Saturday, November 27, 2010

Frozen - Winter has arrived

Since a few days the temperatures have gone down considerably and winter has shown up in front of our doors. There is a bit snow lying outside and all my plants that were still on the balcony had to come inside. Now everything outside is empty again and I really hate it. The leaves from the trees are long gone and daylight is scarce. Honestly I really don't like this time of the year. I am a sun person.

And right fitting into this mood and season is this silk painting, Frozen, a semi-surreal landscape reflecting the loneliness and stand-still of everything. But there is always hope - isn't it? Hope for an early spring when the cycle of life starts again...

(from the Magic Landscapes series)
40" x 20", silk

©Petra Voegtle

The painting has been painted on Pongé silk and stitched after the painting in order to add texture. The painting is covered by additional fabric on the reverse side for protection and stability. It can be hung with or without additional frame. Adding a sophisticated frame though can make a significant difference as you can see in this virtual example.

Here you can see some room examples.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Challenging Idea - Silk Painting in a Wrought Iron Frame

From time to time I love to play with crazy ideas and as usual doing this on the computer wouldn't hurt - right?

Now look at this wonderful entry hall with a staircase and a wrought iron railing. Did I tell you that I love all sorts of wrought iron objects, especially beds, chairs, iron cast stands for tables etc.? Wrought iron doors and portals can be noble pieces of craftmanship and are always worth to look at in detail.

In this entry hall the wrought iron railing turns the staircase into something delicate and filigree and the effect is beautiful. So I thought about how the empty wall could be adorned additionally without destroying the overall impression of this hall. My choice would have been this 3 panel silk painting Ayutthaya from the Magic Landscapes series.

You can see from the original image that the wall looks a bit empty and really could need some additional artwork.

Now my idea was to virtually mount the 3 silk panels on a "board" and frame this in a wrought iron frame that would complement not only the railing but also the table. This could be realized indeed.
Iron and silk are materials which could not be more different but wrought iron can be crafted in a manner that its ornaments can become filigree elements like in lace. So I found the idea quite attractive and challenging...

(from the Magic Landscapes Series)
40" x 39", silk triptych
©Petra Voegtle

I have to admit something - the idea was actually not completely new - I used the idea with the wrought iron frame on other rooms as complement for existing interior before. Here are the links: link, where you also can read more about the painting itself and where the inspiration came from and here is another link.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Stenciling and Painting - a happy Serendipity

Lately I am experimenting again - with ancient Indian wooden block prints. But sometimes things do not work as they should as in this example. I did a faux marble painting and wanted to use one of my block prints which I have collected the past 20 years or so but then I realized to my horror that after heavy glazing the surface of the painting would not take the paints from the prints - I had to look for a different solution.

As I knew I could paint on the glazing but not print - the idea of stenciling on the painting came into my mind. I have always admired the work of Melanie Royals from the Royal Design Studio. Melanie is not only the company's president and creative director but also one of the most innovative and creative people of the decorative arts, what I have seen from her work.

This said I finally draw and cut some stencils for the painting and could in fact add the graphical element I wanted. Framed virtually in a nice frame I found out that this would be the perfect complement for wall and sofa in the following room vignette:

Below is the image with the original art piece on the wall:

 original image source and with courtesy of 

I must admit that the original art piece on the wall looks quite interesting on that textured wall and the colours are a great match but still I find it a bit gloomy. The Grey Marble painting is a more friendly alternative and its patterns complement those of the wall.

And here is the painting itself framed virtually in a nice frame:

"Grey Marble"
(from the Patterns series)
25" x 15", acrylic on paper
©Petra Voegtle

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Colours of the Desert - Dry Land - a surreal Landscape

This painting belongs to a series called The Magic of Landscapes and I have shown it already several times in different environments. Here are now some details about it. The series is also part of a concept and the theme of this concept is to show the magic that surrounds us everywhere and is recognized easily when we open the eyes. This series explores the magic of landscapes and special places, the moments of awe when we see the miracles that are created by nature rather than human phantasy, the moments of spiritual connection with the past and the future and the moments of transformation through human imagination.

Dry Land is a semi-surrealistic landscape. Inspired by the colours of the desert, which can change completely during a day, this work shows the paradoxa of a landscape that obey the natural laws of nature. While the dune like formations seem to be a solid mass, the surface of the dried river bed  appears  fragile and delicate. But in reality the opposite is true: dunes are the fragile element, ever changing with the wind and the dried river bed has turned into solid earth, hard as stone when the water is all gone.

(click on images for enlargement)
"Dry Land"
(from the Magic Landscapes Series)

40" x 21", silk
©Petra Voegtle

Under following links you can find some room examples featuring this painting: interior1, interior2, interior3

This painting has been painted on silk, has been gallery wrapped and is ready to be hung with or without additional frame.

(This work won an "Artist of the Year" award at the Boxheart Gallery in Pennsylvania and a solo show.)

In addition I am presenting here a version of the painting how it could look like when framed in a sophisticated frame. It makes a difference - doesn't it?


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

GUEST POST: Wreaths for the Holidays

Wreaths can be a beautiful decor for your home. You don't need to water them regularly as you would have to do with a bouquet and you don't need an extra vessel to put them in - you just can hang them on your door or on the wall, place them on a table or on a planter  etc.
I love to have a wreath for the holidays, one made from pine twigs or fir because I love the scent of the needles - this always reminds me of childhood days. The downside of these is though that they lose the needles eventually and you have all that mess on your table and home.

Yesterday I received  a letter from Home Infatuation about unusual wreaths for the holidays and I found  them very beautiful so that I did not want to withhold to show you these.
"The foliage is fresh magnolia leaves and the company is The Magnolia Company. The foliage is grown on a family-owned farm. Over 70 years ago the original founders of The Magnolia Company grew and sold fresh fern foliage to florists across the US. In the 1990s they began receiving requests for fresh magnolia leaves, and soon afterwards they began planting acres of magnolia.

Now they ship thousands of fresh and dried wreaths and lacquer painted wreaths which were selected last year by the White House.
The wreaths can be purchased at Home Infatuation, which offers everything required for distinctive outdoor living. For more information, call 877-224-8925, or visit Check out our blog at"
(with courtesy by

"How to Use Holiday Wreaths

From open houses to family get-togethers, the holiday season is an ideal time to express yourself through creative home décor, and wreaths offer a great starting point. "Fresh and dried wreaths come in different styles and add a rich look to any space," says Mike Voyles of "Themed wreaths using flowers, leaves and dried vegetables can add whimsy to Halloween or create a warm and elegant look for end-of-year celebrations."

Depending on how you use it, the wreath can be the center of attention. It can adorn the big double doors of a custom home or hang above a fireplace, adding to the coziness of a living room. Add candles, and it also can serve as an elegant centerpiece for your holiday table.

The use of natural colors, textures and materials continues to be an increasingly popular trend. Fresh wreaths reflect the growth of green-friendly design, using magnolia leaves adorned with elements au naturel, from holiday gourds, pomegranates and natural pods to lemons, artichokes and berries. "They also add a sense of serenity to an unadorned space," says Voyles. "One of our favorites is the Magnolia Leaf Wreath, creating attention with its eye-catching luminous look."

According to Voyles, dried wreaths are a practical option. “To infuse color into a neutral-shade area and welcome in the fall or holiday season, try wreaths made of dried green and copper colored magnolia leaves adorned with dried autumn oak leaves, setaria, magnolia pods, yarrow and fall gourds. Presented as an accent or an integral part of your décor, it can define the landscape of your living space.”

Home Infatuation features fresh and dried magnolia wreaths that are made from foliage grown on a family-owned farm. The company offers everything required for distinctive outdoor living. Home Infatuation -- which now offers international shipping -- chooses products from around the world, delivering a high level of customer service and a quality experience. For more information, call 877-224-8925, or visit Check out our blog at"


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saris on the Wall - as Paintings

This is a wonderfully airy hallway - space in abundance, no clutter. There is plenty of room for decoration if you want to do this and I have some suggestions.
My brandnew work would look fabulous on these walls, an eyecatcher in colour and some teasing for the viewer because not everything is as it seems...

If you look at the original setting there is too much blank space in my opinion and a focal object is needed. I don't know why the interior designer placed this chaiselongue in this room as its purpose is not quite clear to me - maybe it is only an extension to the garden/terrace area but even then I miss some additional seats.

The two paintings belong to my brandnew series about Patterns. I painted in various red shades on heavy watercolour paper and finally added block printing with ancient Indian handcarved wooden models from my collection. The graphical elements were highlighted with metallic pigments to evoke a more authentic feeling of those heavily embroidered saris Indian women tend to wear for their weddings.

"Sari I"
(from the Patterns series)
20" x 15", acrylic on paper
©Petra Voegtle

The second sari piece was shadow printed with 2 colours, green and gold, which can be seen in the detail photo.

"Sari II"
(from the Patterns series)
20" x 15", acrylic on paper
©Petra Voegtle

If you would like to know more about this series please check my blog Images and Imagination which is all about art...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Red and Green - a complementary Composition in the Bedroom

Using complementary colours such as red and green in a room is always a bit tricky. If you choose this system, you might want to select a subtle colour and a dominant colour, to prevent the colors from clashing. In this room the red is very dominant - so we need a subtle green to make this really work. It was tried with a green toile used as a window drape but I think it is not enough. It is a bit off balance.

I have this photo on my computer since a long time and I always thought that I like this room somehow although I find the red walls a bit too prominent. But now I found the right solution with this painting, giving a bit more balance to the red walls and matching exactly the window drapes.

In the original photo a piece of wood carving or cast iron was chosen for decoration above the bed but this added quite a dull element to the room and did not change the imbalance in my opinion:

The painting itself belongs to my new series of paper works on heavy watercolour paper. It is called Green Marble - I painted a faux marble pattern as a basic background and added some hand printing with ancient Indian wooden print blocks from my collection in order to create a graphical element to the painting. Golden metallic pigments were added to create additional highlights to the graphical pattern. 

"Green Marble"
(from the Patterns series)
25" x 15", acrylic on paper
©Petra Voegtle

The nice thing with this painting is that you can hang it how you wish, vertically or horizontally...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Night Blue continued - another Alternative

As an addition to my previous post about an unspectacular bedroom and its possiblities I forgot to show you another alternative with a different painting. And this is my suggestion:

And this is what this painting is about:

Did you know that ferns belong to the oldest plants on this planet and that they once became real trees and finally ended up in petrified trees? A fascinating theme and I am totally enthralled by fossils. It is somehow extremely exciting when you split a piece of rock into two pieces and then find an amazing piece of petrified animal such as an ammonite or a plant. But I am digressing...

This painting is more than just an hommage to the wonderful ferns that once lived on this planet it is also meant to symbolize the primordial soup of this universe. The background shows a kind of marbling effect that is not only represented by stones but if you look at pictures from the Hubble telescope you will see similar patterns in the star clouds of foreign galaxies. This painting is also a view into earth's history.

 "Triassic Prints II"
(from the Minerals and Fossils series)
40" x 13", silk

©Petra Voegtle

(BoxHeart Gallery, Pittsburgh)


Friday, November 5, 2010

Night Blue in the Bedroom is just not enough

Honestly - how would you feel in this bedroom? Admittedly it is a small room and there are not many possibilities to style this space but there is still room for some decoration - isn't it?

What I like here is the colour composition - the night blue of the walls looks very nice with the cream colour of the doors but this is it. What irritates me most are the two openings - one with a door, the other one without, apparently leading into the adjacent dressing room (?) and finally bathroom. Not the perfect solution in my opinion and a waste of space.  The bed seems to have been squashed into this room, hardly leaving any space to move around. Not a very good idea. At least it looks like this in the photo.

Additionally the original wall decoration just looks too bland. I understand that in a small place like this you cannot hang a very large wall piece but there are alternatives to make this place a little bit more interesting I believe.

And in order to mention another little detail - I would never have left plug and switch in that cream colour but rather made them "invisible" in night blue as well or rather transparent.

My suggestion would have been this silk painting Frozen which would have added some excitement to this room as you can see below.

The silk painting belongs to the series of Magic Landscapes. It is gallery wrapped (painted on the sides) on a stretcher frame and ready to be hung even without additional frame.

(from the Magic Landscapes series)
40" x 20", silk

©Petra Voegtle

Here you can see another room example with this painting.

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