gestural abstraction painting the herald

New Works for Old Series


New additions to 2 ongoing series


I’ve been painting a lot lately. I’ve mainly been trying to work on a new series and it’s going well.
Today, however, I would like to present 2 new works that complement two series I’ve been working on for a while.


Gestural abstraction


A series that is particularly close to my heart is gestural expression. However, my progress in doing so is heavily dependent on how busy I am with practicing calligraphy. If I take longer breaks, I immediately notice how I’m missing this in the construction of the pictures. In this work, I tried to push the limits of what is (for me at the moment) possible with color. Unsurprisingly, Daoism plays a not insignificant role in my concept of gestural abstraction.


gestural abstraction painting the herald


Abstract surrealism


Another series I’m in love with is abstract surrealism. It is an exciting challenge to combine abstraction with the realistic or to implement dreamlike visions in concrete terms.


zen painting canyon


I’ve made some progress with my painting technique, which makes abstracting more exciting. In addition, it reinforces the doubts of the experienced viewer as to what was painted consciously and what was created by chance. For those who are more advanced in the Daosimus, the question has already ceased to exist 🙂



It’s a series I’d like to follow for several years. The first work on this was: “Burning down the Snow“, which I painted 2 years ago. Some works are better, some not so much, but that doesn’t irritate me in any way, as long as I see that the “way forward” is fundamental.


surreal painting burning snow




I mentioned in my penultimate post that I had been invited to a video conference as a speaker. It was about a cultural project by Gansu Province. The whole thing was not very clear to me (and others) in advance, especially since I wasn’t asked to talk about any specific topic. Well: I was well prepared for the situation. I learned two main things from my dear friend, Ambassador Dr. Wolfgang Wolte, who sadly passed away. When working with an interpreter, this is of the utmost importance: Only what they say actually gets through to the listener.



So always only speak 2-3 sentences in a row and give the interpreter time to translate them well. And above all, clear content with a concise core statement on which the rest is based.
I was surprised by the number of participants here (no wonder, there was a fabulous buffet afterward), but also by the prominent cast among the Chinese interlocutors. But as so often most have tried to sell too much in too short a time. What was amazing, however, was the technical professionalism of the video conference. I expected the speakers to just sit in front of a video cam. Instead, it was an impressive multimedia staging.


the interpreter

The lady in the photo above is Prof. Wang Jing, the co-editor of the Theodor Storm book of poems that I recently illustrated. The book is now in stores and is very well received.
Incidentally, the above-mentioned picture “Burning down the Snow” can also be found in the said book.


theodor storm poem illustration

What makes me particularly happy is that my rather modern and often dynamic and powerful pictures harmonize so well with 200-year-old poems or that the poems bring out the lyrical aspect of my work. Though my “illustrations” are independent works, some of them capture the core message of the poem quite well. For example:


From these leaves rises the scent of violets,
Which stood there at home in our heathen,
Year in and year out, of which no one knew,
And later I couldn’t find it anywhere.

related: a couple of new works | Wednesday again


10 responses to “New Works for Old Series”

  1. swabby429 avatar

    This idea of abstract surrealism is interesting. Your version appears to depart from the surrealism of Dali, which builds upon abstraction. Your images seem more conceptual. Of course, Dali’s relied upon manipulations of material artifacts. There is unlimited headroom in the conceptual realm.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Many thanks! Yes, the whole thing is based on a concept – but it is not rigid for me – and hopefully never will be. Because then I would have “reached the goal”. I have never been much interested in painters who follow a certain “stitch”. The journey is the reward :).


    Yes!!! to “my rather modern and often dynamic and powerful pictures harmonize so well with 200-year-old poems or that the poems bring out the lyrical aspect of my work.” 😎

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! 🙏

  3. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    Of the two featured paintings, I especially loved the one using the painting technique of abstract surrealism. It’s filled with light and movement.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much ❤️. i am happy to hear.

  4. Linda Grashoff avatar

    I love the depth you have achieved in “Burning Down the Snow” and even more in the first painting you show here. The colors also especially appeal to me. I’m glad that speaking two or three sentences at a time and waiting for translation worked for you at the conference. Good to have figured that out.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much for your kind words about my pictures. As far as the presentation is concerned: we usually tend to want to say too much. Happy Holidays!

      1. graham mcquade avatar

        Congratulations on your achievements, Friedrich. The book looks very eye catching, a feat mainly achieved with your paintings. Best of luck with the new work they seem to reference landscape in some of the motifs.
        By the way, you may not be getting many likes, as the option isnt loading. This is the second time its happened recently when I’ve come to your blog.

  5. how to sell crypto on gate io avatar

    Looking forward to reading more. great article. Really looking forward to reading more books. cool. I really enjoy reading a thought provoking article. Also, thanks for allowing me to comment!

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