Friday, April 30, 2010

How stupid is that?

Weimar. A nucleus of German culture. Goethe, Schiller, Bauhaus.
A painter and designer went to court against Google because she did not want them to show thumbnails of her picture. She ended up in our Bundesgerichtshof, the highest court with a final decision: Google cannot be forbidden to show thumbnails in the search results, because, after all, she published the pictures on her website and did not use tags in the code that would stop the bots from listing her content.
Well, who did she think she would publish her pictures for? To please her Granny for sponsoring her easle? I'm happy if these little pictures are an advert for my work!
How little informed some people are about such important media! I just can't believe it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The place

This is the place where I work. It is small.
The remote is for the radio+cd player.
Today, I painted another design for a print. For copyright reasons, I did not copy a painting, but created one in Kandinsky's style. My husband J is a Kandinsky enthusiast. I'll have this printed for him as a tablecloth.
J is not yet satisfied with the composition. I'll have to work more on it.
Funny, J is the one who cares about household and decoration. Although I am an artist (I was told), I often don't have an eye for the things surrounding me. On the other hand, it is nice to work with beautiful things like the brush cup or the small paint bowls I bought as a student.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Designs ordered

Today I ordered 7 more designs to be offered in my shop. The curly clouds are among them with white background. It will take me some more days to finish a version with a colored background. You see it here, again painted by hand, and I added a red background in photoshop, but, as I said in my older posting, there is still a lot to be done. It is not clean in the corners. I'll make a better version.
And here is the original. It makes me want to start anew. I just can't print this one directly because it is under copyright.
The full moon looks so strong. I'll watch some more Snooker cause I can't sleep.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


The Indonesian cloud pattern is ready and uploaded to Spoonflower. I just have to order a test swatch to release it for sale. I'll give it a coloured background, too, so you have the choice between red, gold and whatever you like.

P.S. I tried to insert a background in the graphic program, but I'm not satisfied with the result. Have to paint it by hand which alters the original.

Friday, April 23, 2010


My test swatches from Spoonflower have arrived. Now they are in my shop and can be ordered as small pieces like shown here, as fat quarters and also as yardage. The quality is excellent. The colors are exactly true to my painted design, and the finest details are visible. The cotton is soft and would be a lovely quilting material.
The percentage for the designer is low (10%). They anticipate to raise it, they say.
Why only five? Well, I have to order at least one test swatch for 5$ before I can sell my fabrics. So if you are interested in a design which is in my profile but not in this choice, please let me know.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I started working on a design that should be quite familiar to some of us. An exiting design, and hard to find, I guess.
Reasons for a reprint.

And I was in my old living quarter today to participate in a book presentation:
"Last not Least Your Quiet Courage", editor: Ulrike Sparr. About people who hid or supported prosecuted persons during the Nazi regime. The presentation took place in an old factory building, today a center for historical research. The Vice Mayor of Hamburg and our Education Senator were there.
When this event had ended, I took a stroll through my familiar streets. Many of the houses have been renovated. From a poor people's quarter still 40 years ago, it has become a well-kept, desired place to live in.
Here is a photo from the fifties that I found in the "History Workshop".
You can hear as much Turkish in the streets as German. Actually, I felt a little homesick for Ottensen where I spent 20 years of my life (1983-2003).

After yesterday's debate, I decided not to dwel on it anymore; but my mind can't find a rest.
Some of my visitors felt reminded of a swastika. I had no idea how! If you look closely, there is none, not even hidden in the ornament.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Okay, you convinced me

I was not aware that this typeface arouses such a definitely unpleasant association. It is a simplified Gutenberg and was very common during the 19th and early 20th century. Also the ornament is not different from things you can find in Norwegian wood churches or Irish manuscripts. The intention was to do something nostalgic, inspired by the fact that Europe was back in its past before aviation during the past weekend. A strange experience in a time when every place is in reach and every country just hours away. Europe slowed down for a few days and had a chance to think about how dependent we are from jet planes. We considered whether all the flights we undertake are necessary at all. There was a break in our modern time because nature thumbed her nose on us.

By the way, fractured letters were forbidden from 1941 on, the reason the "Leader" gave was ridiculous. The truth was: Fractured letters could not be read in the occupied countries -- or people pretended they could not read them.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Slow Europe

Gouache painting of the Iceland volcano, gouache ornament, computer graphics.
The volcano has prevented almost all flights in Europe during the weekend and Monday.
15.000 travellers got stuck on holiday islands with no chance to go home.
My Spoonflower prints haven't arrived yet; certainly it is because of the flight traffic restrictions at the moment.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What keeps me busy

As the fish theme seemed to please my readers -- thank you so much for joining the poll --, I made another version in an Asian style. The water on top is not quite that blue, but I had to pump up the saturation a lot before placing the picture in this blog, it looked way too dull on first attempt. Protect sea fish! Okay, these are goldfish in a pond. Nothing abstract on this style. People, I tried. Sorry, I'm just a decorator.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nature teaches Mankind

How proud we are of civilisation and on being able to get just anywhere in hours. At the moment, Europe is on a speed level of 50 years back. Our chanceler Angie Merkel went through an odyssee on her way back from the USA. Our defence minister, smart Guttie, had to take a train over the Balkan back to Berlin, and the Polish buried their president with a reduced list of guests. And also the Danish Queen's birthday was spoiled.
On Friday, I took this photo on the way back from a Turkish restaurant in walking distance from our home. We had an excellent meal, I had a lamb dish with aubergine from the oven with potatoes and Turkish bread and tea. So tasty! Not fat at all, which is rare in Turkish cooking. J had kebabs with rice.
The clouds in the picture might be a little volcano dust, because they seem heavy and do not let the light shine through.

On Saturday, J planted my little trees. I had chopped a branch from a poplar in order to get young trees to plant them where the big poplars had been chopped down. I kept my branch pieces in water to see if they were vital enough to green, and they did. Now J put them into earth, and I'll have to water them often and I hope they will root.
I chose a sort that will be very nice in autumn.
The disgusting things in the cup are budding acorns. I think of planting oaks, too.

Friday, April 16, 2010


I finished the pomegranate + ruccola salad pattern and connected the parts for an overall pattern -- still some visible limit, but I can tolerate it. I also made a single motif for a cushion or quilt center. I'm still waiting for my first prints. The rule in Spoonflower is that a fabric will be shown in the shop after the designer has ordered a print of it. This is quite sensible because I should check the quality before I offer the fabrics to a customer.  Colors will inevitably change -- more or less.

I'm wondering if I should order a print of each design I have painted until now. Of course, there can/will be color variations in abundance. I rather feel like asking my readers about their preferences. I made a little galery and would like to know your opinion. Please don't spare me.
Of course, I see it as a poll. This doesn't mean that I expect orders! This would just mean that the most popular designs will appear in my shop.

Today, there's no flight traffic in Northern Europe. The volcanic cloud from Iceland is to blame, but it is invisible. If I look up, I see some blue sky.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Too many details?

This time, I painted a large panel. I wanted it to be full of details like those Indonesian fabrics. This one is not so easily made into an overall pattern, but maybe doesn't have to. It took me a few hours to paint this one, and although it doesn't seem so, it consists of a six tone palette. I'm using the same colors on a number of patterns. The fish motif is another in the line, just as the first floral panel.
The other one is work in progress. This one is more grandfoulardic.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Playing young bears, yesterday's pattern.
Today I'm 61. My love brought me the flowers last night already.
I usually celebrate my birthday in small portions between 13th and 18th of April. Why? The answer is astrological, a conjunction of Mars, Venus, Moon Node and Mercury around my Sun.
Will be working on more patterns tonight.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Turtle with Seaweeds

Many years ago, I saw a Japanese bronze box in the local art&craft museum. The lid was decorated with a turtle that carried a train of seaweeds. The turtle is thought to be 1000 years old. This illustrates a Buddhist metaphore: It is as rare to be reborn as a human being as the chance of a blind turtle that dives up to the sea surface once in 1000 years and by chance sticks his head through a wooden yoke that is swimming on the sea. Or you can say: It is important to use the precious situation of being human to be good.
This is the deeper meaning. On a more common level, it is a symbol for long life.
This is today's pattern.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ocean Life Revisited

What a grey and ugly day. My way out is to look inside. Figure I'm diving in a coral reef.
I calculated my earning options when selling prints. With a 10% commission from my sold cloth, I'll start earning money after selling 3 yds of one pattern. How realistic is that? Yet, I'll try it. For the fun.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fish on Friday: My latest design

Indonesian fabrics are fascinating. But I will not dwel on imitating them. I feel like transforming the design into my own (fun) language.
I painted the fish and vines with gouache and finished the design in photoshop with the background pattern. I limited the palette to five colours.
I ordered a few samples. These swatches will be 8X8. I can't wait to see the quality. Then I'll offer quilt fabrics on the internet with my own design!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Direction is getting clearer

Again, I used an Indonesian fabric as an inspiration.
Now I know what these Bassetti people do! They do -- or have done -- things that make me kneel down in awe. The result of my attempts is shockingly similar. But at last, I like it. I turned it 45 degrees and made it fit. Then I scanned it and added a dark background. I played with the colors a bit. The skewed border really gives it an Indonesian touch.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I hate my patterns

They are way too Victorian! I wanted something ethnic and ended up in 1880 London. At least I managed to do the allover pattern. I checked it in my website program; the fitting is satisfying.
Now, I will make a try printing them on cloth. And start something more modern, as promised.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another Pattern

Also this one was taken from an Indonesian fabric I bought more than 30 years ago. I painted the pattern with gouache. I did not yet paint the dark blue background of the original.
I tried the pattern first with a white background. Making the edges fit is a challenge. I work on it with obsession. So much fun! Kaffee Fassett, watch out, here I come.
Then I worked on the pattern in photoshop, adding the dark blue background, trying to get close enough to the original.

See also yesterday's posting.

The 3rd picture shows the same pattern with a dark blue background. The original fabric has more blue space between the flowers and vines. To my surprise, it is so victorian! I'm almost a little disappointed that the genuine roughness of the Indonesian fabric is lost.
This looks quite nostalgic, but my plans go further. I want to leave the traditional approach behind. Don't know exactly how, but you will find more daring, more modern design in the days to come. Or I find it too difficult and drop it... No, I don't think so.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Project

I've been doodling a little with my fabric design. This is not an overall pattern yet. It was inspired by one of the Indonesian batiks that Wanda showed on her blog. I did not quite hit the style -- I painted this one merely from vision. It turned out more like Bavarian folk art. And it is not yet a pattern that would look good on larger spaces. I have to work on it. I know how to create a seamless pattern repeat, but haven't handpainted any yet. I did it on some other designs, but these were created on the computer. I guess I'll try a few more and have them printed (expensive, if you ask me!).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Urbi et Orbi

Perspective, photo realism, true-to-life portrait -- this is what I did in the years of study, and I threw it all overboard. I came back to the principles of medieval painting.

There is a turmoil in the religious world that I feel sorry for, but not for the fact that purification is happening. A purification which has been overdue. I see it from a distant point of view. The traditional ways of handling "inner" problems don't work anymore.

As I am no longer part of the christian world, I watch with mild woe how people have to find a new base to ground their faith and confidence on. The more the center of this medieval world tries to keep things as they are, the more fragile the system. --

Whatever you celebrate today, I wish you very happy holidays. May the essence of the celebrations radiate over the beings and give them happiness and hope.

Miniature, gouache, 18cm/7.1"

p.s. Blogger seemed to be out of service for a few hours, did you have trouble blogging, too?
Due to these problems I lost Art Sparker's comment, but found it in Google where it was lingering, and reconstructed it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cursed Beer

In German, the name of the beer is completely harmless.
Yet the brewery had problems to trade their beer under the chosen name... more