Thursday, June 30, 2011

Romantic Bedroom in the Colours of Tuscany

The colours of this cute little bedroom are so lovely and warm and the iron cast bed is so romantic. This is another example that you don't need a big budget to create something beautiful and cozy, just the kind of room you need for a good night sleep and a wonderful place for a guest to feel at home.

The only item I would possibly have an alternative for is the art piece on the wall. It is a bit too dark for my taste. Instead I would hang the silk painting as below which repeats exactly the colours of this room and adds a little bit more mystery and magic to let the dreams fly...

The painting has been painted on silk and belongs to the Magic Landscapes series.

"Dry Land"
(from the Magic Landscapes Series)

40" x 21", silk
©Petra Voegtle

This 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.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What is growing in your Balcony Garden?

This year I am really happy about my "balcony garden" because it is so lovely overgrown. In fact not very stylish as it could be and not even very tidy but greeeeeeeeeen and many blooms still to come.
I did not want to invest much money because you never know how the weather will be like and if the plants you lovingly potted will survive without mildew or other lovely pests. The question whether they will survive our harsh winters is also important because I have no possibility to put the more sensitive plants in a cool place inside.

So I decided to try something new this year:
I planted vegetable seeds and simple flowers. Vegetables can have some lovely blooms and depending on what it is, grow nicely in pots with climbing branches such as the small pumpkins. They have big yellow blooms - unfortunately they last only for one day. So this is something I am not going to repeat next year.

I also planted seeds of the Tropaeolum (Nasturtium) which is one of my favourites because it creates absolutely lovely blooms in various shades of glowing yellows, oranges and reds and their perfume is wonderful. They look very nice in small glass vases together with one of the leaves or two and can serve as lovely table decoration.

I also planted the seeds of sweet peas - which have started to bloom in the meanwhile. Their perfume is wonderful and the colours of their blooms are absolutely beautiful. They also look marvellous in small vases. I can only recommend these.

And then of course herbs in little pots or larger ones such as lavender and rosmarin may not be missing. I especially love to cook with rosmarin. There is nothing better than adding a branch of fresh rosmarin while roasting fish. Astonishingly these grow amazingly well in my balcony garden (the herbs not the fish) although we have the sun here only till about midday. Then it is wandering off around the corner of the building.

Here is what I am talking about:

So do YOU have a balcony garden and what is growing there?
Btw - something else is very valuable when you have a balcony with a green wall - it keeps the heat off considerably on really hot summer days and functions like a natural air conditioning.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another Pigeon Painting has been finished

Finally The Philosopher has been finished and I even started with the next of the pigeon series. As all the others from this series it is painted in acrylics on cotton canvas. I have made it available as Fine Art Print on heavy cotton canvas mounted on a wooden stretcher frame in 2 sizes currently in my Etsy Shop. A direct link to the art print is here.

"The Philosopher"
(from the Pigeons series)
 18" x 26" ,acrylic on cotton canvas
©Petra Voegtle

And maybe you want to know about his story:
This is a portrait of Jimi, the philosopher, a very special pigeon. He was born in 2008, a son of Pete and Emma. December 2009 he became very sick with PMV and we had to hospitalize him for several months. With his last energy he found his way home. He could not eat by himself any more, he could not fly - he was completely depressed. But Jimi recovered completely and found his old self again. From time to time he is suffering from body tumors, receives special care and treatment then but in general he is strong and a healthy pigeon.

He comes home every day to get his meals and favourite sunflower hearts which he eats from my hand only, sitting on my knee. His stance has something royal and he loves to be alone. As a youngster he was often sitting on the easel behind my chair, watching me while I was working on the computer. He always came in when it was too much chaos outside - a very special pigeon. That's why he was called "the philosopher".

Here is the story of his parents:

One day, on a sunny morning in March 2008, a pigeon appeared on the balustrade of our balcony on the higher levels of the appartment building. There was something about this pigeon that made me wonder who he was. Normally I would have chased him off - as I usually did - because of my ignorance, because I did not like them pooping everywhere, because they made so much noise  in the early morning that you could not sleep any more and overall I did not like pigeons very much... But this one - it was different.

He somehow reminded me of another pigeon who regularly visited our balcony for a few minutes. We called him Mr. Whitecap, because he was light grey, with white wing feathers and a white cap. And he had one badly crippled foot that made him limp. But nevertheless he appeared again and again for about 5 years and then disappeared. I respected and admired this bird for coping with this injury and apparently having a strong will to survive. How little did I know then...

And now this new pigeon appeared on our balcony, looking very similar to our Mr. Whitecap whom I somehow missed and I was suddenly sure that he, the new one, was an offspring of Mr. Whitecap. He did not have this white cap but he was the same light grey blue barred pigeon, his wing feathers were white and he had at least a few white spots on his head and a really beautiful face and very intense eyes. I just had this feeling...

He - the new pigeon - let me observe him while I was inside but as soon as I opened the balcony door he was gone. So he was really a shy one. I was eager to know what would happen next.To be honest - nothing really happened for a while besides that he appeared one day and then was gone again for several days.

But one day he appeared again and with him came a tiny little pigeon lady, a dark grey one, with no special markings besides a sweet face and with somehow slanted eyes which were reminiscent of Asian eyes. You realize that I  started to observe these birds closer, noticing more details about them and somehow they suddenly became more and more interesting for me. I really cannot say any more when this change of mind happened to me but there was clearly a change.

Pete, as I called him in the meanwhile, and Emma, his mate, still appeared only sporadically. Obviously they were a couple and both very shy. At the very moment I opened the balcony door they were gone. One day I observed them how they kissed each other and started the courtship mode. It was so interesting to watch this and I found it very sweet.  So touching. I knew I could not chase them away any more if this should become an option.

In the meanwhile I put my plants out on the balcony again while the weather had become warmer. Also our pigeon couple seemed to get more accustomed to our presence and did not take off immediately any more when I openend the door. But they still flew away as soon as I came nearer than about 3 meters. And then one day, when I was watering my plants, I realized that Emma had silently built a "nest" behind a large planting pot with chlorophytum, that I had placed on another very large planting pot, that was filled with earth, just beneath the long leaves that were hanging from the pot. And she had laid 2 eggs. So what to do now?

As I did not know how long she was already sitting on these eggs I decided to leave her where she was and try to do everything a bit more comfortable for her i.e. I placed some more planting pots around her in order to protect her from further disturbance and view. And I had still no idea what would come next. Oh my - if I had known before...

Things took on and then one day - on the 9th of April in 2008 - the first egg hatched and out came something tiny, with golden-yellow "hair", a big head, huge feet, some strange huge eyes which still could not see, a wonderful living creature that changed our lives completely. This was Willy, our "first born". And then, two days later, little Joey climbed out of his egg shell.

This was also the birth of my diary, the Pigeon Tales, a documentary about everything that happened from now on...

And this was also the launching day of my pigeons series of paintings...


Thursday, June 16, 2011

A cheerful Bedroom could be too nice

The colours of this bedroom are cheerful - there is no doubt about it. They are reminiscent of lazy sunny summer days spent near a lake with nothing but a natural panorama, serene and soft, no noise that tortures your ear besides the one or other bird that quarrels with his neighbour, a place simply to doze off.

Maybe this is the meaning of a bedroom but sometimes we also spend some time there without sleeping and it would be nice to have something in the room where your thoughts and inspirations could focus on - a piece of art is certainly such a focus.

If this were my room I would add this silk scroll. It is not enervating to disturb the calmness but it sends enough vibes to fill you with dreams of a different world and possibly some inspirations and ideas...

The silk scroll is part of a small series about the workmanship of southeast Asian artists and artisans.
The Weaver belongs to a series which portrays the most striking characteristics of people and cultures of the world. These characteristics should not be reduced to common prejudices but simply reflect an impression through the artist's eye: undoubtedly you can find some of the most beautiful people among Indian people combined with the abilities of outstanding craftmanship and artistry for thousands of years not only in the textile category but in many other areas too.

The means of the portrait is a medium which has been used for hundreds of years in countries such as China and Japan: painted scrolls made from paper or silk but another component has been added to this modern and personal version: quilting. The materials used here are silk top, poly batting, viscose/poly backing; painted, machine quilted with silk.
Additionally the patterns on the top and bottom of this scroll have been hand painted and are reminscent of the batik techniques in Indonesia...

"The Weaver"
65" x 21", hand painted silk scroll
©Petra Voegtle

Friday, June 10, 2011

SMALL SPACES: Garage converted into a living Space

In modern cities living spaces have become rare and expensive. Additionally the number of single parent families is increasing in western countries which means you need even more space for more individuals. No matter whether this is a desirable development (in fact it isn't) it is happening and solutions have to be found because cities cannot supply endless space for a decent living. But there might be a lot of space which is not utilzed any more for various reasons.

A while ago I found this very interesting article via and I thought I would love to share this with you if you haven't seen this yet:
"Garage conversions are very popular nowadays. It is amazing what some can do out of an old rusty room and today we have yet another project that proves impossible is nothing. French architects at Fabre | de Marien managed to completely transform a 41 sqm garage located in Bordeaux into a welcoming living space." (continue to read here)

With some plants and more decoration you could even convert the external part of this wall into a welcoming space that certainly sets oneself apart from the ugly surrounding and might even inspire the neighbourhood to do something similar.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A small Bedroom with a spectacular View...

Although I am not so very much a fan of dark rooms I loved this one from the first moment I saw it. I cannot even really explain why. Maybe it's the perfect disposition of this really small room because what you can see from this vignette there does not seem to be much more space available than for the bed itself.

The only downside of this room is the art on the wall, which - for my understanding - is not suitable for a bedroom. Although it perfectly matches the colours of this room (possibly the latter have been chosen because of the art) the figures displayed in this work look a bit creepy, reminiscent of emaciated models which is not really the perfect theme for a good night sleep.

My personal alternative would be this triptych painting on silk Ayutthaya which leads you gently into a world of meditation, dreamlike state - certainly more suitable for a bedroom:

Btw - I am going to make this painting available as fine art print on cotton canvas also, so that it can be used in different sizes. I'll let you know when it is in my Etsy shop.

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

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