Home: Minimalist Nesting

21.12.16


I'm having this baby in just a few weeks/any time now and I haven't gotten much or bought much, I have borrowed most of the main things, a baby bay bed, car seat, chair and been given some clothes, cloth diapers, etc. But there is this overwhelming feeling like I need to buy a whole bunch of shit. A changing table, a play pen, breast pump, a new home to fill with many more things. The new baby shopping lists online and in books are incredibly long...

On the other hand, I feel a strong desire not to acquire anything at all. To just let this little baby lie naked in my arms against my breast. How much can this tiny human really need? He just needs love, snuggles, and boob right?


I'm getting the essentials ready and then just going to play it by ear. If we need something later on when he's (our babe is a boy, we recently found out) here we can get it.

The past few months I have been consistently getting rid of things in our home and garage that don't bring me joy. It seems when you have the space you fill it. I am not a minimalist by any means, but I have been paring down my possessions to the ones that really bring me joy. I'm really noticing a change in how I feel about our home because I've gotten rid of a lot of clutter. The minimalist struggle is real, especially when you are adding a family member to the mix.



To those mamas and papas, how do you keep your home and space from being cluttered once children join your family?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

Artist Residency - Berlin Art Institute

14.12.16

In September and October, I had the pleasure of attending Berlin Art Institute for a month long artist residency and it was a wonderful opportunity to get to know other working artists and to have a great space to work in the bustling city of Berlin.

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,






Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,
The studios are in this industrial area of Berlin called Weissensee. 

There was a good balance of structure and no structure at this artist residency. The well lit studio spaces were open for use 24 hours a day.  3 days a week Ralf Schmidt and Stephanie Jünemann (the founders and directors of the artist residency) planned insightful museum visits, workshops, guest lectures and group critiques.

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,
I slept in our van during the month long artist residency, because I couldn't afford renting a room and the residency fees.  I parked the van pretty much right across from the institute. It was great to live so close to my studio, because it meant I made the most of the space and was in there working most of every day I was in berlin.

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin, Vanlife,

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,


Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,
We visited a moving show by Gülsün Karamustafa called Chronographia, at the Hamburgerbahnhof which was a highlight. And I had the pleasure of meeting and hanging out with other working artists such as Raphael JaenCarolina Amaya, Brandy Eve Allen, Wyatt Mills and Matt Ross.

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,


Being at the Berlin Art Institute Artist Residency really wet my lips to do more artist residencies. It's such a wonderful opportunity to get to know a city, make work in a new space, and connect with other working artists. My husband Dominik and I are hoping to spend some time at other artist residencies around the world in our lifetime. Dominik a prolific musician and I am an artist so residencies could be great fits for us, if we can make enough money to fund our practices. I've applied to one in Barcelona, we'll see if they want me and we can make it work.

Artist Residency, Artist Studio, artist talk, berlin,




Thanks for reading lovelies!

Anna




Artist Talk-Play

5.12.16

I had been very blocked and somewhat sporadic in my art making since art school. I also had been teaching art for the past 4 years so the pressure to make great art was on. But this fall, upon taking time and spending resources on my art, I finally felt free to just PLAY. 

artist, Artist Studio, artist talk, collage, figurative, painting, photography, realismI went into the studio every day in September and much of October without the pressure to make great work but just to explore and experiment. I ended up with a lot of work that was mediocre and several pieces that were bad, but some work that was exciting and really clicking. 

artist, Artist Studio, artist talk, collage, figurative, painting, photography, realismMy work before this had been quite controlled and overly contemplated. Somewhat heady. I knew I needed to let go and make my work match my current feeling about life which has felt very much out of my control (more on that in my previous post).

artist, Artist Studio, artist talk, collage, figurative, painting, photography, realism
I began working with inks and watery acrylic which forced me to work quickly and intuitively and just play. So not thinking much and working with materials that are tickier to control was a great start to this process of giving up control and letting go. My mind couldn't interrupt too much. There just wasn't time and the paint can only move with your guidance, it has a life of its own in many respects when it is so thin.

artist, Artist Studio, artist talk, collage, figurative, painting, photography, realism

When you want to get back into creative flow, what tricks do you use?

Is there something that you have been wanting to get back into but feel the perfectionist pressure to produce amazing work from the get go?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

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New Artwork

25.9.16


Artist Residency, Berlin Artist Studio, AnnaBaer
my studio space at Berlin Art Institute
When telling Dominik (my husby) about this opportunity to go to an artist residency, he, at first, was hesitant, because it wasn't cheap...and I would be away from him for a month. The same reasons I was quite hesitant about it. But then after just a nights sleep he was pretty sure I should do it. He even insisted that I attend. It would be such a great opportunity and I am so very pleased I have taken it. 

I am at the end of my second week here and I could not be more grateful for my time so far. I am away from all distractions, I'm in the young art capital of Germany, and am surrounded by other wonderful creatives. I have nothing I have to do except grow this little baby in my belly and make art. How wonderful is my life! 
AnnaBaerStudioArtistAbstractFigurative
I have been working in several mediums, painting, photography, and collage. I am making some things that I am really loving. My new artwork is communicating where my mind is and what I've been noticing about my thinking lately. Since becoming pregnant by life and this baby's life have been both in and out of my control.

At the beginning of the pregnancy my life felt totally out of control. I was feeling terribly, I feared a miscarriage, I was told by my doctor that I couldn't work at school for the duration of the pregnancy! What? I didn't feel like it was me or my life I was living. Totally out of control. When things are out of my control I have to kind of re-find my footing and try to live in this balance of chaos and control. I needed to make the most of this time of pivot and change in my life. And as an artist it's only natural that these thoughts and experiences manifest themselves in my artwork.

I’m curious about finding calm and contentment in the places we are and the places we want to be, in times we can take charge and times we have to let go. In these tiny mini paintings,  I hope to bring you into a tiny tranquil, restful space as I share my investigation into control and freedom.
Tiny round painting mixed media collage artist contemporary

Tiny round painting mixed media collage artist contemporary

The second series that I am pleased with is a diptych of photographs I took which follow in this idea of control and letting go of control. As mentioned above, this was really emphasized when I became pregnant. I felt a total lack of control over my body and the baby's health, but there is a beauty in this surrender of control.

This work is a stand alone piece or part of a diptych in my quiet series. In these photographs I take a posture of peaceful surrender to the task of carrying a child.        

photograph, photography, portrait, portraiture, quiet, woman, women, calm, selfportrait, figurative, maternal, minimalism

photograph, photography, portrait, portraiture, quiet, woman, women, calm, selfportrait, figurative, maternal, minimalism

photograph, photography, portrait, portraiture, quiet, woman, women, calm, selfportrait, figurative, maternal, minimalism

It's a bit scary to put myself out there this much. Especially my artwork, I am self-conscious and struggle to be content with the work I produce. But I am finally creating consistently and making meaningful work and it feels so good!!! 

Do you find that my work communicates my intentions? I'd love to hear your feedback. 

Thanks for reading lovelies!

Anna
           

Hosting and Guesting on Airbnb

19.9.16

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of home lately. Where I feel at home? What makes me feel at home? How I'm a homebody. And I've been thinking about how I love to share my home. I recently remembered that as a kid I wanted to run a guest house. I guess I already had the hospitality bug back then.

I've already done a post about how hospitality enriches life. That post was about hospitality in general, but I also wanted to share about our wonderful experiences with Airbnb as guests and hosts. Airbnb is a website on which private people can rent out rooms in their homes, or their whole flats to people traveling to their area.


We began our love for Airbnb as guests. As a traveler, Airbnb a great way to have cheap accommodation and to stay in a more comfortable space than at a hostel or hotel. Generally you have access to a kitchen, which is nice for preparing breakfasts and making tea in the evenings. But it's also fun to get to know locals and get some insider tips about places to go and see in their town. We've stayed in people's homes in Amsterdam, Berlin, and London. Again, I'm a 30 year old, home body, who generally travels on a budget so staying at someone's home when traveling is a lot more comfortable for me than a shared bedroom in a hostel.


As a host, it's not only a great source of extra moneys but a fun way to meet people and share your cozy space with them. There is a great accountability system in place on the website which rates the guests and hosts on communication and cleanliness, etc. It's also great because the payments happen through the website which gives both parties some security, and just saves for that awkward moment of asking for payment in person. We have yet to have guests who were disruptive, or super messy. They have all been very pleasant and fun to host.

About two years ago, a couple arrived at our home, just excited to have a home-base after having backpacked for 3 weeks. The man was a chef and they voluntarily and lovingly slaved away in our kitchen preparing us an amazing meal, which we enjoyed in the garden together. This is just one example of a lot of fun guests we have had over the years. And you get paid for this! The extra cash is great, don't get me wrong but meeting people and sharing our home is the best part.




So if you don't have a van to travel in for your next vacation, try out Airbnb. Or if you have an extra room and are interested in sharing your wicked space and getting some pocket money, try out Airbnb. You may be surprised at the good vibes and fun to be had in a shared economy experience like this.

Where is your next dream travel destination?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

Series: if our home were on fire #2

16.9.16

if our home were on fire #2 , Anna Baer, 2015, photograph

I photograph you and write to you as a way of saying good bye, in case we ever part ways. You've been precious to me.

If I could take a few possessions with me in case of an evacuation, I would take this box brownie camera. It is a camera from 1901. This is the first hand held camera for the masses. It was easy to operate and conveniently used film instead of glass negatives. I bought this camera for a steal at an antique store in Spokane, Washington for 10$. At the time I acquired it, I was I was working in the photography darkroom a lot and was falling in love with the process. 

I know I could replace it, but it represents my love for photography and capturing beautiful moments of life. It also, because it is such an important camera historically, represents my love and appreciation of art history. I love being part of this long history of artistic pursuits and delighting in the every day. 

I photograph you and write to you as a way of saying good bye, in case we ever part ways. You've been precious to me.

What is a precious possession you have been holding on to?

What stories are connected to it?  Bring it out from where it was hiding and display it.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna