zen paintings for kids studio

not nothing this time, but

Dao and Zen for Kids

Dao and Zen for kids: I actually wanted to write a post called “More Nothing” or something like that. However, my marketing director convinced me that giving my readers nothing more than more nothing every week was not a recipe for success. He brabbled something like: Nothing is free, you know?! Nothing is everywhere. Everyone of us can afford nothing. And if you can’t give more than nothing, your readers will soon feel nothing to you.
I hardly ever admit that I’m wrong, but it seems I make some progress.

Then I remembered another Chinese term: 给他们颜色看看 Show them the color! So here we go. Let’s start with less color though.

dao and zen paintings catalog
first draft for catalog Dao Zen Set

Again, all not that easy. I thought of a catalog in which my work would be displayed on walls in different rooms. How did I come up with that? Now, some readers have a hard time with some of my work. Which is of course generally ok, but I think if you saw the pictures in the appropriate atmosphere, you might see some of the work differently.
Of course, this wealth of possibilities triggered a firework of thoughts and I’m now at catalog number 8 or 9 – in my mind.

Step by step

First I would like to introduce 3 more rough drafts for cover designs that were intended for the original catalog. Some designs are very minimalistic and the text Dao Zen Set also tries to remain slim.

dao and zen paintings catalog

I recently introduced this graphic in a post and this is what it looks like hanging on the wall.

zen paintings catalog grey
zen paintings catalog blue

Dao and Zen for Children

I’ve talked about a children’s book project once or twice. Every now and then the collection becomes richer and now I thought I could combine the whole story telling thing with children’s pictures on walls. From the children’s room to the classroom. The draft for the cover looks like this:

zen paintings for kids studio

Dao and Zen for children sounds a bit unusual, sure. Above all, it is usually the adults who choose the pictures and then they choose Arielle or Captain Nemo. So I have to start with the adults.

daoist dog painting for kids

I will now save us all from further drafts for other areas that should be covered with catalogs. Instead, I’ll show a few more pages of the draft catalog.

dao painting for kids room

daoist painting for kids room
children room
zen paintings for kids studio

PS: My paintings have been used as is. However, they were not actually hung in these rooms. Since I don’t have a problem with AI, I left the hanging, alignment and lighting to AI.

I would like to point out one more thing, even if it is impolite to praise myself – but we are among ourselves anyway: My work is generally, as I see it, of pretty high quality. I’m mainly talking about the philosophical concept. Therefore, they work very well in a sophisticated environment.

Next I will, and it’s high time, get one of my online galleries FriedrichZettl.com into position.



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41 responses to “not nothing this time, but”

  1. satyam rastogi avatar

    Beautiful post

  2. Hangaku Gozen avatar

    I think a book about Taoism and Zen for children is a great idea! I don’t know how you’ll approach the topic, outside of your art (which I like very much); I’ve seen picture books about Zen and Buddhism aimed at children, and I thought they were more historical in content and focused on the basic principles, not much more. I suppose that’s ideal for such a text, but I would be very interested to see your finished volume.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you for your valuable comment! Yes, I know some of these books, but I have no intention of being educational. My aim is to offer children something that falls outside the traditional framework and thus help broaden their horizons of vision. What we see as children shapes us in life. We know that.

  3. babsje avatar

    This is a delight to see and read. The concept of the book aimed at children is a valuable approach as envisioned through your fine paintings – very original execution in the context of art intersecting with philosophy aimed at growing minds. All of the catalog covers are pleasing to behold.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      How kind of you to say that! Thank you! A Swiss children’s book author once said: There is no point in trying to educate children – they always imitate you. 🙂 What we live with, what we surround ourselves with, but above all what we offer children, shapes them.

  4. babsje avatar

    You’re welcome and a big yes to this: “What we live with, what we surround ourselves with, but above all what we offer children shapes them.”

  5. swabby429 avatar

    I wish there would have been such a book of Dao and Zen when I was a youngster. It would have given me a leg up on life.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you! Well, you are still young 🙂㊗️🍷

      1. swabby429 avatar

        Maybe young at heart 🙂

  6. 6qsite avatar

    Great pictures. I’m reconsidering my aversion to AI. Thank you.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you 🙏 Not sure if I will become a known painter but rather an Al-influencer 😂

  7. The Sicilian Storyteller avatar

    This is a great concept, Fred! The paintings here are superb but then again … ”your work is generally, as I see it, of pretty high quality”. 😊

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much! Whenever I feel running out of steam I add something to my blog so you can build me up again 🙏😂🍷

      1. The Sicilian Storyteller avatar

        How lovely! 🌹

  8. Ashley avatar

    I have an aversion to AI however, with regard to your work, please don’t stop. Your paintings are amazing: colours, forms & full of ideas. There is also a hint of fun, all of these things children will love. Children will probably grasp what Dao & Zen mean quicker than many adults!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you Ashley! I always see innovations like AI from the perspective of “What does it bring me in my work?” I don’t want to make it palatable to anyone.

      Yes, children are Daoists in the best sense. We just forget it and only have to struggle to get it back later. I’m glad you recognized the subtle sense of humor. Zen always comes with a wink.

      1. Ashley avatar

        We try so hard to climb the mountain only to find there are other mountains even higher. Perhaps we should choose to walk in the valley floors & just look up every now & then 😉

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Right, so I try to fly from time to time 😄

  9. julianeus avatar

    AWESOME!! .💖🌼💖

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much, Julianeus! 💖🌼💖

  10. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    Kudos to AI for bringing us such a delightful show of your work! What a difference the setting makes!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you Rosaliene! Yes, the setting makes a difference. I am busy working on a ton of images and quite a few really stand out.

  11. Edith avatar

    Hier ist alles schon geschrieben, was ich auch schreiben würde. Friedrich, du darfst dich selbst loben. Es ist GELUNGEN. Es müsste längst ein Schulfach sein, Kinder mit der Kunst vertraut zu machen…
    Dir einen feinen Sonntag mit Herzensgrüßen von mir.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Vielen herzlichen Dank 🙏 Nächste Woche gibt es dann eine Fortsetzung zu der Idee und die könnte interessant sein 🙂🌹🐞

  12. danalc77 avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏🌹🎶

    2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much!

  13. Belladonna avatar

    What a good idea to have AI hang your display your at like this. It makes it easy to see how it would look in your space. Great Art!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! Yes, AI simplifies many work steps and thus saves a lot of time and hassle. An employee who costs nothing and who I can exploit as I wish 🙂

      1. Belladonna avatar

        You are so right! Well done!!!

  14. Cindy Georgakas avatar

    looks like a lot of something in your nothingness going on Friedrich and I love the zen colors for kids and impressed by your getting AI to do the work for you on the walls as long as they don’t take over your paintings. Brilliant❣️

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you, Cind! Yes, i still stick to nothing – because thes say “Nothing is easy”. 🙂 AI is just the (unpaid) hard worker and has no democratic say. 🙂 More next week.

      1. Cindy Georgakas avatar

        It’s my pleasure always Fred! You’ve got nothing that transforms to everything and exploit him while you can 😂

  15. graham mcquade avatar

    An interesting project, Friedrich. Good luck with it.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much, Graham 🙏

  16. Mike and Kellye Hefner avatar

    Your paintings are just breathtaking whether they’re in a gallery or in a cyber room, Fred. I always enjoy seeing your talent on canvas!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words 🙏❤️ I wish you a pleasant weekend 🌻🌻

  17. Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm avatar

    “more nothing” is more than nothing? Thanks for the art and the pondering of nothing and nothingness Fred. Tram.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you Tram! You asked the right question and kind words! 🙂 All the best!

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