The Raven and the Owl, Abstract Light Streaks Expressionism Photography by Nawfal Johnson 

Title:  The Raven and the Owl.

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson 

All Rights Reserved.

Medium:  Nighttime urban lights.

Tool:  Camera.

Craft:  Photography, I mean necromancy, no, um, I mean, Photography, but of course.

Location:  Penang Island, Malaysia.

Actual Creation Date :  1 October 2017.

Genre: Ambidextrous Photographic Expressionism.  I’m using my abstract nighttime lights photography, in an ambidextrous way (mirrored technique) to create an expressionistic rendition of a raven, and his small friend (above), the owl.

Artist’s Note:

Van Gogh Syndrome 

I’m seriously being affected by Van Gogh Syndrome.  I am a beast in creating new artworks, but wondering, “What is the point?”  As Rodney Dangerfield so eloquently put it, “I can’t get any respect“.  

What is ‘Van Gogh Syndrome‘?  Well, I don’t know if it is a real syndrome, but I made it up on my own a few years ago—I mention it in several older blog posts.  I define Van Gogh Syndrome as a condition that can affect a highly productive and highly skilled (that is subjective and arguable) artist who is both overwhelmed and underwhelmed with their artistic life because the inputed investment in all things, does not see any clear or beneficial rewards.  Therefore, the individual has doubts about their very place in this world and why he or she continues along a creative course when there is no real benefit, even though there is satisfaction from their creative endeavours.  And, the very thinking of quiting being an artist would probably be a blasphemous idea to this individual.  

This syndrome, of course, is named after the great artist, Vincent Van Gogh, who was a Master artist, but suffered psychologically from a not very successful career as an artist during his lifetime, and thus, caused him many troubles.

That is my closest “medical” definition of Van Gogh Syndrome, as I know it, and define it.

Maybe someday, I’ll be credited for my great work in Art Psychology for inventing this definition of Van Gogh Syndrome. 🙂

I think that if Van Gogh was alive in this time period, he would have been abhorred by the fact that 10’s of millions of images are uploaded to the web everyday, and a small percentage of that being actual serious artwork, and it is clogging up and drowning the world with a lot of underwhelming imagery, and it is out there for all to see on the wonderful world of the Internet.  

Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime and died at the age of 37,  before he would see any success. His mother threw away crates filled with his work but did live long enough to possibly regret it as he was ultimately hailed as a genius. He is now considered the greatest Dutch painter after Rembrandt.  
Source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sensorium/201308/vincent-van-gogh-was-likely-synesthete

Vincent Van Gogh, it has been discovered, was a synesthete:  

 synesthete (sĭnˈĭs-thētˌ)►


    A person who experiences synesthesia, as by having a secondary sensation of sound as color or of color as sound.

Other people who have this sensation, of synesthesia, experience this secondary sensation when viewing some of Vincent Van Gogh’s works.

Source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sensorium/201308/vincent-van-gogh-was-likely-synesthete

NEVERTHELESS, he would have had a stroke when he discovered that there are computers, and that there is Photoshop, and there are plug-ins for Photoshop that can create pretty good painting-like images, even in the painting style of Van Gogh, and these computerized-paintings can be created in a few seconds with just a few commands inputted on the keyboard, the mouse, or the tablet.  

I think he would have said, “What the bloody hell is this demonic necromancy!”


For me, I have a very high sense of  “Pareidolia (/pærɪˈdoʊliə/ parr-i-DOH-lee-ə), [which] is a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists (e.g., in random data).  Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, the Man in the Moon, the Moon rabbit, hidden messages within recorded music played in reverse or at higher- or lower-than-normal speeds, and hearing indistinct voices in random noise such as that produced by air conditioners or fans.”

(Source :  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia)


To truly survive as an artist in the virtual world, you nearly have to have tens of thousands of artworks uploaded to artwork websites that get MILLIONS OF HITS per month, that’s so your artworks may be noticed among the 100s of millions of images that are stored and that are available at popular online print-on-demand websites, and also those of the multitude of image library websites.

Another thing that helps get your work noticed, is if the image curators at these print-on-demand photo gallery websites, and the image library websites, take notice of your work.  If they do, then you become a favourite of the curators/editors, and then they put your work on the front pages of their websites as a featured artist.  That gets you a lot of notice when people first visit their websites.  Some websites do not change their look very often, for example, imagekind.com does not, so their favourite artists have been featured on the first page like…forever!  I’ve been a loyal  and productive contributor to imagekind for 11 years, and I’ve never been chosen as a featured artist at their website, and maybe that is sour grapes for me, but I still think it is pure bullshit!  

I could have a stroke because of thinking about the 1,000s of hours of my life used in the creation and design of new art photographs:  The amount of effort and time I’ve spent creating new artworks, editing them, and then uploading the artworks to imagekind, and then having to write detailed descriptions, and doing the keywording for each new artwork—the time invested is at an insane level.  Yes, I actually think I’ve spent 1,000s of hours of my life doing this.  And, at what cost?  You cannot even know, or fathom the cost this has had on me.  That is, unless you also are suffering from Van Gogh Syndrome.  I think there are many-many closet Van Gogh Syndrome sufferers.


Let’s look at some art website stats:

Imagekind used to get 7 to 20 million hits per month!  That was really very good.  That was several years ago.  Now, here are the stats:

Global Rank Traffic rank of site, as compared to all other sites in the world



Country Rank Traffic rank of site, as compared to all other sites in its leading country

United States


Category Rank Traffic rank of site, as compared to all other sites in its main category

Arts and Entertainment > Photography Edit—



Traffic Overview Traffic OverviewGet the overall impression for any website

August 2017 analysis


Total Visits 418.49K 15.65%

Avg. Visit Duration 00:01:03

You need to get a visitor’s attention in about 1 minute!  If you are not a favorite artist of IK, you are screwed…but the same philosophy will hold true for any art sales websites if you are not one of their ‘darlings’.

Pages per Visit 3.00

Bounce Rate 42.97%


Saatchiart.com is another art gallery website I have many images for sale at, but have never been featured by the curators.

Their current web traffic is:

Global Rank Traffic rank of site, as compared to all other sites in the world



Country Rank Traffic rank of site, as compared to all other sites in its leading country

United States


Category Rank Traffic rank of site, as compared to all other sites in its main category

Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts and Design Edit—

The ranking is 25, SO, that is much better in art website traffic, but still, if you are not featured, ever, you are still screwed, no one will find you or your work among their thousands of artist members.


Nowadays, you need to have 100’s of thousands of followers/fans, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and also, you need to be a Video Blogger on the many video platforms (YouTube, Dtube, Whatever-tube) and give instructional videos a few times a week to keep your audience educated, and satisfied.  Only if your audience is happy, your video channels will grow and you can keep being popular and noticed and earn some money from your video blogging work.

The more audience you have, the more potential artwork sells you could get, the more donations you may get through Patreon (or other donation platforms), and the more AdSense you could get, the more merchandise you may sell from the many merchandising websites you would need to be a member of.

For stock photography, you need to have submitted, perchance, several thousand images before anyone takes notice and you sell some images, for either royalty-free usage (meaning you earn pennies), or if you’re lucky, you sell an image for rights-managed usage, which means you can earn some dollars, or many dollars—depending on the use of the image.   Nevertheless, you are still competing with millions of other stock photographers who have similar images, in similar categories, for customers to choose from, so the competition is mind boggling; and also, the earnings from stock photography are not very predictable, nor dependable.

I had a Photographer friend here in Penang, I think he is retired now, who shot stock photography for the company, Image Bank—this was around 1998, or 1999.  He suggested to me that I contact Image Bank.  He said, you can earn a lot.  He had just recently sold one image, and he showed me his royalty check—it was for $1,200.00!  Today, with the snakes who own the stock photo companies, and who changed the rules of the business in their favour, I would guess that if my friend sold that same image today in the stock photo trade, his royalty check would be more in the $1.00 range.  Fucking sad, pathetic, and true.


So why the fuck do I keep creating art photographs?  

Insanity perhaps.

No, I guess because I will always be an artist in my brain and in my heart.  I have to create artwork—artwork is part of me, it is my nature, so I must be part of nature.

⊙ ⊙ I like to reflect on that great story told by Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollack’s wife, she said, 

“I brought [Hans] Hofmann around to Jackson’s studio because I thought he would appreciate it.  Hoffman said to Jackson, ‘You should join my class, you are very ‘tal-lanted’, but this is no good, you will repeat yourself, you do not work from nature.’  Jackson’s response was, ‘I am nature!'”


Light Streaks Abstract — Ganesha

Title:  “Light Streaks Abstract — Ganesha.”

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson .

All Rights Reserved.

Description of Ganesha from Wikipedia:

“Ganesha (/ɡəˈneɪʃə/; Sanskrit: गणेश, Gaṇeśa; About this sound listen ), also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka and Binayak, is one of the best-known and most worshiped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists.”

“Attired in an orange dhoti, an elephant-headed man sits on a large lotus. His body is red in colour and he wears various golden necklaces and bracelets and a snake around his neck. On the three points of her crown, budding lotuses have been fixed. He holds in his two right hands the rosary (lower hand) and a cup filled with three modakas (round yellow sweets), a fourth modaka held by the curving trunk is just about to be tasted. In his two left hands, he holds a lotus above and an axe below, with its handle leaning against his shoulder on the right side.”

My Note:  Cloaked in Orange, you can see the Elephant ears, eyes, long trunk, but wide body, sitting cross-legged on a lotus, but all created with light streaks.

The LIGHT STREAKS IN ORDERED CHAOS — Vol. 1. A Folio Photography Collection by Nawfal Johnson Nur

The LIGHT STREAKS IN ORDERED CHAOS — Vol. 1. A Folio Photography Collection, is a fine art series of 24 photographs, in a hard cover book by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Nawfal created the images in this folio, in May 2016. These 24 images are part of a larger collection of art photographs—the ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS, which has more than 350 photographs (as of September 2017).

Nawfal began the ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS collection in 2015, and images are designed for it regularly. This is “Vol. 1.”, and because he has so many of these art photographs in the collection, the magnitude of this work will likely push him to create further folio publications of this collection. This folio photography collection is a book of light streaks photography, a style of abstract photography Nawfal calls “Fluid Lights Photography” (he also refers to it as “Active Lights Photography”). As the title of this work suggests, the light streaks appear as almost a never-ending swirl of chaos, but when seen thoughtfully, the streaks are actually quite orderly.

The book Sale’s Page Link:



Abstract Light Streaks #355

Title:  “Abstract Light Streaks #355”.

Series:  ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS.   Series Years:  2015 – 2017.   This is my largest photography series with nearly 400 photographs in the collection.  These photographs are created from nighttime lights in Penang, Malaysia.


Influence:  I am highly influenced by my favorite artist, Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), an Abstract Expressionism Painter, some researchers call his style Fractal Expressionism:  he was an important and influential member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism of  the 1950s – 60s.  I take the Abstract (Fractal) Expressionism concept and translate it into abstract photographic art pieces.  Being left-handed, I’ve always been attracted to ambidextrous and mirrored visuals, and I create many ambidextrous visuals—all things equal on the left and right hand sides.





Abstract, Expressionism, Mirrored, Complexism, Fractal, Nawfal, Chaos, Order, Modernism, Photography, Lightstreaks, Urban,



Creation Date: 1 July 2016.


Series Years:  2015 – 2016.


This is a collection of nighttime, time-exposure, light streak photography.  There is something about nighttime photography that I really like:  it allows me to make light fluid and I can make it twist and turn however I wish to get the effect I want.  There are some happy accidents too with this kind of photography.

All of these photographs were created in Penang, Malaysia.
Photography Genre:

I would classify this as something I call, “Active (or Fluid-Light) Abstract Expressionism Photography.”
Copyright 2016 Nawfal Johnson.

All Rights Reserved.

Penang, Malaysia.



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