Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Rain Dancer adds a little Mysticism to the Bedroom

While one of my paintings is running in the Saatchi competition (oh please please vote for my painting - see link below) I thought why not placing the painting virtually in a room where it might look good. I mounted it into a virtual frame that would give this bedroom a little additional "sparkling".

Normally I am not so very much a friend of four-poster or canopy beds, at least not with only the four posts standing free but in this case it looks elegant and not so invasive as in many other rooms.I found the original art on the wall a bit too cheerless though as it was mounted in a dark frame additionally. The painting I replaced it with adds a little mysticism to this bedroom, a pigeon looking like a rain god with his fluffed up plumage...

(original image source

The acrylic painting is called The Rain Dancer and depicts one of my favourite models, Pete, the pigeon patron from our feral pigeon family, while he takes a shower in the rain. If you look closely (click on the image to enlarge) you will see all the droplets in his plumage and the content look in his face. Pigeons love to bathe or to take a shower in the rain.

"The Rain Dancer"
(from the Pigeons series)

18" x 26" acrylic on cotton
©Petra Voegtle

If you would like to learn more about pigeons, how intelligent and funny these birds are, simply amazing creatures - then please check out my blog/diary Pigeon Tales. I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. There are lots of funny and sweet photos, little videos and stories about their adventures.Additionally you will find a lot of interesting links about birds and pigeons especially.
 Thank you so much!
Voting Link
you can log in with your facebook account!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Saatchi online Competition - would you vote for me?

Now I have a little wish for you. You know I love pigeons and care very much for them. I have often talked about my pigeon diary the Pigeon Tales, documenting everything I learn about pigeons, their behaviour and during the past years I have deeply fallen in love with these amazing birds which are completely different from those awful prejudices they are beaten with.

I have also started a painting series about them, using members of our pigeon family as models. One of those paintings I have now submitted to the Saatchi online competition. Wouldn't it be a wonderful hommage to these wonderful birds if a painting would make it into the first places?
So I am asking for your help. If you like this painting (see below) would you vote for it on the Saatchi website? Here is the link. If you don't want to register with Saatchi you can use your facebook account instead. The voting is going til Feb 07 for the first round.

 Thank you so much!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

SMALL SPACES: Balcony Garden

Although we still have deep winter and the temperatures have gone down below zero again there already was a hint of spring the last week and I even put some of my very large plant pots outside. Would have been too nice if I could have left them there we had some snow showers again and I hate it.

And on top of it - as if this wasn't enough I found these pics which make my heart hurt even more in  expectance - having my own little balcony garden again. And this year I want to make it a bit nicer, without all the chaos of empty pots and other stuff. I want it to look more like this:








Last summer my balcony looked like this and I want to do something about it:

(view from my bedroom including pigeons)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Touch of Exotic in the Living Room

My attention was drawn immediately to the gorgeous window arches of this room and the amount of light that would be guranteed by this fact. I absolutely love large windows because then you have a plethora of possibilities for decoration, even converting half of the room into something like a sunroom - especially with plants. But this is not the theme here.

The room has been kept very simple - what can be seen from the photo section here - which leaves the opportunity to add some major objects and of course a  sophisticated piece of art such as this large silk scroll rather than the original picture which looks a bit depressing in this context (see below). The scroll would definitely add an exotic touch to this room.

 original image source and with courtesy of 

The silk scrolls has been inspired by the dramatic stone architecture in India. If you would like to read more about the "making of" this extravagant piece and see a lot of large detail images please check this link.

"The Palace" 
( from the Ornaments series)
75" x 23", silk scroll
©Petra Voegtle

Sunday, January 16, 2011

How You should NOT do it - placing Art!

Art IS an emotional thing. Art IS personal if it is not an investment but there are still a lot of points to pay attention to when you place art. Because it can destroy the harmony or balance of a room that much that you don't feel well any more even if you don't know why.

I don't understand why people always think that just everybody can hang art without exactly knowing what s/he is doing. Hanging art is an art in itself and I boldly make the statement that even gallerists do not know sometimes how to hang art for its best appearance and largest impact. A short while ago I have seen art being hung in an exhibition where I would have wept in rage if I had been the artist. I have seen many many bad examples and seldom really good ones.

The problem in a gallery is that you have expensive space - very expensive - and you need to make the best of it for your profit. This again means you need to offer as many objects as possible for sale. You can do this either in a cohesive way - similar paintings in one place - that's why galleries often look for artists working in a similar style - or varied. This means many different styles and artists. Still you need to group the objects and place them either in a similar context or you place them as opposed to one another, contradictional. There are many possibilities but the main requirement is still balance no matter in which way you achieve that.

Similar issues apply to an exhibition in a venue or museum. A museum wants to sell tickets and has to offer somthing. Often spaces are cramped and this is not good for the art either. I wished they would rather change their exhibits more often - which could be done in a gallery too despite the additional work but I am sure there would be much more success. I could go on with this issue for ages and I dream to have a gallery of my own one day.

You don't have this problem at home normally besides that you may be constraint regarding space. Again - less is more if you want to really show off something. If you love to buy art and collect it, wouldn't it be the best idea to designate certain spaces in a house where you could install a hanging system and easily change your art? Wouldn't this be fun?

And if you want only 2 or 3 pieces for decoration I recommend taking your time and look thoroughly for it. There is nothing more disappointing than doing this in a rush. Get yourself some people to ask for their opinion, ask for a piece of art being in your house for a few weeks in order to decide whether it feels right or not. Galleries sometimes offer that. Or rather ask the artist her/himself if s/he would do this for a small fee if you don't buy the art piece in the end. Everything can be negotiated. I am sure many artists would agree to such a deal.

You need to have a feeling for hanging art AND the knowledge about placing an object in a certain environment. You need to KNOW about balance and harmony, about colours and scales just the same way as you would design a room or construct a painting. The same rules apply anywhere.

  • balance - symmetrical or assymmetrical
  • proportion - refers to the relationship between objects
  • rhythm - repetion of forms and colour, flowing lines
  • emphasis - creating a point of focus or interruption, achieved by using contrasts, creating an isolation point within neutrals, repetition
  • unity - must be guaranteed as a whole in underlying structures, consistency in colours and form, a concept must be recognized

There are 2 major possibilities how you find the right art for your room - either you design a room around a piece of art which would apply for one or two very special pieces, expensive or not but with a very personal attachment or you have to find art that "matches" your interior and fulfills the basic requirements of good design.

Now I am showing a couple of examples what you definitely should NOT do regarding proportion and  direction:
do NOT place a vertically oriented painting above an object that is vertically oriented also as in this sketch:

The proportion of the following is completely out of order - placing a huge mirror or painting or other wall piece above a small seating is a no-no that is often ignored...

Do NOT overdo your matching colours - this can end up in a dead rhythm as in the following example...

Regarding repetition - if you have a piece of furniture with a very agitated pattern you should not place a painting with an agitated motif above it otherwise you end up in agitating yourself...

Don't overdo matching colour as in this example - no rhythm but rather stand-still - it is drop dead boring and lifeless...

Even if you might have found a lovely painting to match the subject and colours - there is simply too much repetition...

The following example is completely out of focus - the eye has no place to rest upon - a room such as this makes you dizzy...

And here is another example which really should be avoided - to place objects in front of a painting. Where is the emphasis here? This looks absolutely aweful. It is the same situation when lamps or candle holders are in the middle of your face when you sit opposite to a person you are dining with...

You may have had a concept when you designed your room but if the above rules are not followed your design will not be a real composition (unity). I see many interiors where I have the feeling that the designer did not follow any of these rules and was just desperately looking for creating some new "trend".  And when it comes to art works especially and what has been chosen and how it has been placed - it is even worse. I cannot believe what here is often "sold" to the client. The wits seem to have been gone completely - as if a child had started to play with a new game and soon lost its interest. Instead of considering art as a major design element of a room it is left in the basement's junkroom. No wonder that people often feel awkward about choosing the right art.

I wonder how often interior designers work with real artists and ask for their opinion directly instead of a gallery owner or art dealer?


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dreams of 1001 Nights and still alive

What do you think about ethnic interior?
I can only say I love it and will always love it. It tells you stories about foreign countries and their people, about their cultures and about their way of living. It can build bridges over time and space, bring back memories of happy times, even spurt your interest in growing your knowledge about all these beautiful objects which have been and still are created on this world. Ethnic interior is inspirational and you can always combine it with modern and/or classic interior.

It can create a very special aura and will reflect your personality if the objects are authentic, which means you should have been at least in contact with those foreign cultures in one way or other and not collected it simply from a retailer. Fakes do neither have a soul nor do they spread the magic of travelling memories. It is just not enough to have a bamboo table from a superstore in your living room to become reminiscent of  a culture that has been cultivated for thousands of years. If you cannot afford the real thing leave it out. Plastics just don't do it.

Back to my favourite ethnics: Moroccan.
The following photo is from one of my favourite books Moroccan Interiors and I could drool over it again and again. I chose one of the more simple rooms featured there and had to add virtually two of my ethnic paintings which depict motifs from the Sahara. They are from the Magic Symbols series.

(click to enlarge the image)
(original image source "Moroccan Interiors", TaschenVerlag 1995)

The paintings are painted on silk and reflect the rock paintings that have been found in the Tassili N'Ajjer, which is a part of the Sahara and belongs to Algeria. The size of the Tassili is twice the size of Switzerland and is one of the largest national parks of the world. Unfortunately it is not easy to access due to the political situation.

These cave and rock paintings are so fascinating because they seem to be timeless. Although thousands of years old they reveal a modern elegance and have been inspirational to countless artists.

Tassili I, Tassili II
(from the Magic Symbols series)
40" x 13" each, silk
©Petra Voegtle


Friday, January 7, 2011

Romance pure and a chinoiserie Wallpaper

Did I tell you that I love romantic bedrooms? Probably. But bedrooms are the only rooms in a house where you can live out these kinds of feelings and not be embarrassed if you do so because hardly anyone else (at least not a stranger) will know. This is an argument - isn't it? Your bedroom is all yours and you can do what you want.
Btw - I adore the richly carved bed in this photo - it is heavenly - I wished it were mine...

So I virtually threw out the mirror on the wall - there is still the small one - and replaced it by a painting. I love doing this kind of things to see how it could feel... What do you think? I also removed the lamp which I found to be a bit out of place - colourwise.

 original image source and with courtesy of 

The acrylic painting is called White Wall and belongs to the Reminiscences series. I have shown this painting in quite a few room vignettes - if you check this link.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Obsessed by the Colour Purple

To be honest I don't care a bit about things which might be trendy or not, I don't care about fashion envogue or not and I could not care less about colours whether they are in style or not but I can tell you exactly what I like and what I dislike. And Purple is a colour that I am obsessed with - so it seems at the moment. In a couple of months or even tomorrow this could be history.

Currently I write a whole series around the colour Purple on my other blog In Terms of Colour, referring to various subjects but all around the colour and it is a lot of fun. I have realized that especially this colour (as defined by the RGB percentages) appears in so many variations which seem to belong to completely different hues at the same time as no other colour is capable of. Also the natural purple colours seem to appear in more variations than any other colour. I could be wrong though as I have no scientific proof for this statement but on my research through the internet I found far more natural objects in purples than in other colours so far.

Back to interiors.
The purple shades I especially love in interiors are the dark ones, the deeply saturated ones, the dusty ones as in the following example which is rather a rosybrown-tan-thistle-palevioletred-lavenderblush composition than real purple but it belongs into the range.

Besides missing some art other than those small objects on the wall (as in the original photo below) I virtually placed one of my photography works on the wall which would add some more interest to this room:

(original image

Now here comes an example which I really find exciting. The deep purple of the wall makes a statement! The only flaw in my opinion is the stupid hifi on the wall - this ugly little thing really does not fit with this exotic Chinese bed. What a room could this be with something else than that black thing. I replaced it virtually with another piece of my photography work - how would you like it now?

(original images source:

The next room is marvellous as it is in this vignette. I love that huge mirror with the silver frame which adds a touch of luxury to this otherwise quite simple room.

(original image source:

The following "dining" room would earn the undertitle "bohemien" and I love it. It's not only the dark shades of purple that make my heart swing but that kind of uncomplicated and casual decoration that reveals a lot of personality.

(original image source:

The next room is ridiculously unrealistic - made for Hollywood film sets - but surely not for the "real world". I love to look at these amenities though which seem to be populated only by very beautiful and very sophisticated people. I wonder how it would feel to sleep in a bed such as this one? Like a princess? But then I would have to go back in time many many many years...

(original images source:

And here is another crapulence in purple and zebra which might foster a hearty belly laugh - I thought I should not deprive you of this fanciful design...

(original images source:
Any comments on this one?


Saturday, January 1, 2011

A sweet little Bedroom in Cream and Green and dreaming of sunlit Valleys

to everybody!

When the light is missing and the days are dull,cold and unfriendly don't you long for some friendly and cozy environment too? 
I miss the green outside and the colours but mostly the green. That feeling is coming back, the fainthearted question arising whether it will ever be warm again and whether there will be any colours ever outside again. Of course there will but at the moment it does not look like that. I hate this kind of weather, the winter, the cold and I wish to be in warmer regions and say goodbye to winter forever. Truly!

In the meanwhile I am dreaming of sunlit valleys on tropical islands, of wonderfully green palms and other trees which are swinging in a breeze and I imagine being in this bedroom, having a good night sleep there and waking up in the morning and seeing the ocean outside...heavenly...

Below is the original photo of this bedroom and I thought it needs a bit more art on the wall than just these tiny frames with the kids photos or grandchildren on the wall behind. To be honest would YOU hang these photos above your bed? There are better places for these...

The art work is a silk painting inspired by the landscapes of the Hawaiian Islands - where else? It is called The Valley.It is ready to be hung with or without additional frame as it is gallery wrapped (the staples are on the back only and it's sides are painted too).

"The Valley"
(from the Magic Landscapes Series)
silk, 21" x 40"
©Petra Voegtle

Other room examples with this painting can be found here.

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