Pieter Lategan’s Opinion about Irma Stern’s Notes

I am busy working through Irma Stern’s journal. Above you will see the drawings and entries of p17 and p18. I quote:

“Page 17 – My brain cries out – flee – flee – Plague – Plague – the heads are swathed in rags – gigantic – the Pestilence is killing my brain – and then an implacable force – and I go with them, yet I wanted to flee –

Let’s start with page 17,

If you look at the two pages I don’t think it is drawn the same day. The reason why I say that is that the colors differ from the two pages. The blue and the brown, on page 17 and then the brown on p18 differs. There is no turquoise on p18 and if she draws it at the same time, the same colors I think would be used, or similar. Also if you look at the background colors there is a difference.

There is no date on p17, so it is hard to tell what date, time or year the picture was drawn.

I also can see the notes are in German.

It is very difficult to say where the plague is what she talks about. II did research and can’t really find something that is worth writing about.

She says here her brain shouts go away there is a plague. The heads as seen in the images are covered with old cloth (rags) – typically used for cleaning. She said swathe and the meaning on the internet say it is – warp in several layers of fabric. As shown in the picture. She used the word gigantic, so it was big. Then she uses the word “pestilence” which is busy killing her brain.

The difference between plague and pestilence is, I searched it on the internet.

“What was the pestilence?
pestilence. Pestilence means a deadly and overwhelming disease that affects an entire community. The Black Plague, a disease that killed over thirty percent of Europe’s population, was certainly a pestilence. … A disease that causes widespread crop damage or animal deaths can also be called a pestilence.”

A sample of a pestilence is as follows:

“A pestilence of flies surrounding an Egyptian woman and child. The definition of a Pestilence is any infectious, fatal disease that is widespread or an evil influence or deliverer. An example of a pestilence is the bubonic plague. An example of a pestilence is a swarm of mosquitoes carrying the disease.”

In her cases, I think in my opinion it was fleas.

If you look at what bubonic plague is, is the following:

“Bubonic plague is one of three types of plague caused by bacterium Yersinia pestis. One to seven days after exposure to the bacteria, flu-like symptoms develop. These symptoms include fever, headaches, and vomiting. Swollen and painful lymph nodes occur in the area closest to where the bacteria entered the skin.”

Is bubonic plague curable?
All forms are treatable and curable if detected early enough. Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague globally and is caused by the bite of an infected flea. … Bubonic plague can advance and spread to the lungs, which is the more severe type of plague called Pneumonic plague.”

So the internet says the following about pestilence and plague:

“Difference between pestilence and plague.
As nouns the difference between pestilence and plague
is that pestilence is any epidemic disease that is highly contagious, infectious, virulent and devastating while plague is the bubonic plague, the pestilent disease caused by the virulent bacterium ”yersinia pestis .”

Meaning of yersinia pestis:

“Yersinia pestis (formerly Pasteurella pestis) is a Gram-negative, nonmotile, rod-shaped, coccobacillus bacterium, with no spores. It is a facultative anaerobic organism that can infect humans via the Oriental rat flea.”

What is the Oriental rat flea?

“The Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis), also known as the tropical rat flea, is a parasite of rodents, primarily of the genus Rattus, and is a primary vector for bubonic plague and murine typhus. This occurs when the flea has fed on an infected rodent and bites a human, although this flea can live on any warm-blooded mammal.”


p17 ” – and then an implacable force -“
In my opinion, it was an enemy which she could not stop. But she went with them although she wants not. The enemy, in my opinion, the enemy can be the people with here which is been effected. But she still goes with them.
Lastly, it looks like a figure at the feet of the people and assumes it is a dead body.

This image is a photo of the Oriental rat flea.

I quote page 18 –

“1915 Zoppot

The sea roars rhythmically – I stand at the open window – the beach shines white – tremblingly white – the moon is up in the air – a moon swallowed by heavy clouds – and here and there stand trees – the wind blows the open world into my house -”

This is an image of Sopot or also known as Zoppot.

1915 Sopot/Zoppot Ansichtskarte/Postkarte/Ostseebad Zoppot/Kurgarten mit See 2-3


Molo, Sopot – 1915 rok, stare zdjęcia




History of Sopot.

After the first partition of Poland in 1772, Sopot fell under Prussian rule and was known as Zoppot.

“After the defeat of Napoleon in Russia and the retreat of the French army from Moscow, a French military surgeon Jean Georg Haffner settled in Gdańsk, where he bought a piece of land and then in 1823 built a small bathing complex. A year later, the first Spa House was created here. Thanks to Haffner’s activity, a nearby park was established (which still exists today), walking paths were marked out and the first pier built. The first patients came to Sopot, and the town began to be known as a bathing resort.”

You will see the peer in the photos.

“After the railway was extended from Koszalin to Gdańsk and Warsaw including Sopot in 1870 the town began to develop quickly. In 1901, Sopot was granted city rights by the German Kaiser and the resort began to become a very fashionable place in Europe – it was called the Riviera of the North. In 1909, the Forest Opera was created.”

“The name of the city in the logo gives expression to the brand. Sopot is itself a value. For over 100 years, spa patrons and tourists have been visiting the seaside resort for health and relaxation.

The combination of elements underlines the diversity of Sopot, thanks to which both residents and guests are able to improve their state of mind and body.

A taut sail is a call to action. It refers to positive energy, associated with movement and sport and allowing one to live life to the fullest.

The artistic signature emphasizes the unique character, peculiarities, and qualities of the city. It highlights things, places, situations, events that are unique and as yet unknown.”


My opinion about page 18:

it is evening and the clouds at the bottom of the page. It looks like if the moon sits on top. There are dark brush strokes which I assume is to show it is night.

She said the sea roars, it is what wild animals do or a lion. So she hearts it very clearly. She looks from the open window to the beach and because of the moon, it shines white.

There were a lot of clouds and she sees the tree’s in the moonlight.

Because of the clouds which move there is a wind, and maybe it is going to rain. I understand it must be a very cool evening.

On the Beach

Pieter Lategan
Title: On the Beach
Medium: A4 Paper, H,HB,B

This is my brother’s son on the beach playing. I like the face it is good but I still need a lot of practice on the hands and feet. I also need to give more attention to detail. When I worked as a designer I sometimes feel I have to do that. But I will sort that out, as soon as my skills improve. It took me about 2 hours to draw this from a photo.

Collection 3 Painting 4 Study 2

Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Collection 3 Painting 4 Study 2
Medium: A4 Paper Pencil H, HB, B

I work with speed and see how it will go. I actually need to spend more time on the hat, the lip is not very correct. The eyes work for me and the nose. I think if I spend more time on it, I would put out a better product.

Collection 3 Painting 4 Study 1

Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Collection 3 Painting 4 Study 1
Medium: A4 Paper, H, HB

I got this image last night on the net, think this one will work the best for this collection. This study will redraw, then paint on acrylics and then in oil. Final size still unknown and name.



Fall to the bottom to settle
Sink back in your chair
Be quiet
Rest in peace no war

With a glance you can make
Enemies forever
Look the bliss out of someone’s eyes
Still the new force is killing us more

Give more and more
Give everything
I can’t anymore
Busy flatten out

  • Pieter Lategan

Irma’s Portrait Without a Name

Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Irma’s Portrait Without a Name
Medium: A4 Pencil, H,HB,B,4B

I give my opinion about my sketch which I redraw from Irma Stern a South African artist. She is well known for her portraits and landscapes. If you look at her original sketch you will find the mouth is very round and fat and small. It is not wide and there is not really a very happy emotion in her drawing. The big ears are striking and it looks actually odd. This is a picture of a young man around 32-36 I guess. The hairstyle is typical of the 30’s She just make strokes at the edges with a pencil when I did it, it went very fast, I feel she draw this one very quickly. Maybe she was frustrated or it is just me today.

So what did I do with my sketch?
Well I draw the lines first and then color it in, it did not work very well but I think that will be more practice.

I am not very happy with mine, it does not look very like hers, but it is almost there. My face is long and the colorwork is not that big success. Actually, I feel lazy today. I made notes at the back of the paper and when I started to color it in, the H pencil marks came through. So that was not very good for my emotions. There I lost a bit of interest in the drawing. But as I said I feel irritated.

Internet Statue

Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Internet Statue
Medium: Canvas and Acrylic Paint

I wonder if anyone tried to create a statue for the internet. I mean all over the world you get statues, it is landmarks and things people like to remember. Every day there is a statue going up somewhere in the world I think, so to create statues for the internet to remember things, it would be very nice. Like to build a website for all the internet statues. You go and visit it like you go and visit someone in the graveyard. With respect of course.

The blocks are part of the statue and the face you just need to put on to the blocks.

Aron, the man who beat the Nazis with a Pencil

Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Aron, the man who beat the Nazis with a Pencil
Medium: A4 Paper, H, HB

My conclusion of Aron’s work which I have redrawn.

Basically what I think of Kalman Aron is he was very young when he started to paint, at 3, and his first exhibition was held when he was 7 and on 13 the president asked him to paint him.

The main story is that he was Jewish and he survived the holocaust by drawing portraits. He got a lot of experience in portrait and help him to understand it better. In his isolation in the camps, e was still a good observer of and empathizer with those around him.

In my opinion, so when you look at his images the eyes are intense and the hand shows the pressure on his face when you look at the skin. That is what I understand with psychological intensity.

Psychological intensity work. which means, what I got from the internet and I quote: “

“the strength of any behavior, such as an impulse or emotion. 3. the strength of an individual’s performance in some activity or field with reference to one or more of the following attributes: arousal, commitment, effort, assertiveness, and attentional focus. Also called performance intensity.”


https://dictionary.apa.org › intensity

My Conclusion about Irma Stern’s work:

Irma Stern a South African artist, whose expressive portraits rendered in saturated colors wherefrom her most widely known pieces. She traveled throughout Africa to capture the likenesses and landscapes of the continent.
In 1916 she had her first solo show with the help of German painter Max Pechstein, and her exposure to Expressionism would figure heavily as an influence on her career.

I went in dept of what color saturation means. It refers to the intensity of color in an image. The expression of the bandwidth of light from sources. Hue refers to the color of the image itself, while saturation describes the intensity(purity) of that hue. When a color is fully saturated, the color considered in the purest version. Red, blue, and yellow are considered as the truest version of color as they are fully saturated.

So to go deeper in Hue it is more specifically described by the dominant wavelength and is the first item we refer to(i.e. “yellow”) when adding in the three components of a color. Hue is also a term which describes a dimension of color we readily experience when we look at the color, or its purest form; it essentially refers to a color having full saturation, as follow:

When discussing “pigment primaries”(CMY), no white no black, or gray is added.

When discussing spectra “light primaries” (RGB), a pure hue equivalent to full saturation is determined by the ration of the dominant wavelength or other wavelengths in the color.

Saturation(intensity) or chroma

Saturation defines the brilliance and intensity of a color. When a pigment hue is “toned”, both white and black are added to the color to reduce the color’s saturation.

Desaturation: hue becomes less dominant.

All color starts with light and the three primary hues in light are red, green, and blue.


Aron vs Stern

Both were Jewish.
Both portrait and landscape artists.
Broth travel, Irma in Africa and Aron in seven different concentration camps and then move to America.
Aron was famous for his psychological intensity and Stern for her intensity of color.

What do I think about my own work?
I struggled with the nose, it was too difficult, but I need to practice more. The eyes are not that good but I get a better feeling of how to draw eyes. The fingers are better than my previous work, in my opinion. Yes, that is that.


Artist: Pieter Lategan
Title: Serious
Medium: A4 Paper, H,HB,B,B2,B3,B4

I redraw this sketch from an artist with the name of Poéticas Visuais it took me about 2 hours to redraw it, I feel quite happy about this one, it is easy. II am not really happy with the eyes, I made a mistake there. The arm is too thin but on the original sketch of Poéticas the arm looks like that. The fingers are what he draws and it looks disabled. I got the idea but prefer more a realistic sketch. This was just for fun to do something else.

I am very into Facebook news, and I enjoy it, it keeps you updated with the latest news in Iran, and the aeroplane they shot down of Ukraine and Iran confess that they shut the airplane down.