Explaining art

I know the following about my paintings:

I know the materials used and the process I went through.

I know something about my source of inspiration, the theme, and the feeling I had while painting.

I know if I like the piece, if it has meaning for me and how it relates to other works of mine.


However, I do not know if someone else likes it, what he feels, what he thinks, what meaning my painting has for him. I can not know which part of the personality of the viewer, which memories, which expectations or desires are addressed.

To that end, everyone is his own expert.

Influence of the loaction

I was writing with a commentator on instagram and he made an interesting point: He said of one of my painting that it has a typically german mood. He thinks that it must has something to do with geography and climate, because in Brazil (where he comes from) art tends to be colourful and bright.

I know what he means. Most artists (no matter if it‘s intend or not) will reflect what surrounds them. So I totally get his point and there is a lot of truth in it. For me I think I would create these moods where ever I live. I am always searching for them and seemingly, they search for me too.

Inspiration can be found anywhere

A instagram commentator wrote me, that Mondrian was inspired by “remaining walls of demolished houses.”

The same applies to me. I am currently looking for references for collages / paintings, and I am happy about every broken wall that I find. It is best if it partially overgrown with ivy.

I think that the destructive element is too much neglected in art. – Piet Mondrian


Edward Hopper - Evening Wind
Edward Hopper – Evening Wind

Painting will have to deal more fully and less obliquely with life and nature’s phenomena before it can again become great. – Edward Hopper

See how he uses the curtain and light to show wind. We think that the woman turned just a moment ago because of a little breeze coming in.

Dresdener Frauenkirche

a.claussen.com - Dresdner Frauenkirche
oil on canvas – 31,5 x 23,6 inch / 80 x 60 cm – 2018 – available

This is the dome hall of a church in Dresden, Germany, that got destroyed in WW2.

The story of its reconstruction is a wonderful example of national and international cohesion and forgive.

Winter Love

Andrew Wyeth - The Corner
Andrew Wyeth – The Corner


I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently?

And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says,

“Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

– Lewis Carroll


A painting divided in half

Francisco de Goya - The Shootings of May 3rd, 1808
Francisco de Goya – The Shootings of May 3rd, 1808

This painting shows the shooting of May 3rd 1808 in Madrid.

I have just seen it in a book where one half of the painting is printed on one side and the other half on the opposite side.

This dividing line splits the painting at an important point.

It splits …

… the light from the dark side.

… one group from the other.

… characters and faceless.

… emotion and coldness.

… hope and finality.

… eye contact and blind obedience.

Dark Seascape from Monet

Claude Monet - Shipping by Moonlight
Claude Monet – Shipping by Moonlight

At the moment I am working on a series of seascapes, that will be much darker and more monochromatic than the last ones. I work with a very limited palette, basically a Zorn palette (named after the swedish master painter Anders Zorn) and focus on a strong light and dark pattern.

One painting I always have in mind when I think about dark seascapes is the one above by Claude Monet.

He is mostly known for his colorful adventures in his garden in Giverny, France but he was examining all variations of light, including moonlit scene.

I also like to see the not so very famous work of an artist which he become not known for. Even Monet as a superstar artist has a few more unknown moody and darker pieces that are worth exploring.