My 2019 Art Goals

2018 was an incredibly prolific year, we both (Dominik, my husband and myself) brought out so much new art, it is wild. We are finishing up the final bits of our year long collaboration which started with a crowdfund in Jan 2018. To see more about that project visit dominikbaer.com

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2019 is an exciting year because we will be welcoming our second baby boy into our lives at the end of February, we are going into our third year as almost full-time artists, and we will be creating new artwork. There are many things that are still up in the air about this year. Dominik’s tour dates and my exhibition dates are becoming finalised but we know there are exciting things to come up that we can’t anticipate.

I have been using this intentional goal planner called the Cultivate What Matters goal planner and it has helped me to get clarity about things that are important to me right now, and what I want to prioritise moving forward. I have 4 art related goals that I am focusing on so far in 2019… here goes.

  1. Rest + relax and treat myself

  2. Take time to make / prioritize studio time

  3. Make a living on my art

  4. Write and launch my 1st e-course

In the next few blog posts, I will share more details about each of these art related goals.

My other two, more personal, goals are…

  1. shower Dominik with support, love, and booty ; )

  2. Be present and active with my sons.

What are your goals for 2019?
Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

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Our Beautiful Natural Birth

It’s Vigo’s birthday, He turns 2 today.

I am preparing to give birth to my second son in just about one month, so I am finally going to share my first born son, Vigo’s birth story.

I know we don't often hear beautiful natural birth stories. Which is sad. The birth stories that are shared the most are the traumatic, long ones that end with interventions. But I am so pleased to share our beautiful birth story with you. And to be honest, I am so glad that I researched, practiced and envisioned giving birth before embarking on the adventure. I'm also so glad that I had the midwives that I did because they really fought hard to keep our birth adventure natural.

I want to say this from the start. I know that every birth experience and every woman is different. I know also that many complications can happen and things can get critical fast. But I also know that we women have been giving birth naturally and calmly for centuries and that intervention should be an exception not the norm. I'm so very grateful that we were able to have a natural and calm birth. I pretty much had a dream birth and was able to stay calm and relaxed through most of it.

So it began…It started slowly and was relaxed. I had been having pretty consistent and comfortable contractions for about a week and a half before our baby Vigo was born. A few days before he joined us, my cervix was already 3cm dilated. My comfortable contractions had been doing good slow work. I was still able to sleep at night, and was comfortable enough to go on long walks to try to induce harder labor.

My mama joined us for the birth. So did my friends Amy and Julia.

Our baby was 10 days "overdue" when the midwives said that if I wanted to avoid a hospital birth, I would have to drink a cocktail with castor oil in it to induce labor. It's hard to get doctors to sign off on a home birth or birthing center birth so long after my estimated due date. So on Monday the 16th of January, I drank a disgusting cocktail with castor oil, apricot juice, champagne, and cream. Castor oil is non-digestable so it ignited a flushing effect, to clear my digestive tract and induce stronger contractions. It worked. Within 3 hours I finally went into harder labor. Yay! Vigo was coming to join us today!

The midwife sent us for a walk and I had to stop every 7 minutes or so to breath through the surges (contractions).  We came back after an hour and I had some pretty strong back pain, so I got into the birthing pool that they have at the birthing center. It relieved some back pain and helped me to relax. After a few hours of laboring in the pool, Dominik coaching me to relax my whole body and let my uterus do the great work, I got out of the pool. Our midwife checked my progress and said that my cervix was fully dilated and she could feel that part of the amniotic sac was pressing out of it.

I lay on the bed on my side. I told our midwife that I had the urge to push. But it was so early in labor, how could I already have this urge to push. She said if I feel I need to push, I should. So I did, and my water broke like a horizontal geyser all over the midwife's and Dominik's arms. It was over 2 liters of water, and shot about 2 meters out. Haha.

Our midwife said that the excessive amniotic fluid was most likely what was keeping the strong labor from starting. The amniotic sac was acting as a pillow around the baby, so his head couldn't fully descend into my pelvis and ignite labor. So once my water broke, the surges got stronger, but baby's heart beat got weaker. 

We discovered that the only position that would stabilize the baby's heart-rate was if I was on all 4s with an exercise ball under my chest. This position put a lot of strain on my back. I begged to try a few other positions, but the midwives (now two) insisted on me laboring in this position and that between surges I was to breath deeply into my belly to give the baby more oxygen. I later found out that the baby's heart-rate was quite critical and it looked like I would have to be transferred to the hospital, and they thought it would end in C-section. But with their coaching and Dom's reminding me to breath deeply into my belly, we were able to continue there.

I was pushing during surges and relaxing and breathing during the breaks. This is the wonderful thing about labor. It is hard work and then a break. Hard work and then a break. I also was envisioning my body doing the work and the baby moving down and making progress. I could also feel as he moved into my pelvis and back a bit during the breaks. It was an amazing experience. I kept on talking to our little baby out loud saying how excited we were to meet him and that he's doing such a good job working with me on this journey.

After an hour and a half of hard work the midwives said I should reach down and feel my baby. I could already feel his head. I lost it, with happy tears! He was almost here! This gave me so much motivation because I could really feel the progress. It wouldn't be long before we met him.

For about half an hour I had several strong surges and pushed hard during each one and rested hard between them. I liked this part of labor because I could feel me stretching and him moving down so much. It was the most difficult but the most rewarding.

I felt so strong and so connected with the baby and with Dominik. I kept on talking to my baby, saying how happy I was he was finally coming to join our family. Then one strong push and his head was out. Rested waiting for another surge. The last surge I pushed so hard and his shoulders and body came out. I reached under me and picked up my baby. And I put him to my chest.

We were a family. The three of us. It felt so natural and wonderful having his warm little body against mine and mine against Dominik's. I don’t know if I have ever felt more close to nature and as wild as I did on the day of Vigo’s birth.

He was healthy and beautiful and we had all worked so well together. I was so proud of us and so happy to finally meet this little person who had been with me for the past 9 months. We all cried together. It was just wonderful! 

I was in heaven. I could not believe this was our little baby. He was finally here. He's ours. He's a combination of Dominik and myself. We are all he knows and he has found home in us.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

 

Thank you Julia Sentman for the beautiful photographs. We will treasure them for always.

Kunst 2: EBERHARD ROSS

Eberhard Ross’s work blew me away. It was so refreshing. So subtle and quiet and so hectic in the details. It was stunning. The detail, the pictures don’t do this justice you need to see his beautiful work live.

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Eberhard Ross, I recently visited his show at Kunst2 gallery in Heidelberg. His work is quiet and gentle. It is calming and energetic. From a few meters away it seems so simple, a radiating gradient, and then when you get closer to it, you see that there are little marks, squiggles, and lines, scratched into the top layer of oil paint. He is going on my art wishlist. I just love his work.

I absolutely loved his work. Wow. It radiates it’s definitely worth seeing!

SILENTIUM

EBERHARD ROSS

24.11.2018 – 26.01.2019

Kunst 2

Heidelberg, Germany

Thank you for reading lovelies,

Anna

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Where do I want to be when I'm 80...

I’ve been working on some goal setting for 2019 and have been thinking big picture in terms of envisioning my life and how I want it to be. When it comes to being an artist, but also as a mother, wife, friend, and human in general, it is about the long game. Slowly and steadily making progress and growth.

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When reading about some of my favorite artists, I am continuously inspired by their long artistic careers. These artists I admire, are active and prolific well into their 70s and 80s. What a wonderful prospect that is to possibly have 4 or 5 more decades of art making ahead of me. What an adventure this life is and will be.

Robert Rauschenberg kept making work and an impact until 82, Helen Frankenthaler was creating art until she died at 83.

Where do I want to be when I'm 80? Here are my hopes and what I imagine being important to me at 80…

-Dominik and I will live small, but I will paint in my big studio. Fame is not important to me, but being able to keep creating art and supporting my family is what I prioritize.

- I want to be active in the studio and stay adventurous. I will have studios in a few different places. We will travel to see family throughout the year, a few months in Thailand, a few months in the U.S. a few months in Europe, where ever the boys end up. Yup Vigo, we will follow you and your family around.

-Dominik and I will be enjoying each other and adventuring together, making love and romance, as well as making art and music. I have found such a wonderful partner in Dominik and I want to be sure to prioritize our partnership throughout life.

-I want to be encouraging other artists to be making work authentically their own. Inviting artists and creatives into my studio, teaching, mentoring, as well as collecting living artists' work when possible.

-I will do my part in terms of justice, stewardship and environmental impact throughout life. I will encourage the good and beautiful that I see around me and will live mindfully.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna (Olive Green Anna)

This post is inspired by the 2019 #Powersheets goal planner.

Where do you see you, when you're 80? What will be and won't be important to you then?

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How to stay positive during childbirth

With my upcoming second birth, I am publishing this post for myself more than anyone. I wrote it just a few months after Vigo’s birth but never published it. But I need to remind myself some of these things now, so here goes….

April 20, 2017

My, what an adventure giving birth is. When pain and suffering are so close to beauty and life.  I'm no expert on birthing, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how positive I was able to stay during labor with my first baby. Here are some things that helped me to stay positive:

  1. Visualize what is occurring in you body. You body knows how to give birth. Your uterus is pressing this baby out and working so hard. The best thing you can do is try to relax the rest of your body and give my uterus all the energy and blood it needs to work effectively. It's such a strong and amazing muscle. It's not really pain, it's power. The surges can't be stronger than you, the surges are you. My body is working so hard to push this baby out join it, don't resist it.

  2. Know that every surge (contraction) brings your baby closer to you. This really helped me especially at the beginning of a surge. Because I would want to resist the pain, I would start to squirm and tense up and then with Dom's coaching and my practice, I was able to relax and remember that each surge brings my baby closer. We were making progress.

  3. Talk to your baby. Between surges I talked to our little boy out loud. Saying how happy I was that today we would meet and encouraging him in the good work we were doing together. I kept on saying, "My baby, we're so happy we're going to meet you. You're doing so well."

  4. Relax and rest during breaks in surges (contractions). Along with speaking to my baby, I just tried to breath deeply and relax my body between pushes. I was trying to reserve my strength for when I would work with my body.

  5. Remember that this won't last forever. This really helped me during labor. To know that I wouldn't be doing this hard work forever. It would come to an end and it would come to a beautiful end at that. I was just viewing it as a really intense wonderful workout. A marathon that ends with a wonderful gift!

  6. Know that women all over the world are giving birth right along with you. And women have been giving birth successfully for centuries. We were made to do this. I have so much respect for mothers now that I am a mother. Giving birth is a big feat, just think of all the amazing women who have given birth to their children.

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Before giving birth I prepared and practiced for the birth itself. In addition to taking a birthing class at our birthing center I also read 3 books about childbirth, Childbirth Without FearHypnobirthing, and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way. There is always the possibility for complications to occur during childbirth, but I wanted to plan for the most natural and calm birth possible.

Hypnobirthing and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way were both wonderful resources which explained what is occurring during childbirth. This really helped me to envision my uterus doing hard work and believing that every surge (contraction) was bringing my baby closer to me. These books also provided resources about how to relax your body, to submit and join your body in doing the work.

I have never felt so close to nature as I did when in labor, giving birth to my child. I am amazed at how powerful our bodies are. I am so proud and so glad to be a woman and to be able to have joined with my body in the incredible experience of giving birth.

Any other moms out there have tips for ways to stay positive during labor? What have I forgotten?

Thanks for reading lovelies.

Anna

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