Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's Christmas Time...

To my dear Readers:

and a big Thank You for your patience!

With all my heart I wish you peace and love,
days full of happiness with your family and
furry and/or feathered angels!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple Compositions to spark Ideas

When I present paintings I always try to show them in a context. This does not have to be a complete room but often just one piece of furniture, a vase on a table etc. is enough. This way the viewer gets a better understanding how these paintings could look like in a room. Here are only a few options....

all images ©Petra Voegtle


Sunday, December 4, 2011

GUEST POST: Candles and their Meanings

This is the time for candles. When the days become dark outside the human longs for warmth and light. Here is an interesting guest post by Isabella Woods:   
Eternal Flame: Our Favourite Candles and their Meanings

Candles are no longer the sole domain of that dreadlocked hippy everyone thinks is a little weird. Far from it! In fact, with the likes of Victoria Beckham burning scented candles at her SS12 fashion show, candles are about as cool as things get at the moment. What’s more, now that the nights are drawing in and getting colder and the holiday season is well on its way, they’re a great way of making your home as warm, snug and cozy as possible.  Light up, lie back on your leather sectional sofa recliner – or even better – indulge in a relaxing bath, and feel yourself mellow as the scent envelopes you. Read on to discover the different meanings of candles and our favorite scented candles out there.

For many years, candles have been seen as a symbol of hope and love. They’re a welcoming sign at the end of a long journey, or a focal point in all manner of religious ceremonies. We have used them for years to help show us the way, to remember a special person or occasion, and to create a sense of calm. But the colors of candles also hold meanings, too. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular color candles and their meanings –

  • Red – red candles can mean a sign of health, vitality, fertility and strength, but they’re most obviously connected to passion, love and desire. Red candles are perfect for romantic nights in.
  • White – white is believed to be a cleansing color so light a white candle if you’re in need of calm. It is also linked to purity and innocence so you will often see white candles at events like christenings and weddings.
  • Black – this color is so often associated with bad things, but in the case of candles that’s as far from the truth as you could get. Lighting a black candle is believed to help in getting rid of negative energies.
  • Gold – this particular candle color is hugely popular over the festive season and it’s not surprising when you consider it symbolizes wealth and success as well as divinity.
  • Silver – again, this shade is very popular in the holiday season, but unlike gold it isn’t about wealth. Even though it can be considered quite bling, silver is actually a neutral shade that’s good for using in meditation.
  • Yellow – this color candle is perfect if you’re studying as the color can really help lift the mood and help you focus. The shade is also believed to reflect wisdom and intelligence. So when you’re cramming for exams, light a yellow candle and let’s hope it works!

Now that we’ve discovered the meanings of colors for candles, it’s time to pick our favorite scented ones. Most scented candles tend to come in neutral shades like whites and creams but occasionally you’ll find ones that are colored…

Jo Malone Candles

Probably the most famous name in the world of the scented candle, and with so many fragrances it’s no wonder why. Victoria Beckham’s a fan (she used them to scent her NYC fashion show), and so are we. The newest offering from Jo is called Wild Bluebell. It’s got notes of lily of the valley, jasmine and musk – very cottage garden and perfect for a pick-me-up on cold dreary days.


This ultra luxe designer label might normally be out of your price range, but – fingers crossed – you should be able to indulge in one of their scented candles. We like their Ambre Nuit candle which is the same scent as the fragrance from its La Collection Privee range. The deliciously deluxe scent of amber is perfect for creating a truly luxurious atmosphere. Ideal for romantic evenings in by a roaring log fire with the drapes drawn closed.

Caroline Herrera Candles

If you’re in need of some extreme ‘me’ time, then check out the lovely range of scented candles from Caroline Herrera. These candles are a great way of helping you to de-stress at the end of a long hard day as they’ve been all created to help aid a sense of serenity and calm.


It may have an unusual name but Pecksniff’s is certainly not to (excuse the pun) be sniffed at! It’s one of the last independent British fragrance houses so if you’re hankering for something that errs on the side of tradition in that truly British way, you’ll love the candles here. Their fragrant home medium candle is available in four scents – alive, happy, calm and naughty.

There are plenty of ways to light up your life. We reckon candles are the perfect solution, especially at this time of year, and there's such a variety available that you're bound to find the fun, festive candles you're looking for.

Thank you Isabella for this lovely post!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

OFF-TOPIC: I have to apologize again...

I am afraid I have to apologize again for not posting but the problems with our sweet pigeons do not go away. Maybe it is the crazy weather which plays tricks on humans and animals likewise but life does not always go as easy and smooth as we could wish.

We have taken responsibility to care and now we have to do what is more important: do everything that leads to a complete recovery. But I think we are well on the way. Nothing is more awarding than seeing a bird in full health again and being happy.

At the moment Micky, the young pigeon that got PMV, has got canker as well due to her low immune system. And our sweet Pina became sick also with canker but she is okay again. Her immune system is very strong so she quickly conquered the canker with some medication. Some more pigeons had to be treated - so no time for posting. But we are on the way...

Btw - would you have assumed that this is a pigeon nest? Yes - this is the nest of Lucky and Emily on our balcony with their private flower garden:

 Lucky coming home

 Emily leaving the nest


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

GUEST POST: 8 Must Have Plants for the Holidays

Holiday decoration is soon to come. Here is a guest post from Brianna Davis:

8 Must Have Plants for the Holidays

If getting an interior ready for the holidays, fresh greenery is a must.  But which plants are associated with the holidays and can be utilized for indoor decorating?  The below is a list of eight must have plants for the holidays, which include a few well known plants and even some only told of in stories.

1.   Poinsettias – These red and green flowers are a staple for the holidays.  They can be used in boxes, vases, as garlands, and many other uses.  They need lots of direct sunlight, water when the first half inch of soil dries, and liquid fertilizer. 
 Image source:

2.  Holly – There is a reason the Christmas carols say to deck the halls with this plant.  Hollies have distinctive, crisp, green leaves in addition to bright red berries for that Christmas color scheme.  They are often used in hedges and can withstand heavy pruning.
  image source:

3.  Evergreen – These trees are commonly known as Christmas trees.  Spanning from a few inches to several dozen feet, these trees are the kind that decorated indoors with lights, tinsel, and much more.  However, those with a yard and a knack can plant their own.  In addition to evergreen trees, firs, pine trees, spruce, and others can also double as Christmas trees.
image source:

4.  Mistletoe – Known as the kissing plant, what holiday would be complete without one?  Usually joined together in a bunch and hung over a doorway, mistletoe is actually a semi-parasitic plant and grows on the branches of various host trees.  A little known fact is that in the first days of mistletoe kissing, a berry would be plucked for each kiss until they were all gone. 
image source:

5.  Christmas Cactus – The plant earned its name for a reason.  Not a traditional cactus in the spiked sense, this plant almost looks like a fern with pink flowers growing on it.  Another plus of the Christmas cactus is its low maintenance. 
©Petra Voegtle

6.  Laurel – These shrubs are relatives of azaleas and are best known for their white flowers.  It is a broadleaf evergreen commonly found in New England.  They are also commonly found as accents in Christmas wreaths.
image source:

7.  Frankincense – One of the three gifts for Baby Jesus, many have heard of it, but few know what it is.  This herb is made from the Boswellia tree.  It is commonly burned during church masses and has a distinct smell.
image source:

8.  Myrrh – Like the above, this is also one of the gifts the three wisemen brought for Christmas.  It is from the Commiphora myrrha tree.  It is also used as incense burned during church ceremonies.  It is also used as an antiseptic in mouthwashes and toothpastes.
image source:

Brianna Davis keeps up the site Bachelors of Arts Schools. Her site helps students find the right college to get a degree in the arts.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Some more Emergencies among our Balcony Pigeons

We had a new outbreak of PMV among our balcony pigeons - so most of my time went into treating them as far as this was possible. So no time again for blogging. Only one young pigeon girl, our Micky,  had to be hospitalized because her symptoms were quite heavy: stargazing, trembling, circling and last not least she could not eat any more by herself. With her last energy she fortunately landed on our balcony so that I could take her in immediately. She soon also lost her ability to fly. So this would have been her certain death sentence if left outside.

In the meanwhile the sick ones outside are nearly recovered (with the help of carrot juice) - apparently this time thank heaven it was a weaker strain of PMV - only our Micky will need some time still to regain her abilities. Currently she still has to be handfed 3 times a day and her digestion works very well which helps a lot with her recovery. She is such a sweet and obedient patient...

I hope that this baby can fly soon again and enjoy her life as she is supposed to...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What Walls are meant for...

A lovely room, extremely spacious, with a gorgeous terrace, a great city view and a large wall. A large wall? Why on earth would one choose two tiny pictures which are even partially hidden or overpowered by lamps?
There is so much art out there that positively cries for a place like this one. I would have had a nice option...

What strikes me most in this room are the warm colours which turn the space into a cozy place. Without being too reminiscent of an old farmhouse the wooden beams add only some accents to a modern environment. And then I would have chosen this artwork for the wall above the bed:

Originally this is a silk scroll, painted and hand beaded with hundreds of small glass beads which sparkle in artificial light. But you could also remove the upper and lower part of this scroll and mounted horizontally in a sophisticated frame as shown in the photo below.

55" x 23", silk scroll

©Petra Voegtle
Instead of the original silk scroll I can make this scroll available as a fine art print on heavy cotton canvas in my Etsy Shop in nearly any size.

The image part of the silk scroll contains hundreds of tiny glass beads which were hand sewn and which imitate the tiny crystals within an agate geode.
The image has been inspired by real agates and is therefore a kind of blown-up imitation. The clear glass beads will reflect the light the same way as the tiny quartz crystals. The mother-of-pearl pigments in the silk paint heighten the gloss of various light parts in order to imitate the creamy white calcite parts you would find in nearly any agate.

Here are some details of the original silk scroll:


Monday, October 31, 2011

A Bedrooom with two Alternatives of Fine Art

When I saw this image of a bedroom I immediately thought - oh how could they leave this huge wall above the bed without any art!

Especially in rooms where you have very high ceilings you need to be careful that the ceiling does not "escape" completely. In this case you have a lovely space to fill with something pleasing and reassuring...

My first suggestion would be to hang a silk scroll such as this one above the bed. The filigree pattern more or less repeats the pattern on the wooden ceiling, the colours are warm and fresh at the same time and the modern style fits into the overall scheme:

This silk scroll was inspired by one of the typical sceneries you can find in southeast Asia - rice farmers harvesting their crops. While we as Westerners find those landscapes simply beautiful, especially when the rice is ripe and turns into that golden colour, we often forget that the rice farmers in those countries belong to the poorest people who have no eye for the beauty but rather fight for their pure survival. These are the different perceptions in our lives.

Ricefields is an abstracted image of these landscapes and the embroidered red triangles represent the farmers with their typical wide straw hats. The patterns of the rice crops have been created with dye paint resists in several layers just similar to the batik techniques only that instead of wax a water soluble gel has been used. The decent use of metallic pigments was only for highlighting the rice crop patterns.

53" x 27", silk scroll

©Petra Voegtle

The second alternative is a silk painting from the Minerals series called Spheres.

The original artwork is a silk scroll and is normally hung with two handmade wooden dowels or any other similar device. But this silk scroll could be mounted on a stretcher frame as well without the black silk top and bottom part.
Additionally I can make this scroll available as a fine art print on heavy cotton canvas in my Etsy Shop.

The image part of the silk scroll contains hundreds of tiny glass beads which were hand sewn and which imitate the tiny crystals within an agate geode.
Doesn't the landscape here remind you of a large mystic cave, found beneath the surface of the earth?
When I saw the image of this agate I was fascinated by its spherical quality. It looked as if it were from a landscape of an outer world.

How can this be? The image has been inspired by real agates and is therefore a kind of blown-up imitation. The clear glass beads will reflect the light the same way as the tiny quartz crystals. The mother-of-pearl pigments in the silk paint heighten the gloss of various light parts in order to imitate the creamy white calcite parts you would find in nearly any agate.

34" x 34", silk scroll
©Petra Voegtle

Here are some details of this scroll:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Autumn on the Balcony

No place is too small to not grow something, to not have some living plant in pots on a small balcony or loggia, or even only on the windowsill. The internet can give you plenty of ideas how to start something like that, non-costly, non-labour-intensive.

This year I decided to do something about the missing colours at this time of the year. In the past I was always quite depressed when the plants had to come in to protect them from cold temperatures. The balcony then looked grey and abandoned. A sad view. Now we have end of October and my balcony is still full of colours thanks to one of the most wonderful flowers which show their true beauty especially at fall: Chrysanthemum.

You get them in nearly all colours you could imagine, you get them in all sizes, from large to tiny and you get them in various blossoms shapes - with very large blossoms which unfortunately do not survive frost but there are plenty enough, smaller blossoms which do. Even my Oleander is still blooming and adds his wonderful pink colour to the chorus:


Thursday, October 20, 2011

An incompatible Composition

What a lovely little cabinet in this hallway! But what did the decorator think when s/he hung that abominable board with those plates above the delicate cabinet - it looks as if it were coming down any minute to strike the little cabinet dead. That board with the plates is much too heavy and needs a different place.

I would certainly hang a fine silk painting mounted in an ornamental gilded frame above this gorgeous cabinet such as this one. Not only do the colours of the painting adulate the fine paintings on the cabinet but it compliments the filigree carvings of the wood much more.

The painting belongs to a series of silk paintings which depict the symbols of ancient cultures.

(from the Magic Symbols Series)
silk, 40" x 13"
©Petra Voegtle

There are thousands of magical places on this world and only very few I have seen myself. Stonehenge was one of them at a time - some decades ago - where tourism did not overflow the whole area yet and where they did not request yet astronomical entry fees and where the stones were not fenced from any touch yet. But times change...

Stonehenge has always been a fascinating motif for painters and poets and will remain so as long as it exists. I could not withdraw from its spell myself and so this painting on silk Celts became part of the Magic Symbols series. If you would like to know more about the painting please read here.
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