Hans Bellmer – “The Doll”, c. 1934

Hans Bellmer -

“I want to reveal what is usually kept hidden – it is no game – I tried to open peoples eyes to new realities: it is as true of the doll photographs as it is of Petit Traite de la Morale. The anagram is the key to my work. This allies me to the Surrealists and I am glad to be considered part of that movement, although I have less concern than some Surrealists with the subconscious, because my works are carefully thought out and controlled. If my work is found to scandalise, that is because for me the world is scandalous.”

Hans Bellmer

Heinz Hajek-Halke

“Heinz Hajek-Halke was born in Berlin on December 1, 1898, but spent his childhood in Argentina. Back in Germany, he began to study graphics in Berlin in 1915. In 1916, he served as a soldier in World War I; thereafter he continued his studies.
Hajek-Halke began to take photographs in 1924, and soon he had work with the agency “Presse-Photo”. He experimented with photographic techniques – among them light montages, double exposures, photo collages and photo montages. One special technique is “combi-photography,” in which Hajek-Halke mounted several negatives for one print. His pictures were innovative and made use of the newly discovered possibilities for manipulating photographs.”

Art Directory


HEINZ HAJEK-HALKE. Attente 1928 Via invaluable Heinz Hajek-Halke. Attente 1928
Via invaluable

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Another lost drawing from last Spring’s trio to Berlin. This is the window of the flat we stayed in in Wilmersdorf with a portion of the receipt from the grocery shop over the road.
Notebook: Ichabod
Fountain pen and Stabilo.
More from the Berlin notebook. Various details around Brandenberger Tor. With map of central Berlin pasted in.
Notebook: Ichabod
April 2017
Corner of West Park and Whiteladies Road from the balcony at BDH with a sandwich in the Sun.
🌞 ✏ 📓 🥪
Uniball micro.
20 mins
Notebook: Beto
Sleeping office dog on a hot day. Drawn whilst waiting for various render tests.
✏ 🐕 📓 🌞
10 mins
Notebook: Gilbert
More lunchtime sketches as the people of Bristol make the most of the April Sun just in case Winter comes back.
20 mins
Notebook: Beto.
🥙 ✏ 📓 😴
Still life in the corner of the local barbers.
Fountain pen.
Notebook: Beto.
💇‍♂️ ✂ ✒ 📓
Partially covered buildings down in Gas Ferry Road near the illustrious Aardman Animations in Bristol.
Started from life whilst waiting for a meeting, finished from memory.
Notebook: Beto.
📓 ✒ 🌳 🏭

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Jeanne Mammen & the Women of Berlin’s Cabaret

This is a great post on German painter Jeanne Mammen:

#womensart ♀

German painter Jeanne Mammen was born in Berlin in 1890, however she spent her early years living in Paris. Here Mammen’s formative years were immersed in a love of French literature and the arts of the age. The artist’s privileged upbringing enabled her to study painting and drawing at various top academies in Paris, Brussels and Rome. However, with the outbreak of World War I, Mammen’s family had their assets confiscated as they were categorised as a foreign enemy, leading to impoverished conditions for the artist. Mammen, however, also benefited from the experience, as she was able to associate with a variety of people from various backgrounds, an eclectic world once hidden from the limited niceties of her middle class social circle. This, in turn, would have a major influence on her later artwork.


After moving back to Berlin, in 1921 Mammen began a professional career in art, first as…

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This is a real hotchpotch of drawings from various places over the last few months. As my time is very short I have taken on the process of starting the sketch from life, taking a photo, then finishing the drawing later from reference. This was against my original principle of doing this project, but it’s that or not getting anything done, so.

I have made some of these drawings available as signed digital prints on my Big Cartel store. Please have a look, there is some of my colour work available there too.

Sometimes I have made short little videos of the process of the drawing and you can see those by clicking on the Instagram link below the image and swiping to the left.

As always you can follow my progress almost realtime on Instagram or Facebook and check older drawings on previous posts, or in the gallery.

174/365 Bedminster Methodist Church.
Drawn whilst sitting on the @sbabristol Arts Trail.
Plot 1.
There’s still a few hours left.
20 minutes.
Notebook: Ichabod
English Rose, Clifton, Bristol.
Drawn on 15/06/17.
Fountain pen.
10 minutes.
Notebook: Ichabod.
Godrevy Lighthouse, St. Ives Bay.
View from Gwythian Sands.
6th August 2017.
Notebook: Ichabod.
Multicoloured Ballpoint.
I have a lot of drawings I haven’t posted now so prepare for them to come all out of sequence.
The spire (?) of the German Cathedral in the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin.
Notebook: Ichabod.
I’ll be using #Inktober to finish off and “ink” in various sketches begun here and there. This is of one of the twin Cathedrals by the Konzerthaus in Berlin started when we visited back in April.
Deutscher Dom,
Originally pencilled 12/04/2017.
Completed 04/10/2017
Pencil and V-ball.
Notebook: Ichabod.
House front.
St. Michaels Hill, Bristol.
Pencil and V-ball.
Notebook: Ichabod

Process video viewable here. Prints available on Big Cartel.

Three Establishments along the Whiteladies Road.
From the front door at work, a view soon to be blocked by the new building.
11th Oct – 1st Nov 2017
Notebook: Ichabod.

Process video viewable here. Prints available on Big Cartel.

Stone Staircase,
Lower Church Lane,
nr Perry Road,
V-ball and Pencil.
Notebook: Ichabod

Process video viewable here. Prints available on Big Cartel.

Magpies on Gwithian Sands.
Drawn on 01/08/2017
Fountain pen and V-ball
Notebook: Ichabod 📓
South Parade, Oakfield Road,Clifton Bristol.
Pencil and V-ball.
Notebook: Ichabod

Process video viewable here. Prints available on Big Cartel.

Spring trip to Berlin.

aka: Intermittently Regular #365 Sketch Project Update 172-182

It’s been a while so I am all out of sorts with drawings and order etc.

This is a batch from our Spring trip to Berlin. I have some more of these and I will post them in due course as some of them were scribbled on site and need a little bit of finishing off.

There’s some good advice here on drawing animals by Aaron Blaise, which could be applied to drawing from life of any kind. Mainly:

  • Draw from Life
  • Do your research before you go out.
  • Bring the right supplies and be prepared.
  • Observe first draw later.
  • Keep it loose and make quick observations.
  • Adjust revise your proportions as you go.
  • Take lots of pictures and build your personal reference library.

You should definitely read the whole post here.

Anyways, back to Berlin:


172/365 People from above. Mall of Berlin, near Potsdamer Platz. 5 mins. Notebook: Artemis
175/365 Page of room details from the apartment we stayed in Berlin. Various times. Wilmersdorf, Berlin. April 2017 Notebook: Ichabod.
177/365 FluxBau, from across the Spree. Köpenicker Str. Berlin. 13 April 2017

During out stay we were fortunate enough to visit the Rudolf Belling exhibition at the Hamberger Bahnhof museum. I was relatively unfamiliar with his work before this but we all really enjoyes seeing his work.

This from Wikipedia:

At the very beginning of the 20th century Rudolf Belling’s name was something like a battlecry. The composer of the “Dreiklang” (triad) evoked frequent and hefty discussions. He was the first, who took up again thoughts of the famous Italian sculptor Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1570), who, at his time, stated, that a sculpture should show several good views. These were the current assumptions at the turn of the century. However they foreshadow an indication of sculpture being three-dimensional.

Rudolf Belling amplified: a sculpture should show only good views. And so he became an opponent to one of the German head scientists of art in Berlin, Adolf von Hildebrandt, who, in his book, The problem of Form in Sculpture (1903) said: “Sculpture should be comprehensible – and should never force the observer to go round it”. Rudolf Belling disproved the current theories with his works.

His theories of space and form convinced even critics like Carl Einstein and Paul Westheim, and influenced generations of sculptors after him. It is just this point which isn’t evident enough today.

I hope to make a more comprehensive post about his work in the future.

178/365 Porträt Geheimrat Dr. Kerschensteiner, Bronze 1932 by Rudolf Belling. “Der Münchner Mathematiker und Reformpëdagoge Georg Kerschenstwiner (1854-1932) gilt als Begründer der Arbeitsschull, einer Vorform der heutigen Berufsschule.” 5 mins. V-ball. 14th April 2017 Hamberger Bahnhoff. Notebook: Ichabod
179/365 Rudolf Belling Schuttblume 1972 Olympiaberg Muenchen. V-ball & Pencil. Hamberger Bahnhoff. 17th April 2017 Notebook: Ichabod
180/365 Various rushed studies of “Kopf In Messing (Toni Freeden)” by Rudolph Belling as it was in situ at the Hamberger Bahnhoff Gallery in Berlin, with postcard of the artist with the original. 17th April 2017 Notebook: Ichabod.
182/365 Rendition of Soldier Sculpture by Rudolf Belling. From the “Skulpturen Und Architekturen” exhibition at Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnahof Berlin. Fountain Pen and pencil. 14th April 2017 Notebook: Ichabod.

Einige Photographien von Berlin

Uhlandstraße, Wilmersdorf, Berlin, April 2017.
Hohenzollernplatz, Uhlandstasse, Wilmersdorf, Berlin.
The Rolling Horse at Berlin Central Station. “Das Rolling Horse ist eine von Jürgen Goertz entworfene Skulptur auf der nördlichen Terrasse des Berliner Hauptbahnhofs am Europaplatz. Die Skulptur besteht aus Edelstahl, Aluminium, Kunststoff, Glas und Stein. Sie ist 9,70 Meter hoch, 8,70 Meter breit[1] und wiegt 35 Tonnen.”
Oberbaumbrücke, River Spree, Berlin.
“Die Oberbaumbrücke ist ein Doppeldecker-Brücke Berlins Fluss Spree, als eines der Wahrzeichen der Stadt. Sie verbindet Friedrichshainand Kreuzberg, ehemaligen Stadtbezirke, die durch die Berliner Mauer geteilt wurden, und ist ein wichtiges Symbol der Einheit Berlins geworden.Das untere Deck der Brücke trägt eine Fahrbahn, die Oberbaum Straße im Süden des Flusses mit Warschauer Straße im Norden verbindet. Das obere Deck der Brücke führt Berliner U-Bahnlinie U1, zwischen Schlesisches Tor und Warschauer Straße Stationen. Die Brücke erscheint prominent in der 1998 Film Run Lola Run.”
Hohenzollernplatz, Uhlandstraße, Berlin. “Hohenzollernplatz ist ein Berliner U-Bahn-Station im Stadtteil Wilmersdorf in der U3 line.Die Station wurde mit dem ersten Abschnitt der U3 vom Wittenbergplatz bis Thielplatz am 12. Oktober 1913 eröffnet. Ab dem Heidelberger Platz war der Architekt W.Leitgebel.”
Berlin Central Station, April 2017.
“Berlin Hauptbahnhof ist der Hauptbahnhof in Berlin, Deutschland. Es kam zwei Tage nach einer feierlichen Eröffnung am 26. Mai 2006 in Betrieb. Es befindet sich auf dem Gelände des historischen Lehrter Bahnhof, und bis es als Hauptleitung Station geöffnet, es war ein Anschlag auf die Berliner S-Bahn s-Bahn Berlin Hauptbahnhof – Lehrter Bahnhof vorübergehend benannt. Die Station wird von der DB Station betrieben.”
Overhead pipes, Hauptbahnhoff, Berlin.
“Wansee, Mügelersee, Tegelersee – Berlin is surrounded by several lakes, and is home to the river Spree. Not to get into too much detail, it simply means that the ground Berlin is built on is quite marshy. Searching deeper, it has been argued that the word ‘Berlin’ actually comes from a word in the Proto-slavic language, literally meaning ‘swamp’. With groundwater in Berlin existing just two meters under the city’s surface, consequently, it is impossible to dig any tunnels without the risk of flooding the German capital. And could you imagine the city without the metro system? Thus, the pipes surrounding Berlin serve to pump water from the ground and transport it to the canals, allowing both together to drain the basements of the city and to facilitate the urban works. For more than a century already, a company named ‘Pollems’ has been responsible for the system.”

The Berlin Reunion

“Earlier this week, 1.5 million people filled the streets of Berlin, Germany to watch a several-day performance by France’s Royal de Luxe street theatre company titled “The Berlin Reunion“. Part of the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Reunion show featured two massive marionettes, the Big Giant, a deep-sea diver, and his niece, the Little Giantess. The storyline of the performance has the two separated by a wall, thrown up by “land and sea monsters”. The Big Giant has just returned from a long and difficult – but successful – expedition to destroy the wall, and now the two are walking the streets of Berlin, seeking each other after many years apart. I’ll let the photos below tell the rest of the story.

via Katie West