1: Landscape 5: Memory Abstract Artists Inspiration Urban

David Dernie

David Dernie is a Cambridge-based architect and artist.

His exhibition ‘Heat’ shown as part of Cambridge Open Studios in July 2018 was a series of abstract collaged paintings ‘exploring built and natural landscapes in a warming world’.

Paintings below shown with permission from the artist.

The overlaying of abstract shapes, textures and washes inspired my work for Project 5.2 Arcadia Recycled and point to further directions I could pursue using print, collage and paint techniques.

1: Landscape 3: Chiaroscuro 4: Portrait Media Self-portrait Urban

Rembrandt van Rijn

Rembrandt’s was a key inspiration for:

Sources and references

  • Bikker, J. and G. J. M. Weber (2015). Rembrandt: The Late Works. London: National Gallery.
  • Royalton-Kisch, M. (2006). Rembrandt as Printmaker. London: Hayward Gallery Touring.

Goldmark exhibition (has a loupe to see the detail of markmaking)

CD of Rembrandt etchings purchased from Rembrandthuis.

Christie’s exhibition

Rembrandt as printmaker

Rembrandt (1606-1669) was a Dutch  painter, draughtsman and printmaker. His works cover a wide range of style and subject matter, from portraits and self-portraits to landscapes, genre scenes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes as well as animal studies.

Rembrandt’s fame while he lived was greater as an etcher than as a painter (he did no engravings or woodcuts). He experimented with different etching and drypoint techniques. He used different mark-making tools to create different types of line – in contrast to the much more mechanical engraving techniques. Rembrandt sometimes employed even the V-shaped engraver’s burin in his etchings, combining it with the fine etching needle and thicker dry point needle, as in the work opposite, for richer pictorial effects.


Rembrandt The Three Trees Etching and Drypoint
Rembrandt The Three Trees Etching and Drypoint

See also Google images

Rembrandt’s landscape etchings and drypoints are in the classic Dutch ink and watercolour tradition with broody skies over low horizon and dark, cold foreground.

Portrait prints

He makes the subjects look alive through the way he uses tone to draw the eye to visual features.

Rembrandt Old Bearded Man
Rembrandt Old Bearded Man
Rembrandt with Saskia etching
Rembrandt with Saskia etching


He also experimented with different inking variations for chiaroscuro, producing very different interpretations of the same plate. Etching allows a lot of correction and burnishing to change the image. In some instances his etching were explorations of light and shade that he then transferred into his paintings.

Rembrandt The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, 1634, etching, engraving and drypoint printed in black ink on cream paper.
Rembrandt The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, 1634, etching, engraving and drypoint printed in black ink on cream paper.


Detailed discussion of Rembrandt’s techniques and the background to his etchings.

Portrait paintings

‘Warts and all’

Rembrandt’s self portraits

Rembrandt The Late Works

1: Landscape Natural Urban

Landscape Visions

Landscape art, even when it aims to be figurative, implicitly or explicitly reflects our visions for how the natural and human-made world should be and our place in it.

Landscape is essentially about exploring the relationships between the maker, their subjects and where they are, both geographically and spiritually or psychologically. .. Whether celebrated for its beauty and the bounties it provides or respected for its power and the challenges it presents, the different ways we’ve presented the landscape – and continue to present it – tell us above all, about the depth, range and contrasting values we place upon it. … This reflects an urge – perhaps even an instinct – to tame the land, and in an abstract sense to take ownership of it. (Jesse Alexander 2013 p.14)

Dutch landscape : drama, comfort and beauty in bleakness

My approach in Project 1.1 Natural Landscape draws on the traditions of Dutch landscape inspired by the similar flat landscapes of the River Cam that I chose as my subject.

Dutch Golden Age painting of the 17th century saw the dramatic growth of landscape painting. The popularity of landscapes in the Netherlands was in part a reflection of the virtual disappearance of religious painting in a Calvinist society. Until the seventeenth century landscape was confined to the background of portraits or paintings dealing principally with religious, mythological or historical subjects. In the 16th Century Pieter Brueghel the Elder perfected the “world landscape”  style of panoramic landscape with small figures and using a high aerial viewpoint. But these were still generally idealised images, not of any particular place. Certain popular styles became formulas that were copied again and again.

The first major shift  towards depiction of identifiable country estates and villages populated with figures engaged in daily activities was in publication in Antwerp in 1559 and 1561 of two series of a total of 48 prints (the Small Landscapes) after drawings by an anonymous artist referred to as the Master of the Small Landscapes.  Artists developed extremely subtle realistic techniques for depicting dramatic light and weather on simple, flat and otherwise quite bleak landscapes. They made some significant innovations in technique, including variation in horizon lines, aerial perspective and rendering of clouds to make them seem overhead and lead the eye into the painting.

Because of this similarity between the flat Dutch landscape and those of East Anglia where I live, much of my own landscape art has been strongly influenced by Netherlands art, particularly since visiting Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam permanent collection of Dutch landscape. See also Logan, A.-M., (1988) and Stechow, W., (1966). Some of the oil and watercolour paintings that were most influential in my development of Project 1.1 were:

Although the approaches here are largely figurative, many of these images chronicle the harshness of poverty in the Northern climate. The attention to detail and appreciation of the beauty of these human ‘natural’ landscapes under the powerful skies convey a sense of peoples’ place in the world – sometimes lonely and sometimes comforting.

Key Considerations in Landscape Art

Some key considerations in my work are:

  • what is the picture trying to communicate? what is the ‘mood‘ of the picture. Awestruck/Sublime, calm/serene, Turner’s turbulence.  David’s mystique. Whistler’s mistiness. Colour and dramatic distortions in Hockney. Joy or sorrow in Hambling’s watercolour sunrises and sunsets?
  • what shape is the picture? 19th century conventions were usually landscape format with broad vistas. But some late 19th century landscapes and also earlier drawings were much more focused on particular elements in portrait format e.g. trees. Japanese and Chinese landscapes were also  often vertical. There can also be very long thin panoramas, or tall thin verticals, square formats also.
  • what sort of terrain is depicted? 19th century conventions and also Chinese and Japanese landscapes were concerned with mountains, trees, flat fields, sky, water, river. Sometimes cottages, houses, castles. 
  • what/who is in it?  Are there people? 19th century conventions and before generally used landscape as a backdrop to religious or historical paintings. ‘Landscape paintings’ in both Western and Asian traditions generally had one or two people or a small group of people dwarfed by the natural elements. Sometimes people are excluded altogether e.g  Monet’s waterlillies and abstract landscapes like Richter. 
  • how are the subjects arrangedAccording to rule of thirds composition to focus or lead the eye to certain features or meaning? Pleasing/picturesque? Are there high, low or central horizons, and diagonals and triangular relationships or swirling circles (See post Landscape Composition).

See further discussion, links and references from:

traditions of etching and lithography of Rembrandt and Sydney Lee

abstract work of the Vorticists and Grosvenor school and considers design principles of balance and composition. See also: Approaches to Design and Composition and Landscape Composition

influenced by Maggi Hambling’s abstract watercolours, Degas monoprints and impressionist paintings of Monet and Cezanne

is based on Japanese landscape of Hiroshige and Hokusai and considers further design principles of balance and composition in Japanese art. See Japanese Woodblock Prints

drawing on work of Abstract Expressionists are often evocative of landscapes


Alexander, J., (2013) Landscape: Photography 2, Barnsley: Open College of the Arts.

Barringer, T., Devaney, E., Drabble, M., Gayford, M., Livingstone, M. & Salomon, X. F., (2013) David Hockney: A Bigger Picture, London: Royal Academy of Arts.

Bikker, J., Webber, G. J. M., Wiesman, M. W. & Hinterding, E., (2014) Rembrandt: the late works, London: National Gallery.

Hambling, M., (2006) Maggi Hambling the Works and Conversations with Andrew Lambirth, London: Unicorn Press Ltd.

Hambling, M., (2015) War, Requiem and Aftermath, London: Unicorn Press Ltd.

Hauptman, J., (2016) Degas: A Strange New Beauty, New York: MoMA.

Heugten, S. V., (2005) Van Gogh draughtsman: the masterpieces, Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum.

Hockney, D., (2004) Hockney’s Pictures, London: Thames & Hudson.

Hoerschelmann, A., (2016) Anselm Kiefer: The Woodcuts, Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag.

Kossoff, L., (2014) London Landscapes, London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles: Annely Juda Fine Art, Galerie Lelong, Mitchell-Innes & Nash, L.a.Louvre.

Langmuir, E., (2018) A Closer Look at Landscape, London: National Gallery.

Leopold, R., (2004) Egon Schiele Landscapes, Munich, Berlin, London, New York: Prestel.

Logan, A.-M., (1988) Dutch and Flemish Drawings and Watercolours, New York: Hudson Hills Press.

Meyrick, R., (2013) Sydney Lee Prints: A Catalogue Raisonnee, London: Royal Academy of the Arts.

Porzio, D. (ed.) (1982) Lithography: 200 years of art, history & technique, London: Bracken Books.

Stechow, W., (1966) Dutch Landscape Painting of the Seventeenth Century, New York: Phaidon Publishers.

Stevens, C. & Wilson, A. (eds.) (2017) David Hockney, London: Tate Publishing.

Wildenstein, D., (2017) Monet or the Triumph of Impressionism, Koln: Taschen.

Galleries and Exhibitions

Alde Valley Spring Festival

I, Claudius Spring Exhibition (April 21 to May 20 2018)

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Rembrandt Etchings permanent collection

Dutch landscape permanent collection

British Museum

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave  (25 May – 13 August 2017)

Places of the mind: British watercolour landscapes 1850–1950 (23 February – 28 August 2017)

Maggi Hambling – Touch: works on paper  (8 September 2016 –29 January 2017)

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Maggi Hambling: The Wave (27 April – 8 August 2010) monoprints and ethcings

National Gallery

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Monet & Architecture (9 April 2018 to 29 July 2018)

Inventing Impressionism (4 March – 31 May 2015)Monet: The Water Garden at Giverny ( 16 September 2014 – 31 December 2015)

Royal Academy

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture (21 January — 9 April 2012)

Snape Maltings, Suffolk

Regular sales and exhibitions of prints and landscapes from Suffolk.


Further You Tube videos

Van Ruysdale

Van Goyen



1: Landscape Figure Media Urban

Rika Deryckere


Rika Deryckere I’m a stranger here myself
Rika Deryckere Bicycles on the Street
Rika Derykere Nude in Cazilhac 1
Rika Deryckere Fluide
1: Landscape Inspiration Natural Printmakers Screenprint Urban

Chris Keegan


Does very colourful multicolour screenprints.
Natural landscapes

Chris Keegan Silver Sunset
Chris Keegan When Lightening Strikes
Urban landscapes
Chris Keegan Blue City comp
Chris Keegan Sky Street
Chris Keegan Dirty Old London Town
1: Landscape Abstract Inspiration Linocut Media Natural Printmakers Urban

Geraldine Theurot

Webpage and links:

Geraldine Theurot Street of San Francisco
Geraldine Theurot San Francisco, Sutter St
Geraldine Theurot San Francisco, Sutter St
Geraldine Theurot The Man
Geraldine Theurot The Man
Geraldine Theurot New York
Geraldine Theurot Brooklyn Birdge
1: Landscape Inspiration Printmakers Urban

Gary Ratushniak

Gary Ratushniak on the Art of Linocut


Gary Ratushniak’s Printmaking Influences


A Canadian printmaker who produces linocuts inspired by Native American art and Sybil Andrews of the UK Grosvenor school.

He introduces tone in his linocuts by selectively wiping off the ink.

1: Landscape Collagraph Inspiration Media Natural Urban

John Piper

John Piper was born in Epsom, Surrey, in 1903, the son of solicitor Charles Piper. He was educated at Epsom College and trained at the Richmond School of Art, followed by the Royal College of Art in London.[1] He turned from abstraction early in his career, concentrating on a more naturalistic but distinctive approach.

As a child, Piper lived in Epsom, at that time in the countryside. He went exploring on his bike, and drew and painted pictures of old churches and monuments on the way. He started making guide books complete with pictures and information at a young age. He studied at Epsom College. He did not like the college but found refuge in the art school. When he left Epsom College, Piper wanted to go to art school, to study to become an artist. However, his father disagreed and wanted him to be a solicitor. They agreed that John Piper would work for his father in London for three years, and then could pursue whatever career he chose. He failed the law exams and his father died soon after, leaving him free to become an artist. His work often focused on the British landscape, especially churches.

Piper was appointed an official war artist in World War II from 1940–1942.[1] The morning after the air raid that destroyed Coventry Cathedral, Piper produced his first painting of bomb damage, Interior of Coventry Cathedral now exhibited at the Herbert Art Gallery. Jeffery Daniels in The Times described the painting of the ruins as “all the more poignant for the exclusion of a human element”. It has been described as “Britain’s Guernica”.[2]

Piper collaborated with many others, including the poets John Betjeman and Geoffrey Grigson (on the Shell Guides[3][4]), and with potter Geoffrey Eastop and artist Ben Nicholson. In later years he produced many limited-edition prints.

Sir Osbert Sitwell invited Piper to Renishaw Hall to paint the house and illustrate an autobiography he was writing and Piper made his first of many visits to the estate in 1942. The family retain 70 of his pictures and there is a display at the hall.[5]

From 1950 Piper worked in stained glass in partnership with Patrick Reyntiens, whom he had met through John Betjeman.[6] They designed the stained-glass windows for the new Coventry Cathedral, and later for the Chapel of Robinson College, Cambridge. Washington National Cathedral prominently features his large window, “The Land Is Bright”. He designed windows for many smaller churches and created tapestries for Chichester Cathedral and Hereford Cathedral. He was a set designer for the theatre, including the Kenton Theatre in Henley and Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff. He designed many of the premiere productions of Benjamin Britten’s operas at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Royal Opera House, La Fenice and the Aldeburgh Festival, as well as for some of the operas of Alun Hoddinott. In 2012 a major exhibition ‘John Piper and the Church’ examined his relationship with the Church and his contribution to the development of modern art within churches.[7] Piper wrote extensively on modern art in books and articles.[8][9][10][11] With his wife, Myfanwy Piper, he founded the contemporary art journal, Axis.

On 28 June 1992 John Piper died at his home at Fawley Bottom, Buckinghamshire, where he had lived for most of his life. His children are painters Edward Piper (deceased) and Sebastian Piper, and his grandchildren include painter Luke Piper and sculptor Henry Piper.

His auction record, £325,250, was set at Sotheby’s on 15 July 2008 for “Forms on Dark Blue”, a 3′ by 4′ oil painting made in 1936.[12]

1: Landscape 3: Chiaroscuro 5: Memory Inspiration Printmakers Urban

Frans Masereel

Frans Masereel 1889 1972 Die Passion eines Menschen 1918 ChateauBoynetAgency 2012


The City


Google images

Frans Masereel (31 July 1889 – 3 January 1972) was a Flemish painter and graphic artist who worked mainly in France. He is known especially for his woodcuts. His greatest work is generally said to be the wordless novel Mon Livre d’Heures (Passionate Journey). He completed over 20 other wordless novels in his career. Masereel’s woodcuts strongly influenced the work of Lynd Ward and later graphic artists such as Clifford Harper and Eric Drooker. There is a Frans Masereel Centre (Frans Masereel Centrum for Graphix) in the village of Kasterlee in Belgium.

Frans Masereel was born in the Belgian Blankenberge on 31 July 1889. He moved to Ghent in 1896, where he began to study at the École des Beaux-Arts in the class of Jean Delvin at the age of 18. In 1909 he went on trips to England and Germany, which inspired him to create his first etchings and woodcuts. In 1911 Masereel settled in Paris for four years and then emigrated to Switzerland, where he worked as a graphic artist for journals and magazines. His woodcut series, mainly of sociocritical content and of expressionistic form concept, made Masereel internationally known. Among these were the wordless novels 25 Images of a Man’s Passion (1918), Passionate Journey (1919), The Sun (1919), The Idea (1920) and Story Without Words (1920). At that time Masereel also drew illustrations for famous works of world literature by Thomas Mann, Émile Zola and Stefan Zweig. In 1921 Masereel returned to Paris, where he painted his famous street scenes, the Montmartre paintings. He lived for a time in Berlin, where his closest creative friend was George Grosz. After 1925 he lived near Boulogne-sur-Mer, where he painted predominantly coast areas, harbour views, and portraits of sailors and fishermen. During the 1930s his output declined. In 1940 he fled from Paris and lived in several cities in Southern France.

At the end of World War II Masereel was able to resume his artistic work and produced woodcuts and paintings. After 1946 he worked for several years as a teacher at the Hochschule der Bildenden Künste Saar (de) in Saarbrücken. In 1949 Masereel settled in Nice. In the following years until 1968 several series of woodcuts were published, which differ from his earlier “novels in picture'” in comprising variations of a subject instead of being a continuing narrative. He also designed decorations and costumes for numerous theatre productions. The artist was honoured in numerous exhibitions and became a member of several academies. Frans Masereel died in Avignon in 1972 and was entombed in Ghent. The cultural organizationMasereelfonds was named after him.


From Mon Livre d’Heures (A Passionate Journey, 1919)

The American graphic artist Lynd Ward was greatly influenced by Masereel in creating his novels in woodcuts. A number of cartoonists have cited Masereel as an influence on the development of the graphic novel: Art Spiegelman cited Mon Livre d’Heures as an early influence on his Maus. Will Eisner cited Masereel as an influence on his work, as has scratchboard novelist Eric Drooker.

Wordless novels

Source: edited from Wikipedia articles on Masereel and his different works, the You Tube videos and reading of his graphic novels themselves.