Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The monuments of nature have always been part of man's fascination. And despite all attempts the colours of nature cannot be reproduced in all their splendor and in all their variations. Each artificial reproduction will fade away in the face of the real scenery. Even photography is not capable of giving us what the eye and the soul is seeking.

Additionally colour is susceptible to every individual's interpretation. Sometimes it seems that colour becomes a very personal goal/achievement. This is the "burden" of any interior designer as well as any artist. Not to speak of the deficiencies some people are suffering from, such as colour blindness in various grades.

Still - colour is one of the most important elements of interior design and will always be unless we learn to live in a world one day that is no longer dependent on superficial surfaces - but that would be science fiction??

I "added" this silk painting Canyon to this hallway, thinking of opening spaces which lead into other spaces - fantasies - just as a valley would do. Where would you like to be? In the hallway or in the canyon?

original image source from http://www.getdecorating.com

(from the Magic Landscapes series)
Triptych, 40" x 63", silk
©Petra Voegtle

A few details from this painting are shown below. The silk painting Canyon is actually a triptych, inspired by the many marvellous canyons in northern America's national parks. If you want to know more about it check this link.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Butterflies and Moroccan Style

As far as I can take a peak into this room - I love every little aspect I can can see in this image, the silvery sideboard, the table, the vintage coffeepot, the candleholders and all other accessories which give this room such a personal note, one of a traveller...

And something else you can see in this room that I would have added if this were mine: the silk scroll with the butterflies, called Panaxia. This could be another potential memory if you were travelling to Rhodos, the Greek island.

There - each August - a natural miracle is taking place.

with courtesy of http://www.livingetc.com
click here for the original
image source

"In the western side of the island of Rhodes lies the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes). This is one of the most attractive destinations on the island. During August, thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia (species Quadripunctaria Poda) overwhelm the valley in order to reproduce. During the rainy period, the Butterflies in the caterpillar stage remain in the Mediterranean thicket feeding on the foliage. As the end of the wet season approaches, towards the end of May, the final stage is concluded and the butterfly in all her perfection makes her appearance in the form recognizable to us all. They move constantly towards areas of highest humidity is greatest, always following the "water ways", as the dry period progresses, they finally arrive at the valley.

Unfortunately, over the last few years the population of the Panaxia has been constantly in decline, due to several factors, one of the most important being the disturbance by visitors. The butterfly has an atrophic peptic system, meaning has no stomach. From May until the mating period (for the males), and until the egg lying period (for the females) they do not eat. They survive from the energy stored from their previous lives as caterpillars. The disturbance of visitors is forcing the butterflies to fly all day, consuming valuable energy. Visitors should not be denied the enjoyment of viewing the butterflies at rest, but it is prohibited to disturb them in any way (hand clapping, whistling etc)." (from Rhodes Guide)
I have seen several documentations about this and I wished I could experience this in reality - it must be pure magic. That's why I created this silk scroll. Check out more details under this link.

"Panaxia I"
43" x 24", silk scroll

©Petra Voegtle


Monday, July 20, 2009

A Zen-like Atmosphere

Lovely view from a dining room - isn't it? So calm and serene, the right environment to enjoy a meal that has been prepared with much love.

If this room were in my house I would have added this Japanese style paravent as an art object that enhances the feeling of this room. This paravent is very special to me because of its very delicate hand carving. The sculptured Buddha statue in the middle panel adds to the serenity and peace of this room, giving it a nearly Zen like atmosphere.

I have added a few detail pictures of this paravent Buddha Amida but if you would like to see more please check this link. There you will also find a detailed description how this paravent has been created and what it's all about.

original image source from http://www.getdecorating.com

This is the handcarved paravent or Spanish Wall, a polyptych that can be taken apart completely (unlike normals paravents or screens). The 3 middle panels could even stand on their own because of the feet - so there is plenty of possibilities to use this for decoration. The wood is solid pine wood - i.e. from renewable resources. It is extremely important for me to use renewable sources instead of tropical woods which might be illegally harvested. The special working process on the wood carving and especially the production of the original planks which are glued in blocks also prevents not only deforming but later splitting due to changes in humidity and temperature which often occurs with cheap imports.

This wood carving has been stained and polished with beeswax which adds not only protection but also a velvety shimmer to the wood and the surface becomes super smooth.

"Buddha Amida"
Japanese Polyptych, hand carved, 79" x 69" x 9"

©Petra Voegtle

before the staining


Friday, July 17, 2009


The ultimate intangible eccentricity for me personally would be this underwater resort that will open its doors in 2010 on the Fiji Islands.

I am an outdoor girl and I love to be in the countryside, in the woods. There is nothing more satisfying than watching animals in the wild, see what grows out there etc. etc. But my absolute favourite place in the world is being under the surface of warm waters, in the pacific blue or any other ocean. This is my world, this could be my home, this is my very own origin that I feel deep in my soul.

After I experienced the colourful underwater world while snorkeling in southeast Asia for the first time in my life I was hooked. I have always loved water, learned to swim before I went to school and have spent all my summer holidays always near water, be it a lake, a river or the sea. But actually seeing the fantastic underwater world in reality in Asia made my heart leap and wishing for more. Much more.

I learned to dive on Maui 11 years ago. What would be a better place than the bluest ocean in the world. What could be a better place than the Hawaiian Islands. And I learned it the hard way - with a former navy officer who knew no mercy. It was an excellent training - not the swimming pool thing - but the real one, the one with huge waves, with sometimes no visibility at all but only touching for your partner in order not to be lost, the one where you had to walk quite a while with all that heavy gear on your shoulders, the one were you had to watch out for razor sharp corals or all kinds of stingy things.

I asked myself more than once whether I really wanted to do that, spend my holiday with a training such as this...but it was the best thing I could do - ever! EVER!

Now I found this link. The Poseidon Resort on the Fiji Islands. This would be the fulfillment of my dreams - to spend a week or so in a room such as the one that can be seen in the last pic. On the other hand I would have to win the lottery in order to be able to afford such a holiday - so I am afraid this will remain a dream...

(screenshots from the www.poseidonresorts.com website)

... but dreaming we can - can't we?
And what about creating interiors for a location such as this one? Imagine working in such an environment - this would be just too much... Imagine getting up in the morning eye to eye with a nautilus or even one of those wonderful whale sharks. And how about seeing a manta fly by?

A small series of silk paintings (which I intend to continue) would be the perfect decoration for an environment such as this one - but judge for yourself:

all 40" x 13", silk paintings by
©Petra Voegtle

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Living Room in white - not quite...

Rooms in white have something innocent, virginal, pure and clean. But his does not mean that they must be impersonal, cold and repellant. On the contrary. Depending on accessories and interior design in total these rooms can be full of charme, cosy and inviting to live in - such as this room which I really like very much.

The main contribution to ease and comfort here is certainly the wonderful wooden floor that has been kept in a chalklike finish and the breathtakingly beautiful crystal candelabras. Not to mention the slipcovered furniture that adds a lot to the "feeling at home".

If this were my room I would add some plants to give it a bit more of a sun room and of course I would add some art - just like this silk carving Bamboo piece.

with courtesy of http://www.livingetc.com
click here for the original
image source

The silk carving Bamboo belongs to the Hawaiian Symbols series. It has been sculptured from one single piece of silk with a technique that I developed further from the trapunto techniques, known in classical quilting. If you would like to see more details please see this link.

(from the Hawaiian Symbols Series)
59" x 15", silk carving
©Petra Voegtle

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A beautiful Home in a beautiful Garden...

Just something for you to smile...
I thought for the little snail it is true - isn't it? It's design - not human made but natural - nevertheless a design.

Here is the house and...

and here is the garden...

Did I lie or what?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dining Room with Landscape...

A dining room without any knick-knack but in warm earthy colours. The latter always creates a cosy and inviting feeling and in this case there is no exception to the rule.

It is not meant to be cynical when I thought this silk painting Dry Land to be an excellent addition to the vibrancy of this room because it assimilates the very same colours. Additionally it leads into the distance what might be an advantage for a rather small room such as this one.

original image source from http://www.getdecorating.com

The painting was inspired by the breathtaking colours I have seen in Egypt. The skies over the desert are exploding with all hues of red, yellow, violets and purples, colours I have never seen in my life before. They must hail from the palette of the Big Spirit Himself - no human being can create colours such as these.

But to every beauty there is also a downside. These are the cosmic laws of balance and duality. In arid regions such as this, water is the most precious treasure. And as usual some areas have plenty - others none at all. So survival becomes a daily task that often ends fatally.

We - as tourists - can return into our well-balanced and air-conditioned homes, our mind full of magnificent images but the people who cannot return to a different location have to face the challenge. Whether they have the eye and the leisure for this unearthly beauty is doubtful. Their life is wrapping around different issues - the one of survival of their families and themselves.

Dry land does not grow crops. Instead it is deadly. Deadly beautiful but with a treacherous beauty. No human can survive here.

"Dry Land"
(from the Magic Landscapes series)

40" x 21", silk

©Petra Voegtle


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Greys - not dull and not vain either...

Normally I am a colour person but lately I have seen some posts on greys used in interior design, be it in the kitchen or in the living room or somewhere else. It took me by suprise that all of these rooms did not look boring at all - on the contrary. With the perfect icing on the cake, let's say the right combination of greys and some additional creme colours with interesting graphics on the wall one can achieve an interesting composition. The large drawing that complements the graphical design adds a little kick to the whole in order to take a bit of the severity out of this room. Despite this it looks elegant and très chic. A room for contemplation and pondering on new ideas.

with courtesy of http://www.livingetc.com
click here for the original
image source

The drawing Vanity is from the Deadly Sins series which is not completed yet. It is supposed to contain all seven sins. The link leads you to the other finished pieces of this series.

The Deadly Sins, a deliberately chosen biblical theme is more actual than ever.

We currently live in societies where all the ethical values which are the basic requirements for human co-existance seem to deteriorate. While we may wonder about the sudden disappearance of advanced cultures such as the Mayan or any other we do not realize that we are on the verge of destroying our own, western cultures.

Instead of encouraging social behaviour we have started to lose the vision of unity and solidarity. Walls are built up instead of torn down, the global accessability paradoxically seems to increase the fear of the different.

Anxiously we try to keep our own space untouched, suspiciously we consider every change as intrusion into our personal rights and views. Jealously we try to keep our achievements for ourselves, instead of sharing our knowledge with those who need it in order to grow.
This fine art drawing series is meant to emphasize the ugly characteristics of human behaviour by exaggerating expression into grotesque.

The pencil drawings of the Deadly Sins (on 30gr chinese Wenzhou paper) are quite big and therefore handled like scrolls. They are backed with a thin pongé silk, mounted on silk/paper scrolls (painted or dyed silk backed with painted chinese Wenzhou paper) and finally hung on hand made wooden dowels, coated with acrylic lacquer (several layers) which are removable for easier storage or replacement of more sophisticated dowels.

43" x 27"/58" x 32", drawing mounted on silk
©Petra Voegtle

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Magic Landscapes from another World...

A river journey on the river Li, when tourist boats did not clog up yet the landscapes, was an experience I would never miss in my life. The landscape around Guilin IS magical and has been inspirational for painters for hundreds of years.

I wished I could go back with my easel or the camera and continue what I started so many years ago - explore every bend of the river, feeling like a child that is curious about a surprise that may be behind the next corner in a Walt Disney park...

Inspired by the wonderful memories and photos (more photos) I made on this very special journey, I created a silk painting - The Monuments of Guilin.

(from the Magic Landscapes series)
Polyptych, 40" x 65", silk
©Petra Voegtle

This silk painting consists of 5 panels, which can be hung together or separately. Details can be seen here.

So the question is where to hang such a painting? It needs a bit space in order to achieve its full effect of distance. Now if this hallway (below) were in my house I definitely would hang this painting here. I also found a lamp I would add to increase the magic of this landscape and the memories before my inner view. I love this lamp because it complements the colours of the wall as well as the painting perfectly with its fine shade and delicate porcelaine foot by von Wilmowsky.

original image source from http://www.getdecorating.com

Any other suggestion where to hang this painting? Please, let me hear your ideas...


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