Week 2: Mondriaan – Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge 2018

This week, we’re visiting a famous Dutch Master of painting again: Piet Mondriaan.

Tableau I, by Piet Mondriaan

Tableau I – Piet Mondriaan

Piet Mondriaan (1872 – 1 February 1944) was a Dutch painter who became world famous for his abstract paintings that show black lines, strict structure and primary colors. He was the first one to completely let go of the idea that a painting should refer to something in reality. An idea that was truly revolutionary in his time.

I encourage you to visit www.mondriaan.nl/en, which beautifully shows Mondriaan’s journey from figurative to abstract painting.

The challenge

Here’s this week’s challenge! As always, don’t be too hard on yourself, and don’t worry if you cannot meet all of the requirements. As long as you feel you’ve challenged yourself, that’s really more than enough.

  • Shoot an image that’s inspired by Mondriaan’s abstract paintings: horizontal and vertical lines, and bold colors.
  • Look for Mondriaan in your everyday surroundings (modern architecture, toys, furniture, boxes, clothing, windows), or create your own Mondriaan still life.
  • Pay special attention to the composition of your image. Mondriaan loved jazz, and even though his paintings may look quite strict at first sight, there’s always some kind of rhythm or movement present.

Excercise: observation

Mondriaan used a very strict language of shape, color and composition. This means that every line, every shape and every color was put on the canvas with a great sense of purpose and prior contemplation.

I find that observing his work teaches me a lot of things that I can use in photography. Especially, I learn to see what’s really there in my pictures, rather than seeing the image that I have in my mind’s eye. And by discovering the things that are really there, I can influence them: checking the corners of an image for any distractions, use or break the rule of thirds, playing with lines and perspective…there’s really so much you can learn from observing!

If you’d like to try some observation yourself, have a look at this painting, called Compositie 10.  S


Some questions to ponder (there’s no wrong or right answers!):

  • What kind of composition techniques does Mondriaan use? Which ones does he refrain from?
  • How are the lines distributed on the canvas? And what kind of effect does this have on you, the viewer?
  • Where can you find symmetry, and where can you spot ‘irregularities’ or variations?
  • Does Mondriaan repeat certain elements?
  • Which colors does Mondriaan use, and how does he use them? And what about the absence of color?
  • What kind of feel do you get from the perspective? Are you looking down on something from the top? Or are you looking at something from the side?

Some inspiration

A detail of a wooden building.


And of course…Lego!



A detail of a stained glass window



And yet another building




The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook Group, Flickr Group or 500PX group. (or both). Tag the photo #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.


About maaikegee

I live in the middle of the Netherlands together with Significant Other (who features regularly in my Photochallenge images) and my two cats Bumper and Pebbles (who are also no stranger to modelling). I’ve been glued to my compact camera for the last ten years, still love my Sony RX-100 and switched to a Nikon D7200 in 2015. I love street photography, conceptual photography, macro and still life. You can find my portfolio at www.maaaike.nl