monk portrait AI supported in yellow and black

between cold and heat

We have an old joke: “Should you take medication if you have a cold?” “Absolutely! If you don’t take any, it will take 7 days until you get well again. If you take some, you’ll be back on your feet after 1 week.”

Well, it took me more than 2 weeks to stay in bed so I can’t show much news today. First of all, perhaps a work that I haven’t presented yet and that reflects the attempt to “come back into the light”.

way out painting

When, as in this case due to illness, I observe international developments in almost all areas, from politics, economy, culture, and society more closely than usual, it significantly dampens my desire to paint.
For this reason, my “extra” is a little longer this time.

extra: 3 AI sessions

Session One: Portrait of a Girl

After seeing some of the usual pointless, turgid, histrionic examples that we commonly encounter I quickly realized that AI was not an image-creation option for me. At the same time, I also wanted to try out what I could achieve with it, and what this technology means for my approach to art.

My first attempt was based on a portrait I painted during my time in Beijing. A job that hardly anyone except me likes. Chinese girls liked having their portraits taken by me and felt flattered. Until they were disappointed when they saw the finished pictures, which did not correspond to the taste in China at the time. But I was quite happy with it then, as I had just begun to paint much more freely than before, and in this work, I had captured the resemblance and spirit to the friend I was painting quite well. The photos I had of her as a person were lost at some point, and for fun I tried to capture her face more naturalistically using an AI-supported graphics program. On my second attempt, I held my breath because she seemed to look at me like she was in a photo. I then continued playing without paying any further attention to the aspect of similarity and concentrated on aspects of aesthetics or colors. At some point #3 came out, which has some interesting aspects for me.

Session Two: Portrait of a Young Monk

Some time later I started working on another picture, a portrait of a young monk. Until now I had only worked with “Paint”, a free program on my PC, and had no experience with better programs. The exploration of a slightly better graphics tool in conjunction with an AI-supported program captivated me. The result was 5-6 series with different tasks.

Session Three: Untitled

When you’re confined to bed, it gets a little boring after a few days. This period also saw a new escalation in the eternal Middle East conflict I have been following since the first Intifada. The more I think about it, the more absurd and complicated the situation appears to me. For example, this region is the birthplace of three religions that have hated each other for ages. But above all, in the 21st century, we still work with thought patterns and concepts from ancient times and cling to these concepts like flies to a pot of honey.

At some point, I felt compelled to try something on this topic. Which isn’t easy with such a charged topic. We all have our opinions on this and, no matter how different they may be, we sure are all aware of the explosiveness and explosive power of this eternal conflict that meanwhile dominates half the globe in one way or the other. Issues like these have the potential to become an arena for simmering social and political tensions of all kinds that are not directly related to the source of the crisis. The developments of the last week give a foretaste of what is possible. Once “on the street”, it can increase in intensity, which is something we all don’t hope for.

the series

So in trying to address this topic, I didn’t want to comment on current politics or partisanship and I don’t want to comment on it any further.

Meanwhile, hardly anyone can distinguish between what is fact and what is propaganda, or which forces want or will benefit from what.

As in the previous series, all individual works are based on a single portrait, which I altered by using various programs, including an AI-supported one. In terms of composition, it is based on an Enso, which, thanks to its circular shape, can symbolize, among other things, the path of life. I didn’t use written prompts for this, just graphic programs.

(Music: Prince of Arabia, Arabic strings music. Free for use. Thanks to Grand_Project at pixabay).



44 responses to “between cold and heat”

  1. J M Negi avatar

    Fantastic as always, thanks.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      You are very kind – as always! Sending you my best wishes, Friedrich

  2. Spira avatar

    For a period between cold and heat, your output continues to be strong.
    Untitled presentation is great. I think that when you get rid all the residues from the two-weeks-flu, you will infuse into our series more of your historic perpective.
    I wish you full recovery and soon to bathe into your creative light.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you, Nick, for your always kind and encouraging words! Yes, we live in exciting times and we can only hope that reason will once again become the driving force in events. And also that my annoying cold is giving up. All the best, Friedrich

  3. swabby429 avatar

    The music in your video presentation enhanced the depth of your images. I also felt deeply connected to the large image of the monk for some unknown reason.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏 All are work from the horizontal 🙂

  4. My 🌏 avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      😍 Thanks a lot! 💚

  5. Ashley avatar

    I cannot comment about politics here! Nor can I discuss AI. However, your input is, as usual, stimulating! Hope you’re now upright, unless of course you’ve succumbed to too many glasses of Zweigelt. 🍷🍷

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you Ashley for your kind wishes! No, unfortunately no Zweigelt. It seems that I can no longer tolerate alcohol. But good tea also has its charm. All the best!

  6. Mike and Kellye Hefner avatar

    What an interesting experiment, Fred. I wouldn’t know which were done AI and which were done by a human. That said, the AI generated pieces are pretty spectacular, but I definitely prefer to view the soul of the artist through his work. I hope this finds you feeling much better.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Many thanks again! You are of course absolutely right and for me it is also about seeing the “soul” that is revealed through brush strokes, for example. But I’m like a little child who can’t resist exploring new things. From my experience, trying new things is always a win. I don’t know how this will manifest itself and I’m not thinking about it. Whatever is supposed to happen always comes. And you have to distract yourself somehow when you have to spend your time in bed 🙂

  7. babsje avatar

    I very much like your new work attempt to Come Back into the Light, and do hope you will be fully recovered from your illness soon. Do take care. Maybe a bowl of warming soup will help ease your path back to healing!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you so much! Yes, a great chicken soup was one of the first things I brewed. Strange flu 🤧 Stay healthy and thank you for your good wishes 💕🙏🌹

      1. babsje avatar

        You’re welcome and glad you’ve had some chicken soup. My theory about why chicken soup works so well? That’s because of all of the antibiotics they feed the chickens. That, and a little garlic, too. Take care and keep on resting.

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        Ha ha , 🤣 The best explanation. Finally i know.🙏☀️

  8. Rose avatar

    Friedrich,special thanks to session 2 the monk. for me it shows in a very painful way the cruelty and despair of the whole situation.
    good wishes ,get on the healthy road again.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much, Rose! I am happy to hear you understand it the right way. Making visual statements in times like this is quite challenging for me since the way people see these days have changed so much.

  9. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

    Friedrich, I’m happy that you’re feeling better after two weeks of a forced bed rest. Like you, I’ve also been following the Middle East conflict for what seems like my entire life. Here in the USA, it’s a very “charged topic” which makes it difficult to address this latest violent attack with an open mind. As you say: “We still work with thought patterns and concepts from ancient times and cling to these concepts like flies to a pot of honey.”

    I don’t understand your process in creating the series of AI generated images, using the Japanese Enso. What strikes me is that all the images created/generated reflect a progressive suffering of the youth, mostly female, within the region. The last image in the series is truly disturbing: a loss of self-identity.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you, Rosalie! I’m pretty sure we both see this ugly conflict pretty similarly.
      As for the series, well, you’ve pretty much seen it as it’s intended. It’s just that my presentation didn’t reveal enough that it’s the course of a woman’s life, from a girl to a bitter woman.

      1. Rosaliene Bacchus avatar

        Friedrich, thanks for sharing that important detail about the series of a woman’s bitter journey. Reminds me of my mother’s own journey and gives new meaning to the final image. Thank you <3

      2. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

        You are more than welcome! I think you just had an important experience with regards to art: you entered into a dialogue with a work that you originally didn’t have much use for 🙂 Not everyone can do that 🙂

  10. Cindy Georgakas avatar

    hahahahahaha 😂
    One week or 7 days.. glad you’re back on the mend.
    Always introspective my friend🙏🏼

  11. Edith avatar

    Du Lieber, meine Hochachtung für deine Bemühungen, mit der Zeit zu gehen. Ich sehe es auch anderweitig, aber vor allem mit Skepsis. Für mich fehlt in diesen *modernen Werken* einfach dein Herzschlag. Es kommt einer Spielerei gleich, die man mit wenigen Klicken sicher versucht, zum Leben zu erwecken.
    Ich glaube sogar, dass man sich im Machen darin verlieren kann.
    Doch ich mag dein Herzblut, welches in Pinsel und Farben strömt, ich mag deine eigene, wahre, künstlerische Kreativität. DAS macht dich aus, nicht das, was jetzt so viele probieren. Aber der Zeitgeist geht oft andere Wege. Ich habe neulich ein Bachstück gehört, welches einer als Diskjockey mit seiner Technik regelrecht verfälschte (in meinen Augen!). Aber die Menschen tanzten dazu wie verrückt, doch sie wussten nicht, was für eine wunderbare Kantate der Ursprung doch ist.
    Du verstehst, was ich meine. Für manch Werke sollte doch gelten: Schuster, bleib bei deinen Leisten.
    Ich freue mich wie immer auf DEINE Herz- und Seelenwerke.
    Dir weiterhin die allerbesten Genesungswünsche
    mit Herzensgrüßen,

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Danke liebe Edith, für Deine Stellungnahme! Du hast schon recht. Vielleicht hätte ich stärker betonen sollen, dass das Ganze mehr als Experiment zu sehen ist. Kunst ist immer ein Spiegel der Gesellschaft! Also muss ich mich in irgendeiner Form mit den Verrücktheiten unserer Tage auseinandersetzen. Dein Beispiel mit Bach kenne ich – ja das ist grauenhaft. Aber würde jemand mit entsprechendem Niveau auf Bachs Kompositionstechnik in moderner Kunst reflektieren, ist das eine andere Sache.

      Noch mit Genesung kämpfend schicke ich Dir herbstliche Gruesse f

  12. acrylicphil avatar

    Thanks for another thought provoking post, Friedrich. I am sorry to hear you have been unwell but are on the road to good health.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much, Phil🙏 Sometimes we have to accept that an old body needs more rest. 😊

  13. The Golden Tears avatar

    Zettl, as always, a pleasure to read your blog. For my own interests about Chinese poetry, I read a book called, Finding Them Gone by Bill Porter (aka Red Pine)

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much! Great to hear you like Chinese poetry too! I do not know Bill Porter’s book but I am sure it is helpful. All the best! f

  14. Birendra Kumar avatar

    Great article 😊💯

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏☀️

  15. Belladonna avatar

    Glad your feeling better! yes I try to stay away from politics but sometimes it’s just hard to do that.

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you! Right, so much going wrong so badly these days ☹️

      1. Belladonna avatar

        It really is!

  16. Cruz avatar

    Nice I like it!! 💫

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 😊🙏☀️🌼

  17. rabirius avatar

    Very interesting to see how your abstractions come about.
    Excellent works!

    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words 🙏☀️🌼

  18. Wilson avatar
    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much for your kind and encouraging words 🙏❤️☀️🍸

  19. Dawn Pisturino avatar


    1. Zettl Fine Arts avatar

      Thank you very much 🙏☀️🎶

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