pink dragon abstract painting

two book covers and one dragon

Alea iacta est, as the old Romans said.



First of all, after my last posting about a book cover, I would like to thank you very much for your attention and especially for the lively feedback on the book projects. It helped me a lot!

book cover #1: Theodor Storm poems

Well, it turned out a little differently than originally thought. Because, since the book is published in two languages ​​and is aimed at a Chinese audience, I feel that the poet’s name, Theodor Storm, should be written in Chinese in large letters.

Theodor Storm Book Cover

In any case, it’s nice that it’s now going to be a co-production (bacopa and sonatabook). And as long as publishers are happy, so am I. I’m not an expert in book publishing and I certainly don’t understand how the Chinese book market works.

This is not entirely true, because when I was a student I published a literary magazine with 4 friends – and 3 books. Actually, we were quite successful. Of course, success is a broad term. For us, it was already a success if we could pay the printer’s bill and start a few rounds of beer with the net profit. But success in that some of the authors who published for us for the first time had become major authors years later.
And also successful in that we caused quite a stir a few times and once even had a provincial governor threatening to sue, whose tender feelings we had hurt.

Anyway, I’ve started selecting the illustrations for the Storm book. 31 poems, and 31 illustrations, all in color. Combining Storm’s delicate poetry with my mostly expressive work is an appealing task and so far everything is looking promising.


book cover #2 Wolfgang Kubin Odes and Elegies

Mr. Bacopa has since included the book in his new releases, and now I’ve gained a humble spot there, too. And that brings us to cover #2.

I’ve already written about Prof. Wolfgang Kubin and now I’m supposed to design covers for his new books. I will also provide the illustrations for this book. It is a somewhat difficult task as the book has odes to Swatow in the first part and Viennese elegies in the second part.
Kubin has very strong lyrics but words like “Zähren” (tears) odes, Swatow, elegies – all are “mega retro”, as a younger generation would describe it. Therefore, I deliberately designed a cover that (hopefully) catches the eye and attracts attention. The reaction of those involved was not exactly euphoric at first, but now everyone seems to be more than satisfied.

It is also relatively difficult to provide the appropriate illustrations since they will only be in black and white and my pictures from the last few years live strongly from the colors. And I don’t want to use earlier works. Above all, the book consists of 2 very different topics. Odes about Swatow (today Shantou 汕头市), a city that hardly anyone knows who has not dealt with China or the Japanese atrocities. And then Viennese elegies, written by a German author, and bridges of ideas that probably not every reader is able to walk.
But I’m not pressed for time with this book while the other one is supposed to be on the Christmas table.


and the dragon

A project that isn’t exactly the focus of my attention is my dragon series. In this case, I wanted to go from the simple form (1-2 strokes) in the first step over time to the complex in the second step and then drop out again and create another level of simplicity in the third step. Now I’m roughly in the middle. I deliberately don’t want to rush it, so that I can incorporate other, more recent thoughts.

pink dragon abstract painting

Of course, it’s all about abstraction. There is not much left of a dragon in this picture. Maybe a slender, elongated body and claws- with some phantasy. But the feeling of a dragon that winds powerfully through the air seems to be successful.

New Surrealism Concepts. related: just two characters | How an idea takes root and persists



34 responses to “two book covers and one dragon”

  1. zipgong avatar

    Il dipinto Red Dragon ha una potenza inaudita.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Oh grazie! Il drago ha il potere che manca al mio vecchio 🙂

  2. luisa zambrotta avatar

    Adoro i tuoi dipinti!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Grazie! E adoro i tuoi complimenti 🙂 🙂

      1. luisa zambrotta avatar



    It is a pleasure to watch these exciting projects develop. 🙂

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! Yes, it’s really fun. It’s a new experience for me, these are subjects that interest me and the people involved are very kind.

  4. swabby429 avatar

    The book covers remind me of books I’ve checked out of college libraries. Oh, the dragon intrigues me because according to Chinese astrology, I’m a dragon.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      The book covers are retro like the content 🙂 Hardly any young person reads Theodor Storm these days. So I wanted to adapt to that. Dragonborn are very powerful. Julius Caesar, Joan of Arc, Mao Zedong…

  5. Ashley avatar

    I’m enjoying following your progress with this project; I’m learning so much. Thank you 🙋‍♂️

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      You are very kind and I am very happy to hear 😊

  6. Bon Repos Gites avatar

    I love the dragon painting!!

  7. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

    Thank you very much!

  8. rose kern avatar
    rose kern

    Dear Friedrich, its great pleasure,,not to forget Theodor Storm and as a collector of all variation of dragons( very difficult to find good ones)
    I would like to emphasize ,your pink dragon is so full of expression and charme,before just lift up in heaven…..

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Dear Rose, thank you so much for your kind words! As the old saying goes: painters always paint themselves… 🙂 🙂

  9. annieasksyou avatar

    The dragon looks wonderfully finished to me…but what do I know?

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much! Don’t worry, I don’t know either 🙂

  10. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    Congrats on the two book covers! Very impressive. Kubin’s book captured my attention. It sounds like the black & white illustrations will push you beyond your limits which, I believe, is great for the creative process. The dragon is a BIG thing these days and appears to have captured the imagination of both the young and not so old. Your featured painting captures well the dragon’s disruption of the surrounding wind flow, but I get no sense of its powerful fiery breath. Perhaps, this is not your focus here.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you for your kind words and “criticism”. Well: In most of my work I process philosophical thoughts, often from the area of Zen Buddhism.

      #1: It’s an abstract image and most wouldn’t necessarily have recognized a dragon.

      #2 It turned into a dragon as the creator of the work (me) claims so.

      #3 de facto there are no dragons and yet we have an idea of what it should look like. And this notion varies by culture.

      Bottom line: we are prisoners of our thoughts. We even try to give a reality to things that don’t exist or to ascribe qualities to them.

      (If you spin the thought further, you will inevitably come to the subject of religions.)

      I’m sorry if it sounds confusing, but Zen always does 🙂

      1. rose kern avatar
        rose kern

        Friedrich,thank you so much for your 3 points „dragonpainting“ and your Zen. pink dragon just arrived in heaven .

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Dear Rose, thank you! Or in hell – who knows 🙂 (I’ve added a few notes about the dragon to the Comments (Rosal…) that might interest you).

      3. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Sorry for the confusion! Too early morning here 🙂

      4. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

        Thanks for sharing your creative process. Fascinating!

      5. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        I thank you! Next week I will show another one following these thoughts.

      6. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

        Fascinating! Thanks for sharing your creative process 🙂

  11. Edith avatar

    Hervorragende Arbeiten, so finde ich!!! Man sieht, wie es den Maler antreibt, ihn stets aufs Neue inspiriert, er (also Sie) Gedanken und Worte des Dichters gestalterisch umsetzt.
    Ich bin begeistert, wirklich.
    Einen feinen Sonntag
    gewünscht von mir.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Dankeschön, Sie sind sehr freundlich. Ob sich diese Bücher gut verkaufen lassen, ist eine andere Frage. Aber ich denke, den chinesischen Lesern sollten die Illustrationen grundsätzlich nicht ganz fremd sein. Schoenen Sonntag!

      1. Edith avatar

        Die Chinesen lieben Kunst in Wort und Bild. Und ich freue mich darauf!
        Einen guten Wochenbeginn
        mit lieben Grüßen von mir.

  12. Martha Kennedy avatar

    Really lovely and evocative.

  13. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

    Thank you so much, Martha!

  14. Dawn Pisturino avatar

    Very lovely, all of them, and I particularly love the Storm cover.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much for your kind words! I finished the illustrations and printing will start soon.

  15. ceayr avatar

    I’m no artist myself (I’m a writer) but I’ve worked with a few talented artists so if I say I love your artwork it’s not from a position of total ignorance!
    Thanks for visiting Sound Bite Fiction, always nice to welcome new readers.

    PS I know English is not your first language, although it is excellent, so I hope you won’t be offended if I mention that the perfect tense of ‘write’ is ‘I have written’.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much for your kind words – and the correction. I should take better care…..

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