landscape with asian touch

minor, major and a video

bookmarks and paintings

another busy week and I need to get out of there. The Chinese have a very good chengyu (idiomatic expression): 骑虎难下 qí hǔ nán xià (it’s hard to dismount when you’re riding the tiger) that dates back to the Northern Zhou period (557-581AD). Whenever I find myself caught in the wake of hyperactivity, I think of this saying. So: get off the tiger!

Actually, I wanted to present another video in this post, but as a balance to the more abstract works that I am presenting today, this relaxing video with my bookmarks seems to me to be quite suitable. I have already listed many of them on bookmarks. In this video, I used the recently presented intro and a new outro. Now I’m wondering if that’s not too pompous.


What is new, on the other hand, is a job in which I tried something different. I keep seeing more modern works out there that work a lot with tricks and ultimately belong in the realm of kitsch. I picked up this trend and tried to build a bridge to my work.

marker: landscape with asian touch

I remembered some sketches I made in this direction 1-2 years ago. Of course, the aim is to create a sensitive interface between realism and the abstract. Actually, I sorted them out but dug them up again in this context. I will try a few things in this direction.


Another new work I’m having more fun with is this. But you basically have to generally like abstract pictures to get something out of it. For me, it means progress as I managed to have a different kind of depth (like in the upper left part) that I also want to follow.

Summer has arrived and I hope to get through the heat productively. My Love for Old Leaves.






33 responses to “minor, major and a video”

  1. swabby429 avatar

    Two comments today: 1. The music and images are beautifully coordinated in the video. 2. I am especially attracted to the first painting that has a water-like appearance.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much! It took me some time to find the right music 🙂 Water, sea, rivers, rain – a topic I am still not finished with….

  2. Auden James avatar

    The mixed media bookmarks look fabulous!

    Though I’m not sure about your try at building a bridge towards the realm of Kitsch. However, your latest major painting almost appears to overflow with energy already! Really, a summer-rich vision!

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you! Do you know Gerhard Richter’s painting of a deer between trees in a wood! A few brush strokes away from kitsch. Fascinating. And dangerous 😃

  3. Auden James avatar

    Is this the Richter painting you had in mind?

    Well, I’m no expert on Richter, but I’d definitely agree with you that it’s rather incautious or “risky” with regards to what may be considered Kitsch. Though, in my prior commment, I may have missed the painterly viewpoint and the exhileration of challenging boundaries or “playing with fire” so to speak, that’s true.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Right, exactly! Of course I have something
      different in mind but touching the sometimes thin line between kitsch and art is tempting. btw I just saw that Richter sold for 300k +.

      1. Auden James avatar

        You mean the “Hirsch” (1963) I linked above? Well, that was a rather low price then, wasn’t it? As far as I know, Richter these days sells for multiple millions, for example, “Abstrakes Bild (599)” fetched £30.4 million at Sotheby’s in London in 2015.

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        Yes, Richter is one of the most expensive painters and for good reasons. That “Hirsch” is maybe not that typical Richter – or an old result.

  4. Martha Kennedy avatar

    What I see in Richter’s painting is exactly what deers do. Is it there or not? To me it’s a narrative painting offering a pretty accurate description of deer behavior, but my brain is still messed up from Covid. I don’t know about kitsch. A lot of Chinese painting comes close to what I consider kitsch, but my general experience with Chinese people was that kitsch is a good thing, predictability and convention vs. idiosyncratic (egoistic?) individualism. Since I’m mostly a “realistic” painter, what I see when people look at my paintings is “Oh, I know that farm. How much is the painting?” But OTHERS of my paintings lean toward expressionism (if any ism). At least my work was shown in a show of expressionist paintings. But if you ask me what any of this means, I won’t be able to tell you. 🤣

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      My generation, which grew up in German-speaking area, also grew up with the “roaring deer over the parents’ bed”. In the best case a deer with alpenglow in the background. This is the category “hot-blooded gypsy girl” or “wheeping girl from Naples”.

      Yes, a large part of Chinese painting is kitsch. In the 1980-90s my friends produced those to make a living as it sold well to tourists.

      What always surprises me about this theme is that the stuff is still being painted – and bought.

      1. Martha Kennedy avatar

        I know that deer painting. It’s a biggie over here as well. I had thought of it. A friend from Zürich who lives in Colorado recently bought a variation of it at a thrift store, a bad painting (IMO) of a deer standing in the ray of sunlight that’s breaking through the trees. I think it reminded him of other times and places.

        The comparable painting in my world is three Indian tee-pees, a fire in front, a group of hunters returning from the hunt with a deer over one of the horses, a couple of women. Another is an Indian with a travois behind his horse bringing home a deer he’s killed. Always winter.

        I have two Chinese paintings. One is probably kitsch — it’s a little boy struggling with a recalcitrant water buffalo. I bought it because it is a scene from my life in south China (and I like cows…) I think people buy paintings for reasons known only to them, often just because they recognize what they’re looking at or it gives them a sense of nostalgia. All cowboy art is just exactly that.

  5. Zettl Friedrich avatar

    Exactly! The same cowboys with the same taste and horizon. I would not be surprised if Frank Zappa had a song of those 🙂

    1. Martha Kennedy avatar

      Hmmmm…. Back in 1981 I was going to Montana to visit family over the 4th of July. Zappa’s profound and legendary song came on the radio. I was singing along. A friend called and when I knew who it was, I kept singing and she said, “Martha, you have to stop listening to so much strange radio.” But I WAS going to Montana soon…

      1. Martha Kennedy avatar

        All this said, I like those winter Indian paintings with the horses. I don’t think they’re great art, but they transport me to a back room my uncle built where there’s a wood stove and people I love. Vasco Rossi wrote a song about that, I think.

  6. Zettl Friedrich avatar

    Yes, one of my Zappa favourites. “And don’t you eat that yellow snow….” He was such a bright mind.

  7. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    What beautiful bookmarks! Enchanted! Are these available for sale?

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much! I have been asked a several times and it just doesn’t make sense to sell those. I give them away to friends….The “new production line” will be shown in my next exhibition as in that gallery there are nice boxes of glass to showcase them….

      1. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

        Thanks for the info. I can well imagine that printing, packaging, and mailing costs would make it an unprofitable enterprise. My loss.

      2. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        I would like to send you one as small gift. I will try to figure out tomorrow how I can contact you for your address. Late evening here….

      3. Zettl Friedrich avatar

        I sent an email to ask for your shipping address. Hope you got it!

  8. luisa zambrotta avatar

    Simply wonderful! ❣️❣️❣️

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much, Luisa!

      1. luisa zambrotta avatar

        You’re more than welcome 🙏

  9. forresting365 avatar

    All sooooo beautiful!!!! Thank You and Cheers!!! ❤️

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much! You are very kind! And cheers to YOU!

      1. forresting365 avatar

        My absolute pleasure!!! 💖

  10. Carolyn Kaiser Harmon avatar

    Wonderment and zeal is all I can say. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thanks again for your kind words! It is kind people like you who keeps me from becoming even more lazy 🙂

  11. worldphoto12 avatar


    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Buona domenica anche a te! Divertirsi!

      1. worldphoto12 avatar

        Grazie gentilissimo 🙂

  12. stockdalewolfe avatar

    Great work!! All of it!

    1. Zettl Friedrich avatar

      Thank you so much. I just tried to comment on your blog, it does not work. Probably problem with my device. Thought I let you know.

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