Little Owl sends Seasons Greetings!

Dear snowflakes, stars and chocolate-hearts,
is the festive season in full swing for you?

Are you baking up a storm, dancing on the ice, creating lots of lovely things for your family and friends? I hope december is everything you want it to be, and the end of this year makes you
with gratefulness for the gifts, adventures, lessons and everything 2014 gave you -
and with anticipation for the New Year to come!

This will be my last post for this year. Like little owl i need some time on my tree, thinking, pondering, reflecting, planning ... spending time with my friends and family and dreaming myself into new creative ventures. 

Little Owl is the Christmas Card i created for this year and you can grab it and send it as an e-card if you wish.

Thank you for being part of my world and see you back soon!

Happy colours forThanksgiving

Grateful for your friendship, your attention, your encouragement and ongoing inspiration my lovelies! This is just a short post as i'm on a little trip to Berlin - to wish you all the most lovely Thanksgiving with your loved ones! I often find, that bright and happy colours are just what i need to keep my mood sunny and upbeat - so - these flowers are for YOU!

Pix: 1 - Pinterstt. 2 - MVS

Friday Chocolate Link Up


“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.” 
 Joanne Harris, Chocolat

Have you ever tried making your own chocolate truffles? It's easy and complicated at the same time. Last sunday, i was hosting an "Art & Chocolate" event in my house  - to showcase my summer paintings, treat some old and new friends to an afternoon of sweetness and fun and to brighten November greys. I really did get my hands dirty 2 days in advance of this and experimented with new and better ways, to male scrumptious, velvety, deliciously chocolaty treasures.

This recipe here got me great results. It's  simple and easy to play and be creative with. BUT there's a warning: Grating chocolate, if you don't have a kitchen machine to do that for you, is an arduous job. Think about hiring an assistant or get your man to do it for you. The rest of the process is rather fun and brings you back to a childlike feeling - like when you were playing with play-dough or clay.

I like the very dark truffles best - they taste wonderful, if you love a touch of bitter, as i do, plus they give you all the health benefits of pure chocolate, and all the energy. They taste ..... very yummy, yet they're so rich that one makes you feel satisfied for the day.

If you're a chocolate lover and would like a special recipe or show pix of what you made - add your link to the list below. Can't wait to see your entry!

Blue Flame Painting

Happy new week lovelies, 
hope you keep your light shining, as we move into the dark season and days are getting shorter and shorter. Even though November is a bit gloomy and the lack of daylight can get people down, i like this months spirit. The misty "Fiametta" painting you see above was done in summer in the garden, but it also reminds me of a fire in winter, of morning and evening mist, of sundown and lights flickering in peoples houses or in the sky.

This weekend i will be hosting a little Art & Chocolate" event in our house and also in blogland.
Come back here on friday and link in to share your best chocolate recipe or a piece of art you've made or you simply adore. Can't wait to meet up and share the fun!

I'm a Bag Lady

Had some fun with a new sketch yesterday, one that i always wanted to do  -  a "What's in my handbag" one.

This little combo is, what i mostly have with me, when o go out these days:
A little light orange basket, kitted out with an even lighter fabric shopping bag and a small umbrella (it rains a LOT here).
And a handbag i found in my favorite shoestore BURRESI. The handbag is not big, but magically, all i want to put in fits in, even a light coat or cardi, all the while it still feels light on my arm. It consists of brown quilted fabric material and colorful leather parts,  and it helps to set a chic and playful accent to almost every outfit i have. In summer, it went well with white and brighter shades, in winter it adds some optimism and good mood to darker and neutral colors.

In the sketch, you see the things i carry in it:
- Some pens,
- a timer - handmade by a dear friend,
- my i-phone,
- my orange Hermès purse,
- my orange cell phone holder, filled with not my cell, but some make up items like a small Dr. Hauschka Handcreme, 2 lipsticks, on in a very soft, peachy pink, on in a darker, berry pink,
- D&G sunglasses.

When i'm in town, i always seem to walk a lot, so it's important, that my "luggage" is light and easy to carry. The basket is very practical in case i want to pick up some fruits or veggies on my way home, which i often do, and for additional purchases, the fabric bag comes in handy.

If you're a bag lady, like me, you might be interested to dwell a little in the Rue La La Style guide for handbags. Care tips, a history of handbags and lots of info about our fave accessoire - have fun!

Meanwhile, i hope your week is moving along nicely and swiftly, leaving you time to enjoy the colorful leaves outside.  See you soon for a hot cuppa something - and a little chat!

Halloween Freeby

Eat, drink and be scary!

As Halloween is edging closer, i've made a little design to greet you - and that you can grab and use as an E-Card to meet and greet your friends, inviting them over or just celebrating the longest night of the year. 

There is a reason, why Halloween for me is and will always be connected to a witty and intelligent black cat, who is my companion in the other world. I've read of the custom, to put a little bowl of milk on your windowsill on Halloween night - to feed the spirits. And i will do that to greet him. Is there a special tradition in your family, for this occasion?

One cat, two styles

A while ago, i got a commission for a cat portrait, and this print is what i came up with. It's a mixture of pencil drawing, painting, printing and a collage technique on the computer. By putting the sketch and the colored parts together this way, i can change the colors and play with them or change the textures in certain parts of the picture. I only use my own textures though, to keep it personal and true to my style.

To  illustrate this, i'll show you another version of the cat here - a green and blue one, with a softer fur:
 The second one is closer to the photo i got, but the client preferred the first one. Which one do you like better?

Pink & Mustard

small painting of mine from my summer garden series. Played around with it a bit and put it in the pretty living room setting above. found on ELLE Decor. The soft shades of light pink, pearl grey and golden, mustardy yellow create a  delicate atmosphere and play in tune with the misty mornings and bright afternoons of october we have here. Hope your week is swinging along nicely - dare to dance to your own tune today!

Color Transition: From Summer to Fall

Recently i was asked by Abbey Jones from Julep to take part in a blog challenge - to  help you transition from your favorite summer brights into some beautiful fall shades. Inspired by flamboyant dahlias i bought on the farmers market where i live, i chose to turn a bright scarlet red of summer into a warmer, slightly darker cardinal red - that goes nicely not only with classic black, but with all other colors that might inspire your fall wardrobe - from golden yellows over berry purples, soft browns and greens to misty grey.

This fall asks women to go easy and let their hair down, which is fine for me. Oversized sweaters, loose pants, comfy shoes are all on the  radar of fashion. To glam it up a notch, try an oversized Diva pair of shades and some extra delightful lip and nail color. 

The red and purple outfit shown here are by one of my have designers, Paul Smith.

Especially on weekends, i enjoy pampering myself a little more and paint my nails. mostly i use a bright statement color for my toenails, and a light pink, natural mother of pearl shade for my hands.  What is your favorite color, when it comes to your nails? 

Since i was also asked, ti challenge one of my blogfriends, to be part in this theme, i tag the lovely Kizzy - have fun doll!

Mexico Feeling in germany

Happy Summer Blues

Yesterday, i delivered some paintings of mine to a lovely client who lives not far from me. We tried and tested several pieces on the walls of her unique attic flat and she chose 2 that she liked best. I loved her mix of rustique elements like wooden ceiling beams and terra-cotta floor tiles with modern design classics like the sienna chairs in her kitchen and flashes of bold bright colors, like the little yellow metal locker. 

The blue painting "Summer Blues", from my latest summer series looks amazing in this environment. Surprisingly, it adds a sense of both spaciousness and   playfulness and brings a mexican feel to the environment.  The "Little Faun" painting also looks really bright and happy next to her bespoke kitchen and wounded staircase.

The late summer sun made the colors dazzle and shine, and we sat for a long while in her beautiful green roofgarden, having coffee and cake with another friend, who helped hanging the paintings.

It's one of the best experiences as a painter, seeing how ones work looks in a new environment and how - if well chosen -  it transforms the whole room and brings it to life - like music.

I hope you're all having a delightful late summer weekend. Excuse my slowness in blogging at the moment, but since i'm busy putting another issue of "KidsLife" together and lots of social life going on here, time just flies. Will come visit you over the weekend though - put the kettle on!


Writing a blog ...

Some time ago i was asked by my dear friend Anita, from Castles Crowns and Cottages, to post about my blog writing experience. Thinking about it, it's been quite a journey and it is - an ongoing one.

Looking back 5 years ago, it started with a wish - i WANTED to have a blog, mainly to showcase my art and have a kind of website, i could update and manage myself. I didn't even think about all the other things, that are involved with blogging and keeping the blog up to date and worth visiting.

Showing my art

 Writing about my adventures

Start your own blog in 5 minutes - ha ha -  it took me much longer. Figuring out a name, building a header that would actually fit, finding the kind of design that would match with my expectations, providing pictures that looked good and also - finding the words ...

I have always loved writing - and keeping a diary, as a way to keep in touch with my inner life and also to digest and accentuate what happened in the world around me. But a blog is something, that is open to everyone and not all things can or should be communicated here.

Making friends

.... and featuring them in my magazine KidsLife, like Libbie and her amazing family.

.... or actually meeting them for coffee, shopping and art like the fellow painter Barbara von Enger

And a  blog is really not just about writing, but about COMMUNICATING. about SHARING and about GETTING BETTER in just about everything you do. It is about meeting new friends, about broadening ones horizon and about getting more inspiration, than you can take.
It is also more time consuming than i would ever have guessed. But still worth it.

                          Sharing my designs

Being quite busy as an artist, an editor, a designer, a mother a wife, a friend and some other things i decided to keep my posts mostly short and sweet. If i could, i would spend MUCH more time preparing for my posts and making them super special. But since time seems to be faster than me on most days, i just go with what there is in my archive, my head and my heart.

... and some fashion
I have aimed at being able to post mostly original content, that means, my own art, my own photography and designs. And i did make progress. with that- To have enough content i also post about fashion, which is one of my hobbies and something i love to distract me from what i ought to do ;)

Blogging reminds me daily, to be BIGGER than what troubles me. To be part of this amazingly creative, inventive and fun community that i share with all of YOU.
Thank you my lovelies, 
for being part of my world and making the blog writing experience a never ending adventure!

Since i was asked to also nominate 2 people, to write about their blog writing experience,  i nominate my  friend from India, Arti, and fellow artist Jess.

Painting Summer

I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.


Little garden painting catches the golden specs of the late afternoon sun - playing on the leaves, illuminating little things flying about in the air, enhancing the rich shadows beneath dark green leaves. Actually, when i was painting, i didn't think anything at all, but just let my hands and imagination play - while being outside - in the garden.
It's late summer here now with hazy mornings and sunny afternoons, mellow, sweet, like a ripe yellow apple or apricot. What do you like most about September?

Summer Flowers - Summer Art

Art is always good for happy surprises!

Happy weekend lovelies! A bouquet of wild flowers in a simple vase or sophisticated  Murano glass art out in the green - whatever it is you need to make this weekend special, i hope you will find it! 

The photos were taken by me at an art event in the Eiffel,  created by a bunch of super creative friends of mine.  I just rediscovered them in one of my files and thought, they catch the spirit of the season so well! 

Woof to a brand new week!

Alistair der Whippet wünscht Euch einen netten und relaxten Start in die Woche. Er erinnert Euch daran, immer entspannt zu bleiben, aber wach für gute Gelegenheiten, Eure Energie spielen zu lassen und Eure Ziele zu verfolgen. Alle Hindernisse mit Eleganz und Leichtigkeit zu überspringen, jeden guten Bissen zu genießen und bei alledem stets gut auszusehen!
Er ist neu in meiner kleinen Hunde-Galerie hier..

Alistair the Whippet is wishing you a nice and easy start to your week. He reminds you to be relaxed, yet on guard for opportunities to let your energy play and run fast, conquer all obstacles with elegance and candor, enjoy a yummy bite if you get one - and always look great!
He's new in my dog gallery - you can get prints of him here-

Natural vases

The natural beauty of fruits and vegetables is something, that often inspires me for my paintings, There is not one shape, texture or color you can ever imagine, that doesn't exist already in some ways, on this lovely planet of ours. And since summer is so abundant, why not celebrate natural pretties in some new table decorations. Even if you serve just a plain cole slaw or hearty cabbage soup, it will be a feast for the eyes, when accompanied by bright Dahlias in cabbage vases!

Photos via Dearest Nature

Happy Weekend!

I agree with Helen on this one! As an artist and an editor, i don't work from 9 to 5 and just let go on the weekend, yet i do look forward to them, to sleeping in a bit, having a long breakfast with my family, doing some gardening, meeting up with friend, painting my toenailss - and to letting myself unwind.

Some pictures from a recent weekend, that included a "girls about town" day with my lovely artist friend Barbara von Enger. Try our favorite summer drink; Rhubard juice with sparkly water (1st picture) - it's simple, but so refreshing and delicious!

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
Coco Chanel
A recent illustration of mine that got featured on BLACK FASHION, an inspiring magazine and blog about black fashion and culture - check it out!  Those of you who know me know, how much my art has always been inspired by colorful women and works of art from Africa and Haiti. Even as a kid i used to draw black women in colorful clothes and my husband likes to say that i must have lived in Africa in a former life! This illustration however was inspired by gorgeous model  Lais Ribeiro on a cover of VOGUE Germany some years ago.
Hope you enjoy summer as much as i do and have a fun week!

Illustration: Martine Voigt-Schmid 

Friday art: Franz Kline

Happy weekeend lovelies, how's your summer going?  I do enjoy to be outside a lot and paint out on the terrace,, whenever i can. Currently i'm inspired by bold black brushstrokes by american painter Franz Kline. His work is very male i find and it shows a lot of energy and powerful expression - a trust in the life of a painting that i want to achieve as well - even though my own style is different. 
Hope you'll have a lovely time ahead - am sending you sunshine!

Pretty things

Have been painting outside a lot lately, and enjoy how nature and the spirit of summer flows into my work. I don't paint what i see right now, but what i feel - energies, vibrations, how one thing communicates with the other, water, air, light, stars, molecules - you see, i'm a little high on summer right now and a bit "off" - which happens, when i paint.

Here's a little peek into my home - with some new paintings in the background. The pink orchid amazes me daily with her glamour, the little plate is something my son brought from Zimbabwe recently  and the round thing is actually a beautiful candle holder i got from a friend - it makes beautiful shadows when lighted!
Have a happy weekend lovelies!  

I've listed this post on "Flowery Friday!, a Link up celebrating the beauty of flowers,initiated by the lovely Trishe. Want to play along too?

Yes Monday!

Summer is ...
where girls go barefoot and their hearts are just as free as their toes!

A new portrait i did for a beautiful woman called Anna. Let's get into this tiny yellow car with her and take a ride along the Italian Riviera. We'll have espresso and biscotti in this tiny caf'e on the market place. Shop for some fruits and a new bikini in shady arcades, head over to the beach and walk along the shores, barefoot, before going for a swim in turquoise waters ... are you with me still?

Thanks for all  the wonderful comments i got on the Italian Riviera post last week, for all the new friends that showed up - i so enjoyed meeting you! Cheers to a FUNtastic week my lovelies - will come visit you soon! 

Holiday at the Italian Riviera

Italy is maybe my favorite country in Europe and i always look forward to having the first "Espresso" after crossing the border. I just love the musical language, the great treasures of  renaissance art and architecture, the simple but elegant cuisine, the fashion and the lively temperament of the people.
It's hard to say, what region of IItaly is most beautiful, because they all are. My brother and family are living in Rome, which i simply adore. But on our last visit, we went to Chiusanico in the provence of Imperia in Liguria, the northernmost part of the mediterranean, and fell in love with it too.

Olives and  Lemons fresh from the tree,  curved streets that climb up the hillside while offering magnificent views on the blue mediterranean, ancient medieval towns and castles to discover, lively beach villages with cafés and palm trees along the Promenade - the Italian Riviera and the Landscape called Liguria is what i now often dream of when i think about a perfect holiday. 

Wandering through the shady streets of Torria almost felt like time-travelling, and even though the town was so neat and romantic in every corner, it wasn't at all crowded. We caught glimpses of a mourning family, sitting in a little chapel,  saw a river running through it's stone carved bed right through the town, looked at roses climbing up the soft pink and yellow walls. ate wonderful pizza right out of the wood oven on the market place and bought beautifully wrapped sweets in a tiny store.

One day, we drove along the hills where the air was cool and misty and  the trees were covered in ivy. We saw a flock of goats climbing effortlessly up a very steep rock, visited a sanctuary to mother Mary tucked away in the woods, and took pictures of the "Castel vecchio" - the old castle, that proudly resides over this area.

Almost every afternoon, we spent in a little beach town called Varigotti, where a grand aunt of mine used to live after marrying the italian ambassador. Varigotti has the nicest little beach with only a few people and a great many pretty stones in all sizes and colors and it feels wonderful to walk barefoot along the shore .Hubby and i  love to lay on the beach for a few hours, soaking up the sun, listening to the waves - it's what never fails to recharge my batteries very quickly.

As for having a tiny mimi break in your day, make an espresso where ever you are and close your eyes ... can you hear the ocean? See more pictures of this trip here

This post is part of  Anitas Link Party. Go to her blog here and see many more posts about wonderful destinations in Europe.

Photos: Martine Voigt-Schmid