my BIO , paintings and 4 of my 60 videos of my work.

Who is Ulrich de Balbian and what do you do?I am in my sixties, born of a German mother and Dutch-French father. I lived and studied in a number of countries, including Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain.I have doctorates in Philosophy and Theology and qualifications in Social Science and Fine Art.When i was young I did sociological research in South Africa, so I know certain areas, of this vast and very diverse (culturally and geographically) country.I worked as an academic (philosophy, art and world religions) so that I did not have to be dependent on the Art Industry for a living. Through philosophy I reflected deeply on many aspects of existence, including culture and more specially art, and the Western painting genre.I specify Western as it is very different from the painting traditions from Asia, China, India, Arabic countries, etc. As social scientist and philosopher (I published fifteen books in that discipline, two in theology and others) researched socio-cultural aspects of art , for example the code of the discourse or socio-cultural; practice of Western Painting. As well as the Art Industry and Market. Many people interested in art and artists do not realize that the centre of the Art Market has shifted from the West (1) US, 2) UK, 3) France, 4) Germany) to Asia (1)China, 2)Taiwan, 3)Hong Kong, 4) Korea, 5)Singapore). Major Art Fairs and Biennales are held in those countries and Private Collectors built their own museums, as there used to be few national museums as in the west. Those private museum collections can compare with the best national Museums in the West. I mention the art Market and Industry as I question the traditional system of commercial galleries, auctions and the influence of billionaire collectors on the price of works of art. I am a maverick and rebel as far as these things are concerned and i am not allowing them to control my type of work. Too many artists, similar to the rest of the popular entertainment industry, felt the need to produce sensational work, so as to be noticed. I never was dependent on the art industry as I had other spruces of income as academic. I retired at forty from that so as to work full time on my art, and writing.

Source: my BIO , oaintings and 4 of my 60 videos of my work.

Letter to a friend on Creative thinking, intuition in art, writing, philosophy

Letter to a friend : Creative Thinking and Intuition  Letter to a friend about creative thinking and intuition (art, writing, philosophy, science, etc)  with my paintings,

Source: Letter to a friend on Creative thinking, intuition in art, writing, philosophy

(Meta-Philosophy) Nature and Limits of Philosophy(izing)

(Meta-Philosophy) Limits of Philosophy(izing)1The reasons why I explore the nature and the limits of philosophy/izing -it is and has always been my passion since a small child, that what gives meaning to my life and made me who I am, without love for Sophos/wisdom I could not exist. This is partly so because of my nurturing/upbringing (200% honest and sincer parents) and nature (my brain and personality-type). It is the (first) love of my life, followed by visual arts, social sciences, mathematics, astrophysics and some other sciences.2As I live FOR (and not like professional philosophers OFF) philosophy I need to identify, conceptualize and enquire about the seemingly mysterious (see Heidegger, Nietzsche et al) nature of philosophy and the lack of identifying what the nature, the subject-matter and the methods of philosophy and tacit, often negative or misleading assumptioms concerning these things, are. It seems, from what they present to us, that philosophers lack meta-cognition of the discipline and the execution of this socio-cultural practice. Instead of dealing with these essential ‘prolegomena’ philosophers dive directly into the doing of what seems to resemble philosophizing. One of the illnesses they suffer from, often without them being aware of it, is -isms. Instead of reflecting on what they do they merely repeat the limitations, like a horse’s blindfold, and draw out the implications of someone’s elses already existing -ism or the development of their own. Most people are aware of some form of -ism and often criticize politicians (and Presidents! for subscribing to them) for -isms such as racism, corruptionism, misogynism, etc – if they were to look at their own thinking and behaviour they will see the many -isms their own attitudes reveal. Google the Book of isms for this or see this publication of mine for a FREE download: of merely doing philosophy in a simple manner as possible one sees how philosophers become entwined in the restrictions of their own mixture of implicit and explicit -isms and in the process fabricate all sorts of neologisms and technical terms to create new ideas, things and processes to try and set themselves free from the dark hole they create and dig themselves into always more deeper. See examples of this in the above book concerning the issue of the mind-body problem. Certain philosophers have problems with the nature and the meaning of the concept of mind, others with the notion of body and then of course how to relate and/or reduce or explain the one to or from the other. In the process we find endless, more and more microscopically detailed -isms that are meant to refer to and/or create all sorts of fabricated organs, matter, ideas, processe, phenomena etc – and in the process creating and spelling out the details of the -ism that determines, underlies and direct their cognitively biased thinking.4This brings us to the second self-imposed limitations on philosophy by philosophers namely Cognitive Bias. I added an Appendix on Cognitive Bias, some of the different types and how the operate in misleading ways here (another FREE download book): The include – Bias arises from various processes that are sometimes difficult to distinguish. These include information-processing shortcuts (heuristics)[14] noisy information processing (distortions in the process of storage in and retrieval from memory)[15] the brain’s limited information processing capacity[16] emotional and moral motivations[17] social influence[18] can be distinguished on a number of dimensions. For example, there are biases specific to groups (such as the risky shift) as well as biases at the individual level. Some biases affect decision-making, where the desirability of options has to be considered (e.g., sunk costs fallacy). Others such as illusory correlation affect judgment of how likely something is, or of whether one thing is the cause of another. A distinctive class of biases affect memory,[23] such as consistency bias (remembering one’s past attitudes and behavior as more similar to one’s present attitudes. problems that biases help us address: Information overload, lack of meaning, the need to act fast, and how to know what needs to be remembered for later. Inf

Source: (Meta-Philosophy) Nature and Limits of Philosophy(izing)

Famous Mystics loving Sophos (Wisdom)

NON-PHILOSOPHY OF THE ONE Turning away from Philosophy of Being towards Non-Philosophy! the intersubjectivity of Sophos& THE ONE and the Real Self.  Famous Mystics from many religions. FREE BOOK written by myself

Source: Famous Mystics loving Sophos (Wisdom)

Critique of Methods of Philosophy (how to do Philosophy)

My Book FREE (Meta-Philosophy) DOING PHILOSOPIZINGMy new book is HERE for download: own discussions or‭ ‘‬philosophizing‭’ ‬follow right at the end after the numerous and very lengthy quotes from philosophers.‭ ‬The nature of the subject-matter of philosophy,‭ ‬the methodology,‭ ‬methods,‭ ‬techniques and tools of doing philosophy or philosophizing,‭ ‬the nature of the different steps or stages of the process/es of theorizing,‭ ‬the fact that doing philosophy are some of the stages of theorizing,‭ ‬the fact that philosophers lack meta-cognition and/or meta-reflection of these things.‭ ‬If they had awareness of what and how they are doing philosophy they might not become involved in quibbling over concepts and the differentiations of these concepts.‭ ‬It is as if philosophers are blind to what they are doing and have been doing for thousands of years,‭ ‬with the result that they continue repeating the same thing‭ – ‬arguing with words over the use of words and in the process creating more and more‭ –‬isms.‭ ‬They are seemingly unable to escape from such‭ –‬isms and their implications.‭ ‬Instead of getting or going anywhere they way they conceive‭ (‬of‭) ‬problems and express their questions they end up with conceiving of notions that cannot be solved or dissolved.‭ ‬They enclose themselves in an insular world or bubble of their own making,‭ ‬compared to sciences investigating humans and the different features and systems of the human body who find irrelevant the problems that philosophers have with things such as the brain,‭ ‬cognition,‭ ‬mind,‭ ‬consciousness,‭ ‬perception,‭ ‬thinking,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬Sciences deal with these things on many levels and multi-dimensional while philosophers try to restrict them to a single level in one dimension by their words and the way they use those words.‭ ‬Consequently they lose sight of their objects and are unable to question them or express questions about them in a meaningful manner.In my articles and books on the subject-matter I dealt with the traditional branches of philosophy and that with the differentiation of other disciplines and discourses the discourse of philosophy lost subject-matter.‭ ‬I mentioned newer areas of‭ ‘‬philosophy‭’‬,‭ ‬such as X-Phi,‭ ‬Philosophy’s interdisciplinary involvement in for example cognitive sciences,‭ ‬that there exists a philosophy of every discipline possible‭ (‬eg philosophy of science,‭ ‬art,‭ ‬music,‭ ‬sport,‭ ‬social sciences,‭ ‬etc‭)‬,‭ ‬that discourses such as Logic,‭ ‬Critical Thinking,‭ ‬Argumentation and argument maps,‭ ‬Reasoning,‭ ‬etc are relevant to and employed by many if not all disciplines and many discourses and are not uniquely subject-matter of the discourse of philosophy and does not have to form part of or be taught as subject-matter of philosophy.I identified and discussed the methodology,‭ ‬methods,‭ ‬techniques and tools of doing philosophy and some underlying or implicit transcendentals such as pre-suppositions,‭ ‬suppositions and assumptions.‭ ‬I explore the nature of the different features,‭ ‬aspects,‭ ‬characteristics,‭ ‬steps and stages of the processes of theorizing.‭ ‬I showed that doing philosophy or philosophizing employ and/or consist of some of these features,‭ ‬steps and stages of theorizing.As I involuntary have‭ (‬am‭)‬,‭ ‬seemingly endless‭ (‬a stream of consciousness like‭) ‬philosophically-‭ (‬question or problem and insight‭) ‬related‭ ‘‬intuitions‭’‬,‭ ‬it is difficult,‭ ‬painful and frustrating to me for that to be interrupted by social interaction,‭ ‬talking to people,‭ ‬phones,‭ ‬executing all sorts of‭ ‬mundane activities,‭ ‬etc.‭ ‬To understand or cope with this‭ ‘‬mental state‭’ ‬is one of the reasons why I need to explore meta-cognition or thinking about thinking,‭ ‬especially one’s own thinking and related‭ ‘‬activities‭’‬.

Source: Critique of Methods of Philosophy (how to do Philosophy)

Philosophers & Thinking, my new book for FREE

‭My new book for FREE download. I am in the top 0.5% for downloads at and belong to a group of academics offering our work for FREE as publishers charge too much for books.‭(‬Meta-Philosophy‭) ‬Philosophers and their lack of‭ ‬Meta-cognitionPhilosopher think about your own thinkingABSTRACTI explore the meta-cognitive nature,‭ ‬tools,‭ ‬self-reflection of philosophers and in so doing present the Socratic Method,‭ ‬Critical Thinking,‭ ‬Cognitive Bias/es and Fallacies.‭ ‬The first do are dealt with in the text,‭ ‬lists of types of the last two are found in the Appendix,‭ ‬as well as a number of diagrams and data the reader must try to look at and digest in his/her own way.Buster Benson sums up causes of or reasons for cognitive bias as:‭ ‬too much information‭ (‬data bombardment‭)‬,‭ ‬not enough meaning‭ (‬making sense‭)‬,‭ ‬constraint by time and information‭ (‬time and data limitations‭) ‬and what to remember‭ (‬selective memory‭) ‬-‭ ‬my words in‭ (‬brackets‭)‬.‭ ‬,‭ ‬including philosophers have cognitive survival techniques to cope with these things and consequently developed individual coping mechanisms‭ (‬for example crutch ideas:‭ ‬mine are meta-philosophy,‭ ‬-cognition,‭ ‬multiverse and intersubjectivity‭ – ‬or reflecting on everything and how I do this in a multiverse by means of intersubjective tools‭)‬.‭ ‬How do and did philosophers cope and what are their individual cognitive biases,‭ ‬of which they usually are unaware‭ (‬thus showing a lack of meta-cognition and limited self-reflection‭)? ‬What are the consequences of this for the socio-cultural practice,‭ ‬discipline and discourse of philosophy and the doing of philosophy or philosophizing‭?

Source: Philosophers & Thinking, my new book for FREE

Meta-Philosophy, Critical thinking, Argument Maps

In the top 1% of academics, books and articles on Academia.EduI belong to a group of academics offering our work for FREE download as commercial publishers charge too much for books. you wish to think/write about many dimensional things like the‭ ‘‬world‭’‬,‭ ‬persons,‭ ‬consciousness,‭ ‬human thinking etc,‭ ‬you should at least think multi-dimensional and many levelled.Questioning the purpose,‭ ‬the subject-matter and the methodology,‭ ‬methods of the discipline. I have already dealt in detail about the disappearance of different subject from the philosophical discourse with the differentiation of other disciplines, as well as the involvement in philosophy in inter-disciplinary areas such as cognitive sciences, the creation of experimental philosophy and the philosophies of other discourses, eg art, religion, science, mathematics, sport and every subject possible. Philosophy has/is often interpreted as consisting of logic, which in has its own discourse, while other aspects or forms of logic really form part of mathematics. The doing of philosophy as the doing of (usually informal) logic is in some way related to this belief. As far as the method of philosophy goes, it is always seen as employing arguments, argumentation and reasoning. But all kinds of writing and talking employ arguments, argumentation, reasoning and informal logic – not just philosophy. I conclude with a discussion from theoretical physics (in the past associated with the philosophical discourse) that provides us with ontologies as philosophy used to do. Against that background I present articles on the multiverse, more conventional articles on our universe, our world, our physical reality and the origins of life. I think these are some of the many things that it is necessary that philosophy should take note of and consequently question itself, its aims, objectives, subject-matter and methodologies. We might then have something different than one-levelled and one-dimensional thinking and more many layered and levelled and multi-dimensional thinking. Is this not how our consciousness functions? On many levels, layers and dimensions simultaneously? So should this not be the manner in which we conceive of ‘it’, its nature and functioning? We, philosophy, should at least be thinking ( instead of individual concepts, or statements, linear thinking – we should simultaneously think on many layers, on many levels and in several dimensions) in terms of 3D, for example 3D scatter plots .By this I mean the many different aspects of the person (mentally and physically, socially, culturally, as well as our environment, planetary and universe context should be included in every concept we employ; each concept should therefore be at least like a 3D scatter plot image, including all these levels and information)

Source: Meta-Philosophy, Critical thinking, Argument Maps

Writing a Critical Analysis of a Painting

You only need to look carefully at the painting then analyze and classify what you see. If you have never written about a painting before, it may be helpful for you to consider the following list when studying the painting.

  • How old is the painting you are writing about?
  • What is its size and proportions?
  • Is it a landscape, a portrait, or a still life?
  • Look at the artist’s use of space.
    – Is there a center of interest?
  • Look at the artist’s use of color and shape.
  • Look at the movement of the forms.
  • Write down your impression of the mood.
  • Does the painting have narrative content (tell a story)?
    – How do you know?
    – What do you think the story is?
  • Who is the artist?
  • Do you think the artist used symbols?
  • Look at the brushwork.
    – Is the paint applied thickly or thinly?
    – Is it transparent or opaque? Is it mixed media?If the work you are studying is an abstraction you will need to focus on:
  • Paint handling
  • Direction and flow
  • Color use
  • Mood
  • Researching the artist

    Begin The Essay


    Just like all other essays, your first paragraph serves as your introduction. This section should identify the title of the painting, the artist, what year the painting was created, and where the painting is located. You should also introduce your thesis in this paragraph. Your thesis could be about one specific aspect of the painting, or it could be a broad statement about the painting as a whole.


    Your next several paragraphs should analyze the painting. For example, if your thesis is that the painting is a “startling piece of work,” then the body of your paper should describe why you find it to be startling. Within your analysis you should include specific descriptions of the piece itself. However, do not focus only on describing the painting; presumably your audience is familiar with the work. You should describe aspects of the painting only as they relate to your thesis. For example, if your thesis is that the painting is “startling,” perhaps it is the subject’s body language that makes it startling. You may want to include a description of that figure’s body language and explain the impact the body language has on the audience.

    In an informal essay about art it is acceptable to include your own feelings and behavior as you looked at the painting. You can include information like how long you studied the painting, whether you compared it to other paintings in the gallery, whether or not you made a sketch of the work, how the painting made you feel, etc. If the painting makes you feel sad, then explain what evokes that feeling. Is it the colors the artist used? Is it the figure’s pose, or the facial expression, etc.?

    Drawing Conclusions:

    It is then important for you to make some conclusions about why you think the artist made the decisions that he/she did. If the painting looks startling or sad, why do you think the artist chose to paint it that way? Is part of the painting dark or dull simply to draw the audience’s attention to another part of the canvas? You may also want to research what was happening during that time of the artist’s life. Often there will be a correlation between the mood of the painting and the events in the artist’s life during that time.


    The end of your essay should reiterate the important points that you made, yet leave the reader with something more to think about.

    This is a very brief essay, and as a result, the introduction is concise. The thesis is in the first sentence.

    Rembrandt’s Self Portrait in the National Gallery

    By M. Lewinski
    November 1, 2001
    Submitted for Art History 101

    Rembrandt’s “Self Portrait” in the East Wing of the National Gallery is a startling painting. Rembrandt placed his face in the upper two thirds of the canvas which is 33¼” by 26″. It was painted in 1656.

    Artists usually paint themselves well dressed, happy, sitting at an easel, working. In this painting, however, Rembrandt looks inexpressibly sad, timeworn, and defeated. While everything else is in shadow, the face is illuminated as if it attracts all the light. His face is softening with age; his unruly hair is tinged with gray. His eyes look out, capturing and pinning me the moment I enter the gallery. I feel as if I had disturbed him while he was painting.
    His coat looks dull, nondescript. In contrast to other self-portraits where Rembrandt painted himself in finery, in this painting he looks like he is wearing an old coat, and an old hat. The color and quality of his clothing adds to the somber mood of the painting.

    His hands are not visible. In fact, no skin other than his face is visible. Perhaps his hands would have taken some of the light away from his face, and he wanted to draw the audience’s attention immediately to his face. It is as though he meant to emphasize the importance of his facial expression and the lines in his face, and de-emphasize the importance of everything else. It looks like he’s just turned around to see who entered the room– and he’d rather not have been interrupted from his thoughts. The only other form that captures any light is the curved form in the lower portion of the painting. It is possible that shape is his palette.

    Drawing Conclusions:
    You should attempt to explain why you think the artist painted himself in this way.

    Rembrandt made a self-portrait almost every year of his life, beginning about age twenty. The early portraits depict a smiling, self-confident, prosperous Rembrandt. These were probably intended to be advertisements of his skill to attract commissions. Clearly this painting was not designed to attract commissions. Perhaps this painting’s intent was to capture a more honest, uncensored truth of the artist’s life. He could have made himself look however he wanted, but he chose this somber pose.
    Though we do not absolutely know why he depicted himself in this dark way, we must assume that Rembrandt was certainly trying to both evoke and express a feeling of uncomfortable defeat. Perhaps Rembrandt has painted the reality of his life– a dimly lit, cold room; worn, dark clothes; a pensive, tired expression– and his current emotional state without hiding behind flashy clothes and bright colors.
  • Conclusion:
    Reiterate your thesis and the important points you made, and leave the reader with something more to think about.
  • What about this painting has given the impression that Rembrandt looks sad or defeated? Is it the colors the artist used? Is it the pose, or the facial expression? You should describe some specific parts of the painting in order to support your thesis. You may also wish to compare this work to other paintings by the same artist.
  • Analysis:
    Now you can begin to explain why you find this painting to be startling.
  • Sample Critical Essay of a Painting


Tutorial & Instructional Programs

Gallaudet University

Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary


Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary takes readers inside the world of contemporary art and shows them how to think, write, and talk about art. Throughout, the principles of art criticism are presented and applied to contemporary forms of American art giving students of art and art history a solid framework for critically considering contemporary art through describing, interpreting, evaluating, and theorizing.ART CRITICISM AND FORMAL ANALYSIS OUTLINE


Defining Art Criticism

· Art criticism is responding to, interpreting meaning, and making critical judgments about specific works of art.

· Art critics help viewers perceive, interpret, and judge artworks.

· Critics tend to focus more on modern and contemporary art from cultures close to their own.

· Art historians tend to study works made in cultures that are more distant in time and space.

· When initially introduced to art criticism, many people associate negative connotations with the word “criticism.”

A professional art critic may be

· a newspaper reporter assigned to the art beat,

· a scholar writing for professional journals or texts, or

· an artist writing about other artists.

Journalistic criticism –

· Written for the general public, includes reviews of art exhibitions in galleries and museums.

· (Suggestions that journalistic criticism deals with art mainly to the extent that it is newsworthy.)

Scholarly art criticism

· Written for a more specialized art audience and appears in art journals.

· Scholar-critics may be college and university professors or museum curators, often with particular knowledge about a style, period, medium, or artist.


-Four levels of formal analysis, which you can use to explain a work of art:

1. Description = pure description of the object without value judgments,

analysis, or interpretation.

· It answers the question, “What do you see?”

· The various elements that constitute a description include:

a. Form of art whether architecture, sculpture, painting or one of the minor arts

b. Medium of work whether clay, stone, steel, paint, etc., and technique (tools used)

c. Size and scale of work (relationship to person and/or frame and/or context)

d. Elements or general shapes (architectural structural system) within the composition, including building of post-lintel construction or painting with several figures lined up in a row; identification of objects

e. Description of axis whether vertical, diagonal, horizontal, etc.

f. Description of line, including contour as soft, planar, jagged, etc.

g. Description of how line describes shape and space (volume); distinguish between lines of objects and lines of composition, e.g., thick, thin, variable, irregular, intermittent, indistinct, etc.

h. Relationships between shapes, e.g., large and small, overlapping, etc.

i. Description of color and color scheme = palette

j. Texture of surface or other comments about execution of work

k. Context of object: original location and date

2. Analysis = determining what the features suggest and deciding why the artist used such features to convey specific ideas.

· It answers the question, “How did the artist do it?”

· The various elements that constitute analysis include:

a. Determination of subject matter through naming iconographic elements, e.g., historical event, allegory, mythology, etc.

b. Selection of most distinctive features or characteristics whether line, shape, color, texture, etc.

c. Analysis of the principles of design or composition, e.g., stable,

repetitious, rhythmic, unified, symmetrical, harmonious, geometric, varied, chaotic, horizontal or vertically oriented, etc.

d. Discussion of how elements or structural system contribute to appearance of image or function

e. Analysis of use of light and role of color, e.g., contrasty, shadowy,

illogical, warm, cool, symbolic, etc.

f. Treatment of space and landscape, both real and illusionary (including use of perspective), e.g., compact, deep, shallow, naturalistic, random

g. Portrayal of movement and how it is achieved

h. Effect of particular medium(s) used

i. Your perceptions of balance, proportion and scale (relationships of each part of the composition to the whole and to each other part) and your emotional

j. Reaction to object or monument

3. Interpretation = establishing the broader context for this type of art.

· It answers the question, “Why did the artist create it and what does it mean

· The various elements that constitute interpretation include:

a. Main idea, overall meaning of the work.

b. Interpretive Statement: Can I express what I think the artwork is about in one sentence?

c. Evidence: What evidence inside or outside the artwork supports my interpretation?

4. Judgment: Judging a piece of work means giving it rank in relation to other works and of course considering a very important aspect of the visual arts; its originality.

· Is it a good artwork?

· Criteria: What criteria do I think are most appropriate for judging the artwork?

· Evidence: What evidence inside or outside the artwork relates to each criterion?

· Judgment: Based on the criteria and evidence, what is my judgment about the quality of the artwork?

Barrett’s Principles of Interpretation

1. Artworks have “aboutness” and demand interpretation.

2. Interpretations are persuasive arguments.

3. Some interpretations are better than others.

4. Good interpretations of art tell more about the artwork than they tell about the critic.

5. Feelings are guides to interpretations.

6. There can be different, competing, and contradictory interpretations of the same artwork.

7. Interpretations are often based on a worldview.

8. Interpretations are not so much absolutely right, but more or less reasonable, convincing, enlightening, and informative.

9. Interpretations can be judged by coherence, correspondence, and inclusiveness.

10. An artwork is not necessarily about what the artist wanted it to be about.

11. A critic ought not to be the spokesperson for the artist.

12. Interpretations ought to present the work in its best rather than its weakest light.

13. The objects of interpretation are artworks, not artists.

14. All art is in part about the world in which it emerged.

15. All art is in part about other art.

16. No single interpretation is exhaustive of the meaning of an artwork.

17. The meanings of an artwork may be different from its significance to the viewer. Interpretation is ultimately a communal endeavor, and the community is ultimately self- corrective.

18. Good interpretations invite us to see for ourselves and to continue on our own.41naapzd-il-_sx402_bo1204203200_