Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Plate in the Bedroom?

A white bedroom such as this one really belongs to a beach house or cottage near the sea.It looks charming. The only critic I have here is the plate on the wall. Matching colours is wonderful and matching materials too and I think that the plate was meant to complement the lamp foot and vessel. But a plate as decoration is great for a kitchen or dining room but for a bedroom?

To be honest I were afraid of this thing falling into my face while I am taking a nap...

I'd prefer something lighter and still complementing the colours in this room above my bed - a painting such as this one: White Wall from the Reminiscences series, virtually framed into a wooden frame matching the rollo in the window.

original image source from My Home Ideas/ Southern Accents

You need to click on the photo in order to be able to see the intricate details...

"White Wall"
(from the Reminiscences series)
acrylic, 26" x 18"
©Petra Voegtle

The painting is called White Wall and is part of my Remininscences series, a painting series, that was created from my photo documentary about the Olympic Student Village in Munich, that has been torn down 2 years ago in order to be re-constructed.

In order to create a kind of memorial for the beautiful and often funnily painted walls which are now all lost I took hundreds of photos from the village. But this was not enough for me - I also decided to create a painting series from the most impressive and beautiful parts i.e. walls, doors and windows. The peeling paints and especially the marks all the vines left on the plaster created wonderful patterns and structures. There is an extra photo series only about these wall motifs which you will find here.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The perfect Painting

I really like this sweet little bedroom. Its colours are serene, a perfect mix for mind and soul in order to have a wonderful relaxing night. But it is also a little bit boring. Artwise.

The print on the wall certainly matches the colour concept but it is boring. Even for a little room like this one you could do so much more with the right piece of art.

Now I found the perfect painting for it that would give this room some more attraction - don't you agree? Even if this is probably "only" a guestroom the painting adds an extra atmosphere. I am kind of surprised myself how a single piece on the wall can have so much impact. But I should have known...

I do not want to diminish the work of the interior designer in any way but I want to show that a single piece of art can make a lot of difference - to the better, sometimes to the worse. It is all a matter of taste, emotion and attitude. But it is worth to take time to look for the right piece.

(original image source

The acrylic painting is called Red Door and belongs to the Reminiscences series. It has been shown various times in different environments. You can see this here:

 "Red Door"
(from the Reminiscences series)
26" x 18", acrylic
©Petra Voegtle
If you would like to know more about this painting i.e. the history and background please see this link. If you would like to see more paintings of this series please see here.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Ethnic Art or Silk Paintings in the Bedroom?

You cannot hang ethnic art just anywhere. You need the right environment. But what is it at all, ethnic art and what differentiates it from folk art?

"Folk art" encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic.

As a phenomenon that can chronicle a move towards civilization yet rapidly diminish with modernity, industrialization, or outside influence, the nature of folk art is specific to its particular culture. The varied geographical and temporal prevalence and diversity of folk art make it difficult to describe as a whole, though some patterns have been demonstrated. (after Wikipedia).

The word "ethnic" is related to or characteristic of a sizable group of people sharing a common and distinctive racial, national, religious, linguistic, or cultural heritage. Members of an ethnic group are conscious of belonging to an ethnic group; moreover ethnic identity is further marked by the recognition from others of a group's distinctiveness. (after Wikipedia).

One definition I found for ethnic art said: “the material art of indigenous people whose art employs traditional methods, aesthetics, and purposes which are functional, ritual, or sacred in nature” (from Diana Lynn Art Tours)

Another definition of "ethnic art" at the Lineart 2008 show led to a much more strict selection process. All the artefacts had to be unique and their provenance known. They were to be utility or ritual objects that transcended their original function because of their universal artistic design and/or character – hence their status as works of art. All the objects should be traced back to a specific period and culture and had considerable artistic merit. If the objects had been restored to any great extent, the vendor must have mentioned this. Every object must have had been used in its religious or cultural tradition in the country of origin and must have been of a significant age.

Now this IS a very strict definition which might not apply to all the objects generally defined as ethinc art or rather folk art.
I see the difference there that "folk art" is a terminus more widely used and not imperatively applied to a certain group of people while "ethnic art" is. "Ethnic art" can be "fine art" whereas "folk art" normally is not. But the borders are blurred.

In our original room example here a sculpture was mounted on the wall that certainly can be defined as ethnic art. But to be honest I found this probably original art piece quite interesting but not applicable for a bedroom. This figure on the wall would cause me personally nightmares - imagine it in a dark room - isn't it reminiscent of  a Voodoo magic sculpture? It would certainly not foster a good and calm night's sleep. Even if the meaning of this figure were a good one, such as a guardian angel - it's form is creepy in our western image world.

(original image source

The four posts of the bed are reminiscent of intricate African wood carvings and certainly make a wonderful statement in this high ceiling bedroom. Therefore I would rather go for some different art works such as these silk paintings which depict ancient cave paintings from the Sahara. These would not alienate an innocent sleeper...

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

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


More and more so-called designer hotels are sprouting. People become bored by "regular" hotels so more hotels start to think about an alternative. Why should smart hotel owners not use and invest in assets which are a bit out of the norm? As in this case.

A while ago I found this on the Internet and I thought you might be intrigued as much as I was about this very special interior design. I am talking here about a complete transformation which has resulted into something really beautiful: "a historic metamorphosis" as it is called on the website of the Martin's Hotels family in Belgium. It says:
"Martin's Patershof, the latest addition to the Martin's Hotels family, is a world first. In the historic heart of Mechelen, midway between Brussels and Antwerp, this 19th century Franciscan church has metamorphosed into a stupendous four-star hotel. A new universe of hospitality from Martin's Hotels which perpetuates the building's prime vocation. In an ultra-modern fashion and with the greatest respect for the integrity of the location. A substantial project, a feat of technology and taste, a heritage saved and reinvented, a completely new experience." (from
I think this transformation of a chapel into a hotel has been accomplished with dignity. There is no need to think that this might be a blasphemy. Of course it is always sad when a church or any other formerly sacred building is doomed but isn't it much better to apply a new meaning to such a place instead of letting it rot as it is happening to so many? The beauty has been conserved! Isn't this the true meaning?


Friday, February 4, 2011

Light Blue - the perfect Colour for a Bedroom

Maybe I am slowly boring you with these paintings - I hope that is not the case -  but I want to show you how sweet these could look in rooms with a basic light blue colour hue. Also this bedroom has been designed around the colour light blue which is a calming colour on one hand but also refreshing and clean. It reminds you of the sky, of clear calm water of a lake. It is cool but not cold and is certainly a colour that is very appropriate for a bedroom.

Lightness is also represented through the painting Contemplation on a Feather which I virtually added here above the bed. Btw - the suggestion of a canopy bed through the pelmet above on the wall is really charming and would add a nice frame to any painting you would choose to hang here. I also "mounted" the painting into a dark frame in order to match the colour of the bed.

In the original image there is nothing planned to be hung on the wall and this is a bit sad. A piece of art always adds some personality to a room.

original image source from My Home Ideas/ Southern Accents

The painting is acrylic on cotton and belongs to my pigeon series. I am also writing a documentary and diary about a feral pigeon family who lives on my balcony since nearly 3 years now. This diary contains many stories and photos about pigeons, who are extremely underestimated and misjudged. These birds are highly intelligent, make very funny companions and are absolutely amiable. If only more people would realize how special these birds are. Maybe you will change your mind too if you start reading my blog Pigeon Tales. You will learn a lot of things you probably did not know before.

"Contemplation on a Feather"
(from the Pigeons series)
18" x 26" acrylic
©Petra Voegtle

If you would like to know more about this series please check this link.
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