scene at the waters

new works in abstract surrealism

time heals all wounds

As I have already noticed before, I often put aside work that has already started to gain emotional and temporary distance.

The work I am presenting today is a typical example of this. I started them during December and put them aside after reaching a dead end.

scene at the waters

When it comes to painting, I’m most creative in the evening and after-hours. I can turn off the day’s events and concentrate fully on painting. However, I have to be careful not to work too long. It often happens that I start with enthusiasm and vigor and fall in love with a job right from the start. And then there comes the point where I know that I have to stop if I don’t want to paint the originally promising picture to death. The concentration has subsided, and the kiss of the muse has evaporated…

river scene

When you have gained some distance and look at it again after a few weeks, defects such as dandruff often fall from your eyes. Often there are only a few lines, a layer of color here, accentuation there and suddenly you know that it is finished. I hope so at least 🙂

landscape in corona mode

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19 responses to “new works in abstract surrealism”

  1. mic avatar

    👌👌👌🖼…it’s perfect

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you su much! I am very happy to hear you like it.

  2. Martha Kennedy avatar

    I have a fallow painting on my easel right now. I (think) I know where it wants to go — and it will go — but I’m just not there are the moment.

    I know it’s not your intention, but you keep painting the wetlands near where I live. You might think these are abstract, but if you were here, I’d show you what you’ve painted. But then, nature itself is neither localized nor hyper-realism. Something else. Ultimate realism? A continual change of light, plant matter, water, all the time. I look at my paintings sometimes and realize how close they are to NOT representing the image of what they purport to represent. I don’t think I’ll ever go farther toward abstraction, but I see it.

    But I’m not painting now.

    I was thinking of Vienna when you wrote about the ball season and I thought, “I need to get out of this country!” I’m starting to forget there is a world.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      I know it sounds very weird, but I found myself painting a landscape, or rather the essence, soul of a landscape, before I was ever there. I see the reason for this in – that would be a very long lecture now – that I adhere very closely to Daoist ideas. OK. that won’t work in a nutshell.

      You say: “I’m starting to forget there is a world.” Same here. google photos takes the liberty of showing me where I was 1, 2, 3 years ago at this time. Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka. This year was my longest trip to the pharmacy 🙂

      1. Martha Kennedy avatar

        That doesn’t sound weird to me at all. I’ve done that. I painted the San Luis Valley — here, this part of it — before I’d ever been here. I painted exactly the landscape and sunset I see when I go out to the Refuge at a certain time of day/year. I painted it in 2012. I came here in 2014. Our corporeal form is here in this realm at this time and these places but beyond that? There’s more. Before I wrote Martin of Gfenn (but I’d seen the little leper church) I dreamed I was in a lake, swimming, I guess. Around the lake me was medieval wooden/half-timber structure and a causeway. A year or so later I was at the Landesmuseum in Zürich and saw a 14th century stove of painted tiles and there was the image from my dream. The novel itself? another strange thing. I was so unsure about my research — medieval Swiss history isn’t a big item in any American library, not even an academic library which I had access to. And 13th century history? Pretty scarce. So, anyway, I did the best I could and wrote a draft of the book. I went online. I needed a Swiss historian. I found one who’d written about Gfenn (village north of Zürich). I contacted him. He wanted to read the manuscript. I sent it to him. He was stunned by its accuracy. In reality, most of it was made up. I thought. But, I went to Zürich to meet him and on our wandering he took me to see a house on which had been painted a scene from the Codex Manesse. This house was exactly where I had my protagonist paint his first exterior building painting which was of sheep because the owner (in my story) was a wool merchant. It turned out that in real life, the house was owned by a man named Schaffli whose family had been wool merchants.

        I don’t know how this happens, but it does happen to me. I don’t know how much inspiration is a pure imaginative thing or how much of it is that and something else. But writing that book was less like writing fiction and more like remembering a life.

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Thank you, Martha, for sharing this very exciting experience! If you exclude areas such as esotericism and similar topics from your thinking with good reason, the question sometimes arises how certain phenomena are to be explained. A lot of things can of course be seen as coincidences, but a lot remains that we will not clarify during our lifetime.

      3. Martha Kennedy avatar

        I have no idea how these things (and others) happened. More than coincidence, but what were they? I have no idea, and I don’t feel I need to know. The mystery of it is also wonderful. I’m Ok just thinking, “Well that was strange.” 😀

      4. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        I feel the same way. We don’t have to find an answer to everything. For me it is enough to look for answers to my questions in the core areas of my interest. Finding answers is a different topic anyway, especially since it depends on interpretation.

      5. Martha Kennedy avatar

        I just figure (and this is absolutely absurd and even I don’t believe it) my mother’s mother (died in 1962) just decided to hang out in my psyche. And in Heaven (which I don’t believe in) she found a lot of answers to questions and she’s shared them with me, also absurd and I don’t believe it but it’s a nice story.

      6. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        A nice story is nicer than a nasty reality 🙂

  3. swabby429 avatar

    The popular term, Zen moment, may apply here. There is original intent of a project that incubates when we allow the mind to remain free without forcing it. This is difficult to state in words.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      The fact that I was confronted with Zen Buddhism for the first time was decades ago. I do not want to claim that I am the great one who understands, but I am delighted to note that I have made great strides in recent years. For me, of course, the philosophical aspect, which has a direct connection to painting and calligraphy, is in the foreground. But even when I read something about quantum physics, for example, ideas from Zen Buddhism sparkle with me.

      1. swabby429 avatar

        It’s tricky to grasp this condition. It’s somewhat like trying to pick up the element Mercury with a pair of tweezers.

    2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      I wanted to add something about Zen moment. Where I see progress in my meditations is that I am getting better at approaching this Zen moment. For me it is above all the time span between the past and the future, i.e. the very now. If one succeeds in doing that, one fades out everything and experiences the nothingness, the emptiness – from which everything arose. When I meditate before painting, my pictures look very different than when my brain is full of stuff – of course.

  4. rabirius avatar

    I really like the paintings. I also find it intersting what you can make out in the shapes. I discovered penguins in the first one and fishes in the other two. But I think someone else will probably see different things.

  5. Zettl Friedrich avatar

    Thank you for your kind words! Yes, abstracted fish and birds appear very often in my work. They represent the elements of air and water.

  6. Lance Dean avatar

    I thought the art was astounding, but this comment thread is jaw-dropping. You’re certainly doing something right. I can see in all your work your deep trust of your … I want to say talent or art, but no. It is trust of the connection. That thread you follow is a telephone line. You have complete trust in the indescribable totality that is on the other end of that phone.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comment! You have no idea how much he means to me and I’m not saying that out of courtesy. You were one of the few to name what is important to me: trying to approach the indescribable totality and presenting it with my modest means. Even if I mostly fall back on Asian philosophy, I’m not afraid to deal with the mystics of other regions, for example. With this you are always “on the way” of wisdom 🙂

      1. Lance Dean avatar

        Thank you! Nothing is more precious in this world than understanding and connection.

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