportunity to bring in his or her imagination, that is a lot.

      This landscape is certainly an idealized landscape. It is not about the mapping of an existing landscape but on the one hand about making principles visible (yin :: yang – the “communication” of 2 mountains and the resulting force, qi).

      Furthermore, it is about the integration of an archetypal prototype (the appearance of a third object – in this case the mountain in the background – which is related to the two main objects in a different way. That could also have been a sun – which would have caused a different feeling.)

      As for the question of subjectivity and objectivity, I think a painter can never be objective. Simply by the fact that he chooses a certain “image setting” or objects, he chooses his painting technique or the painting utensils and colors, he is already beyond objective.

      It could be discussed for a long time and much smarter people than me have already worked on this question 🙂

      1. Auden James avatar

        Thank you for your elucidating reply!

        Indeed, my questions were of a rather philosophical nature, but as you said so yourself I think that more abstract works also tend to ask more philosophical or “metaphysical” questions. Your answer helps making out the deeper layers of your work.

        As concerning my question about objectivity and subjectivity, do you have somebody particularly “smart” in mind who worked on this question already?

      2. Zettl avatar

        You are welcome! Another question that I find difficult to answer as it depends on your status in matters of art. But since you are, as it seems, German-speaking, I can highly recommend the books about art from Dumont Verlag.

        From my point of view, to put it simply, the term objectivity encompasses areas such as image composition, construction, color theory, painting techniques … all the basics.

        Objectivity is their implementation. For example, it seems to me to be very helpful to examine the work of artists who have treated a picture several times from different perspectives. Specifically, that would be, for example, Picasso’s Meninas series, in which he works off Velasquez.

  9. graham mcquade avatar

    I like the notion of the fickleness of memory juxtaposed with a symbol of image storage – ‘Keeping it with Kodak’ was a mantra they used. Lovely idea.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you Graham, I am really happy to see you noticed this little joke. I have some hidden in most of my work. Though maybe not noticed it still works on the painting as a whole – hopefully 🙂

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