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

Anna BaerComment
Hi, I'm Anna (Olive Green Anna)
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I realised recently that there are several of you that are reading my blog for the first time and I haven’t introduced myself in a while…

I’m a working artist and gallery owner in Heidelberg, Germany. I paint abstract expressionistic mixed media paintings for emerging collectors all over the world. I take care of my babeies part-time and make art and run my creative business part-time. As an artist, I have never been so far along in a body of work, as I am right now. I am continuously learning and using new materials, pushing my practice and boundaries further and further. Parenthood is an inspiring and wild time. My experiences loosing a child, birthing a child, and raising a child have taken me and my painting to places I could never have expected.

I taught art for 4 years at an international school in Heidelberg. It was a wonderful time, but during that time I was barely making any of my own work. I studied art in Uni, in Washington State, printmaking, actually and I loved how structured and process based it was. I am all about the process. I learn so much about me and the world when I paint.

I’ve been on parental leave from my art teaching job, thank you Germany, and have been focusing on making art in my studio for the past two and a half years. I love teaching. I’m most definitely not done teaching, as a matter of fact I am pre-launching a new online course so stay tuned on Instagram.

What creative desire have you been wanting to put into motion?

In just 2 days my husband and I are going to be performing and giving a talk at TEDx Heidelberg. I am excited and delighted to share more of our journey there on the stage. Wish us luck.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

Anna BaerComment
I cannot be a great mom and a great artist.

This is a major limiting believe that I have carried with me the past 10 years, or maybe lifetime.

I cannot be a brilliant and prolific artist as well as an attentive and nurturing mother.

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My career as an artist began, with motherhood. Before this, I taught art for 5 years, ran an online vintage shop, and lead creative workshops. But not until 3 years ago, while pregnant with Vigo, did I start painting for me and selling my work. Upon becoming a mother I became an ‘real’ artist.

I don’t yet know where this belief came from, I may have to seek counselling on the subject. There is a pressure for mothers in general to always be present with their children. To be there for them all the time. There is also a strong natural inclination to do so.

But as a working mama, who wants to thrive at my job and passion and in motherhood, I consistently am confronted with this self doubt about whether I am falling short in both respects.

“I cannot,'“ is just not true. Now, I have decided that I can…

What could this look like, what could being a great mom and a great artist look like? This is what I began imagining…

-I take chunks of time in the studio to perfect my craft and build a body of work. Ideally at least 3 days a week. Sharing the childcare time with my husband Dominik.

-I make beautiful work that is unique to me, that speaks to and moves people. That adds beauty to this life and (at times) bleak world.

-I make a good living as a visual artist, I could do what I love and support my family. We could be flexible and free in our lifestyle and I could be making and selling art to pay all our expenses.

-I want to be WITH my children. Enjoying and delighting in them when we spend time together.

-My children (1 child so far) are so beautiful and fun. I want to savour my time with them, especially when they are so small, cuddly and their brains are making millions of new connections a day.

-Let go of MOM GUILT and know that I am most happy when I am both working in the studio and spending time with my babies. If I were a full-time stay-at-home-mama, I would be pretty miserable. A happy, healthy, and balanced mama is of great benefit to my offspring. A miserable and overwhelmed mama who is around all the time, would not be best for their little hearts’ and brains’ maturity.


I am so grateful to share the parenting role 50/50 with my husband. This has freed me up to really take time with my son Vigo as well as put in good and consistent hours in my studio and art career. What a dream scenario.


My limiting belief is being dismounted and a few of my goals for this coming year are to…

  • Be present and active with my boys (yes we are having another boy.)

  • Take time to make, prioritise my studio practice.


Wish me luck! I’ve been practicing this the past two years, with Vigo, but I am so excited and delighted to add a new baby to our lives and see how we can make this work, while having two small children in our home and lives.

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What is a limiting belief that you believe? Imagine the possibilities if this were possible. What would it look like? It is possible.

Decide that you can.


Thanks for reading lovelies.


Anna

10 lessons I have learned in 2018
Heidelberg artist, abstract painter
  1. With a supportive partner, even pregnant ladies and tired moms can have thriving businesses.

  2. Allocating roles makes life smoother. We have finally, after 7+ years of marriage, realised that Dominik doesn’t dislike cooking as much as I do, and I don’t mind cleaning as much as he does, so Dominik does most of the cooking and I do most of the cleaning. We haven’t had an argument about cleaning yet this year and it used to be a weekly quarrel.

  3. Getting rid of clutter in our home makes cleaning and tending so much easier.

  4. When we pull back our expenses we free up time and funds for other things…

  5. I have a lot of wisdom/resources to share, I just need to take the time to do so.

  6. If I keep making art and putting my art out there, I will keep selling.

  7. Our kids are tiny for such a short time, I want to savour every moment of it.

  8. My personal art style emerges when I keep making and following my intuition.

  9. I thrive when working outside of the home, in my studio.

  10. Dominik and I can work together well and create a beautiful body of work inspired by one another an our experiences. We haven’t always been the best at collaborating artistically. I am very independent and usually don’t like input in my artistic practice. But this year I enjoyed creating a large scale abstract painting to every one of his new songs he released. It has been a wild ride for us and I am so proud to share the whole project with Heidelberg on December 20th, at Karlstorbahnhof in Heidelberg.

What is one lesson you have learned so far in 2018?

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

Anna BaerComment
5 surprises, since becoming a working artist

I have been an artist, making art about 30 hours a week for 2.5 years. What an honor. #blessed.

When I think back on it so far, I have made quite a bit of progress in some surprising areas. There have been a few things that I didn’t expect, ways that I have grown and truths about art making that I have learned since being a practicing artist.

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Abandoning Perfectionism:

I have not made a perfect piece of work in my years of making. I have made some decent work, some good work, a few great pieces, but nothing perfect. I cannot expect this of myself. I should have high expectations and standards for my work that I call finished, but I cannot expect perfection. I wouldn’t make anything if that were the goal.

making before I had any ideas:

Where do you get your ideas? Someone asked me the other day. I remember just starting out painting again and not knowing where to even start. I painted nests and birds, landscapes, and portraits, I bought art supplies and canvas sizes and shapes that were on sale, to just start making again.

I have found that the ideas come when we start, and they keep coming if we keep making. When I don’t know what to do in the studio, just some color mixing, tidying, canvas prepping, collage material clipping, or other such studio tasks usually give me the time to come up with some great ideas.

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Process based art making:

What keeps me sane as an artist, is focusing on expression, play and experimentation in the studio. I just love working with materials and getting into the work. I love adding layers, pushing fluid paints, writing stream of consciousness. My work’s energy is in the making of it, the finished product is secondary.

Sales can be service:

This has been one of the most surprising things.

I am noticing that painting hasn’t only brought me healing and insight, but it has also spoken to others and brought them some beautiful reflection too. I was not expecting that such a selfish act, as painting for myself, could actually end up being an act of service to others.

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Addicted to the studio:

I am also surprised by this. When I was teaching art, my own artistic practice was near non-existent. My art would call my name, but I would ignore it because I was so out of practice, didn’t know where to start and felt so out of touch with my artist. Now, if I am out of the studio for 3 days I start getting pretty antsy and have to get into the studio, even if it is just for a short time during my child’s nap.


Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna (Olive Green Anna)

What is your biggest struggle right now, when it comes to art?

Self Care as an artist-mother

Tonight, I have the evening to myself. The boys are gone, they went to a concert an hour away.

I stayed in. My to-do list is miles long. Things to do for the gallery, paintings to stretch and work on, vacuuming, gardening, I haven't mopped the kitchen floor in weeks. yuck.  But I realized more than anything that I needed some self-care, some me-time. Moms really need this and so do artists.

My two jobs these days are to be an artist and mother. There is a lot of giving that takes place in both roles. A lot of emotional energy used to communicate and connect in the process of painting and parenting. It is physically challenging, carrying these ever heavier babes and stretching large canvas.

So instead of tackling my to do list right away. I took a hot shower, ran to the store to buy a frozen pizza and watched an art documentary. My heart, and my introvert tank got a little bit filled up. I then took some time in the studio. Shortly after, I painted my nails, even though as a painter, a manicure is pretty useless. Painting my nails is a great practice that I try to keep up, because it guarantees that I don't accomplish anything with my hands for a good 30 minutes. I am not able to pick up anything, or work on anything, hold a baby, or clean anything.

I just have to sit and wait for the paint to dry. sigh. relax.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

What do you do to re-energize?

 

Anna BaerComment
the Zeitgenießische, The Time-enjoyer
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Dominik took our shoes to the local shoemaker to get them repaired. He saw the space was open for rent and came home and told me. I immediately thought, 'this could be our gallery.'  The Zeitgenießische was born.

Zeitgenießische' is a made up play on words in german. It sounds like the word for 'contemporary.' but actually means 'time-enjoying'. We enjoyed the past 6 months in our Zeitgenießische pop up gallery so much.

I am so proud, proud of this venture, proud of our participating artists, proud of our community, proud of my family, proud of myself. 

Dominik Baer (my partner in art and life), and I signed the lease on the gallery and decided to make a little space to:

  • support the art scene in Heidelberg-Pfaffengrund.

  • present our work, curate and present the work of our contemporaries.

 

We had an incredible exhibition season. We have had 7 shows in 5 months thus far, 3 solo shows from locally based artists, 3 international group shows, and one bike art show.  We even showed two artists' work from our little borough of Heidelberg, Pfaffengrund. #pfaffengrundnightlife

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I fell in love with the space. The big storefront window, the high ceilings, the scuffed up floors holding reminisce of the shoemaker, who occupied the space for 40 years before us. How special to occupy a space with such a history of craftsmanship. The space is so charming.

And got to know our part of town better. I got to know local lottery kiosk and flower shop owners by bringing posters by for events all summer.  Felt more part of a local and international art community then ever before. We had such nice little artist and collector gatherings on sunday afternoons during our regular opening hours.

This exhibition season is coming to a close. We have an artist talk on August 29th, 2018, with Jessica Serran and then a solo show with yours truly on September 7th, and then we are closing the pop up gallery to the public.

The Zeitgennießische Galerie, Heidelberg, is not dead, I have a strong feeling that it may pop up again sometime.  Maybe even next summer, because I have loved running the gallery, and having the open space.

I am however, realizing that I would like a break from organizing exhibitions, and hosting, I am going to be focusing on making new work, applying to residencies, and trying to get my work into other galleries. This next season is going to be a season of focus on my own practice, making what I need to make, and pushing my work out, to hopefully make more opportunities open up in our future.

This gallery was a risk, a financial and time investment for us (me especially), but I am so thrilled to have welcomed so many of you into the gallery and exposed you to great art in person.

Thank you for your continuing support and for joining us on this artistic journey. What will the future hold? What will we stumble upon next?

Anna

 

zeitgenießische: Olive Green Anna solo show.

Our first exhibition at the Zeitgenießische Galerie, Heidelberg is a solo show of my new work which I have been making in collaboration with my husband Dominik Baer. He is bringing out a new song every month and I am painting a new work in response to each song. 

The songs are singles, they are very differing in subject and style. My paintings are therefore very varied. Which is a challenge for me because I tend to work in series.

The largest work in the show is called Spinning Out, it is and energetic adventurous song about taking the leap into the unknown. I was so active when making this work, writing in big strokes spinning not the floor, sweeping layers of gesso over previous painted layers, swirling big spaces of paint together, scripting spray words over and over. On the other hand, Fall (the monochromatic one in black and white), is a very call quiet song about failing and getting back up. The piece visually represents the melody and vibes of the song. It is simplistic and calm, 

I'm honing in on my synesthesia skills, practicing the art of communicating one sense into another. I am incredibly inspired by this project. It is challenging me in my practice. I am trying out a variety of techniques and processes.

I initially didn't want to join Dominik in this project, I am fiercely independent and I knew the tunes that we were putting out this year. I knew I would have to paint a piece about our adventures, simplicity, miscarriage, and mind games. Did I really want to take this challenge on. I was hesitant but I am so glad that I agreed. Each song is very differing and there for each painting in this body of work is different. I am loving this time of experimentation and discovery. Letting each song dictate my movements and use of color. 

These are the first 5 paintings, the next 7 are yet to come. They will all be displayed when completed together in an exhibition at the end of 2018. We are planning a big exhibition, concert and screening of our project. More info on that come winter. 

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

 

To hear the first 5 tunes listen to Dominik Baer on Spotify. 

Anna BaerComment
Zeitgenießische Galerie, Heidelberg
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We found out last month, when bringing our shoes to get repaired at the local shoemaker's, that the shoemaker has passed on. He was well on in years, but it is still sad. This Schuhmeister was a staple in our part of town. He and his predecessor had been making and repairing shoes for decades in this little storefront space. 

Zeitgenießische Galerie, Heidelberg, Contemporary Art Gallery

When we saw the space, I immediately thought this could be our gallery.  I have always had a fascination with giving things a new life. My love and passion for vintage clothing, my delight in collage using old books and materials. I am honoured to be in this space, which hosted skilled craftsmen. We are overjoyed to bring new life into the space and present our craft and the amazing work of our contemporaries. 

This charming little space was available and so, here it is: The Zeitgenießische Galerie, Heidelberg. "Zeitgenießische Galerie" is a made up word sounding like the word for Contemporary Gallery and meaning the "time savoring gallery". 

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I've been dreaming up some curatorial projects and have been wanting to start a gallery to show my work and curate work of my contemporaries. Dominik and I are are going to host art exhibitions, artist meet ups, concerts, workshops and hopefully some pop up shop/cafes. 

So the Zeitgenießiche Gallery, Heidelberg was born. 

We're celebrating a big opening in just one week. April 7th we will be opening our doors with some of my new work and new tunes from Dominik Baer & his band. We're not only celebrating the opening of a new creative space in Heidelberg, but also the successful crowdfund of Dominik's new Visual Album "Colliding In The Dark". 

Come visit and join in the festivities. They will be begin at 7pm and go until 10pm. Kranichweg 35, Pfaffengrund, Heidelberg is the address. Just look for the sweet little storefront and the crowd of arty people. 

If you have been needing a space to try a creative project idea or present your handmade art or goods please feel free to contact us. We are excited to collaborate with other creatives and showcase amazing makers in the area!

Thank you for joining us on this journey. 

Thanks for reading lovelies.

Anna

Behind the Painting: Fall

I'm proud to present a little clip about my thoughts and process behind the painting I did for Dominik's song FALL. It's my first monochromatic painting since my printmaking days in Uni. 

Making work in response to Dominik's calendar album #collidinginthedark has been a challenge so far. Each song is completely different, which calls for different visual elements. This is my second piece for the album, I am excited and curious to see how the next 10 turn out.

thanks for reading and watching lovelies,

Anna

Outdoor Studio Before/After
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This summer I was in my beautiful outdoor studio at least 3 days a week. Dom and I are splitting the work schedule, taking time for our creative practices and taking time for Vigo, our baby boy. At the start of summer we took a few days and cleared out our bike shed and transformed it into this lovely outdoor studio space. Here are a few shots of the space before. 

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before

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after

We had a budget close to nothing, so we cleared it out, painted some banisters, removed some disintegrating plastic sheeting and voila' I had a new studio space. 

It's been great to work outside. because I have been incorporating spray paint into my work. I began using spray because I did a small public work for Metropolink urban art festival in Heidelberg, and was commissioned to paint a few bike frames for Ruprecht Rides. Spraying outside is always good.

But also working outdoors has been wonderfully influential to my work and process. I paint when it is light out, my day has a bit more of a natural rhythm. I also have left a few paintings out in the rain, and the wind has blown leaves into the wet paint, etc, which just adds that extra bit of wild to my work. 

My current work is about wild and influence, chaos and control. I've had a beautiful summer in this studio and can't wait for warm days to come back for me to really be able to enjoy it again. 

My time in my beautiful outdoor studio is coming to an end for this year. It's getting a little bit too cold. I'll be moving inside soon. 

I'll be sharing some exciting news about upcoming artistic adventures so stay tuned! I actively share my work on Instagram and studio sneak peeks. So if you'd like to head over there,

 

Thanks for reading lovelies, 

Anna

Studio Day ////// video

Wild vs. Influence

We can control and loose control. We choose and let happen. We give and take. It's always a balance. It's not that one overpowers the other. But the other gives from time to time. Life is a balance. Is that a ying or yang, a god or a man, a child and an adult. And everything in between. The imbalance and balance the same. independent of time. We can have both incredibly tormented and a very rich lives.

It's like giving birth. Every surge and push, pushes the little babe to the next level. One step further. Then I needed rest. Rest came. The time of rest was not long enough but it came. It was what I needed.

There are things that are out of our control. Like our health, our job situation. Naturally we can influence our surroundings but sometimes we are ultimately out of our control.

Like a good friend leaving, or having to loose a good friend, you've had so many great times with them, in a period that didn't seem long enough. We can be grateful for the time we had with them, and enjoy the moments we have with them at present.

A friend of ours' relative died out of nowhere with a brain aneurysm. She was two year older than me and had had a child. She had no control of that random occurrence. When thinking about how short life could be, I can't help but want to live life now.

Focus on life now and do what feels most me, and best for my family right now.

My art work is this push and pull of materials. It's a meditation of control and letting go. Wild and restraint. When in my studio I am, present and it is meditative. It's a dance of influence and wild.

 

Thanks for reading and watching lovelies!

 

Anna

summer in the studio

My outdoor space to work is wonderfully wild. I love making so close to nature. It is super warm mid day in the summer, an amazing space to work in in the mornings and evenings. I was working in there this evening when it began to rain and I could hear the pitter patter of the drops above my head. 

At times the wind blows dirt into the wet paint on my canvas in process, or it pushes the liquidy paints around when I'm not looking. Nature is wild and I am happy to collaborate with her when I make art. A few weeks ago as you may have seen on my instagram stories, that I left a few paintings out in a storm, just to let go of control a little bit more and let the wild take over.

Thanks for reading lovelies,

Anna

The Artist's Way: 5 Ways I've changed
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I've been reading and working through this book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It's an artist recovery program. It's supposed to take 12 weeks. Whoops. I started it in august last year and am on "Week 11" now. It's been an incredible journey to recover my creative self. I would recommend this course/program to anyone who feels blocked as an artist. Anyone who wants to take time to make and discover/recover your artist.

One of the tasks for this week is to list 5 ways I have changed since beginning my recovery:

A painting is never finished- it simply stops in interesting places.
— Paul Gardner
  1. I have practiced making work consistently. Before the program I was making, but I hadn't been making consistently since college, 8 years ago! Yikes. This is because my day job has fallen away and I have taken the time to make. I also have been diminishing my inner perfectionist, and seeing my work as a practice, without the pressure for perfection. Calling works done when they reach an interesting point.
  2. I now call myself an artist. I have never been able to call myself an artist. I was always a creative person. I was an art teacher. I was an art major. But never an ARTIST.. Now, I can say and believe that I am an artist. It's a big step. You other artists know what I'm talking about!
  3. I have sold over 15 works. I hadn't sold any work for 8 years either and this past 7 months I have sold over 15 paintings. That's something to be proud of. It's an honor to have people start and add to their art collections with my work.
  4. I have begun nurturing my artist. In this 12 week (step) recovery program Julia Cameron encourages us to do morning pages, 3 pages of writing, and taking our artist on weekly "artist dates." Artist Dates are special times where you do something with and for your artist. Taking quality time for your artist and pampering her. Before the program and often still, I am quite cruel to my artist. Saying negative things and doubting myself. But nurturing this artist and speaking kindly to her, has really helped me to begin to flouish. (haha. so cheesy but seriously!)
  5. I have been feeling less guilt about living the life I want to live. I have major guilt about being an artist. My whole life I have had immense pressure, mostly from myself to be altruistic. I always believed that being selfless is the best and most rewarding way to live. It turns out, for me, that nurturing myself and living the life I want to live as an artist is nothing to feel guilty about, because in turn I am filled up enough to give back.

I am by no means finished with my recovery. I have however made amazing progress. I doubted I would even finish this self-help book/program. Writing my morning pages is something that I love to do and has become quite meditative. It has unblocked me in many ways. Seeing the change in me throughout The Artist's Way has kept me coming back. I have one more week to complete the course and I am proud I have made it this far, but most proud of how much I have changed.

Five ways I want to change further:

  1. prioritize making art above house chores.
  2. be open to new medium for making my work and avenues of selling and getting my stuff out there
  3. continue doing morning pages, first thing in the morning
  4. actually take my artist on frequent dates
  5. Believe that being a prolific and brilliant artist is the best thing for me, my family, freinds, and the universe.

Thanks for reading lovelies.

Anna

P.S. Thank you Julia Cameron for your inspiring guidance!

Haus-Mann / Haus-Frau
I totally understand why parents decide to stay home with their kids. I knew in theory that taking care of your own babies is great, but I honestly couldn't quite believe it. Before I had my baby, I was always so happy to return a baby back to their parents, and go home without a child. This is because it was not my child. At times it is hard to be at home with Vigo (my child), but this love that parents talk about is real. As a non-parent, I was sceptical about whether it really was great to raise kids. But honesly it is great and I get why parents are a bit crazy about their children. 

I am staying home and playing with Vigo as my priority 3 days a week. In these days I love on him and talk to him as my main job. Then whenever he is sleeping or he is content to play on his own (which he can handle for -5 minutes now! Woo Hoo!), I can get something done, like my morning pages, wash the dishes or take a shower. The dishes and mail can wait. I can do the laundry while babbling at him about the nice clothes he has or brushing the fresh towel over his face as he blinks and smiles. I can even take sold artworks to the post office on a walk with him.  You may be thinking, well just wait until they are running around or you have two. I know. 


But right now, I am loving, loving on Vigo and he has changed my life and priorities. He has interrupted my life so much and I am so happy that he has.

What an amazing job. To be home and be present with my child. That is all I have to do. The rest, Domink and I have agreed can happen if and when we have time throughout the day. Or when we really want to and the dirt is bothering us. Dinner is not even expected. That can be a joint effort. I love living this natural, creative and collaborative lifestyle.


On the road when we were splitting all the duties and were both always responsible for Vigo's needs. We were providing for him, but not really with him, we gave him 50% of our attention often times. It doesn't feel good. I know we all have to do this sometimes, just to get things done. But with this sharing of "Vigo Days" we can give him 100% of our attention much more of the time because he is our main focus. This baby is the luckiest! He gets childcare from either one of his parents. He gets our full attention frequently throughout the day and we all love it.

The only way we can keep this lifestyle up is by getting a bit of parental leave money (about 500€ a month), and making money selling art and playing music. We also have been trying to skim down our expences to the bare minimum. We're going to be skimping and saving here and there for these two years away from our day jobs. We are finally out of debt so we can earn less if we need to, but with art sales and music gigs and sales we are going to get through!

Thanks for reading lovelies.

Anna

SUPPORT US! *shameless plug
-If you'd like to buy an artwork of mine, there are still works on sale on instagram @olivegreenanna.  -You could buy Dominik's record or a t-shirt.
-Or if you'd like to book Dominik for a show, you can book his folk pop band, his jazz band, or his elecro-synth band.




Cadaques, Spain: Dali’s Home
This trip has turned into quite the visual art appreciation trip. I have had the pleasure of being in the places where so many great artists worked and I have had the pleasure of seeing several monumental works live. After having walked in the footsteps of Van Gogh in Arles, once we got to Spain we visited Salvador Dali’s home in Cadaques. 


He lived just outside of this amazing little town, with homes and streets on the hills along the coast. Cadaques was charming and Dali’s home was a highlight. Dali created so much artwork and was creative in many facets of life. 

In his home we were lead through his library, bedroom, bathrooms, dressing rooms, etc, we also were able to see his studio work space and also the many reference objects for his paintings, collected and displayed all over his home. 



His studio was light flooded and his garden had little huts and sculptures throughout it. There was so much to discover and it was set in such an ideal location. His home and garden emanated creativity.





I’m not a huge fan of Dali’s artwork aesthetically. It’s a bit gaudy (haha) and too much for me at times. I don’t find his work incredibly beautiful, but I admire him very much as an artist. 

I greatly admire his ability to create with abandon. He lived and breathed creativity. He was incredibly prolific and produced all kinds of art. He was not limited in one medium or too much editing. He called things finished and called them finished often. 

As an artist I struggle with starting works but I also really struggle to call them finished. Perfectionism and fear are huge enemies to creativity. It's impossible to create a perfect work and I'm slowly learning to make each piece of artwork and see it as part of the process, part of the journey and to call it finished and move on to the next. 

I'm inspired by Dali. I admire him greatly. It was an honor to have visited his home. Being in his space felt very intimate. I hope to take away a bit of his creative spirit with me. His prolific and wild creativity is something I want in my life as an artist. 

Thanks for reading lovelies. 

Anna

Creative habits for the Effective Artist of the 21st Century
 Dominik and I were talking about what creative habits we want to foster in the next months and so we began to compile this list.

We plan on living by these and hope they are useful and inspiring to you!


  1. Never start before you are ready.
  2. Always aim for perfection
  3. Check facebook (real quick).
  4. If you are unsure how, don’t.
  5. Let your instincts guide you. Never plan it out.
  6. Make sure all your loved one’s needs and wants are met first.
  7. Nutrition is key. Only begin after cooking an elaborate healthy meal.
  8. Now wash the dishes.
  9. If the first attempt is a failure, it’s probably not worth your time and trouble.
  10. Share your process with others. Post a selfie on instagram before you start.
  11. Check the music/art store for new materials you might want to use for your next project.
  12. Be an expert. Watch as many tutorials on the subject as you can find.
  13. Spend adequate time comparing yourself to better artists. Be very conscious of your weaknesses.
  14. If you haven’t been in the studio for over a month - you are likely not a real artist.
  15. Sold records/artwork are the true measure of quality work.
  16. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Surround yourself with people that don’t understand or care for art. This will help keep you grounded.
If you're an artist, what are some creative habits you can share with us? 
Calm Chaos-Anna Baer Solo Art Show


At the end of October my first solo show in 6 years was open to the public at the wonderful Action House space in Heidelberg. Over 100 visitors came to see my work and celebrate with me. My show was called Calm Chaos;
"Is control an illusion? How much control do we really have? In this show I investigate these extremes and want to bring you to a tranquil restful space regardless of how in control you feel. I am curious about finding calm and contentment in the places we are and the places we want to be, both physically and emotionally."













My good friend and musician Julius Gale played some of his wicked electro tunes to accompany my artwork. He writes beautifully calm yet upbeat music which we all enjoyed immensely.





Thank you to all who came to my show opening. It was such a fun night and I loved hearing your feedback and response to my recent work. I sold a number of pieces from the show on that night and the following days. But there are still several of them for sale if you're interested. I'm steadily updating my online shop on Saatchiart.com/annabaer

Thank you for reading lovelies,

Anna
Olive Green AnnaComment
Artist Residency - Berlin Art Institute
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




Creativity: Morning Pages
I've started off every day the past two weeks with Morning Pages. It's a practice in which the first thing you do when you wake up is write a few pages down. There's no pressure and there should be no editing as you write. Julia Cameron started them I believe, they are meant to be stream of consciousness and longhand. I type them on my computer because I find that it's easier to write faster and more stream of consciousness if I am typing. The goal is 3 pages, I have been achieving two or three.

I've been hearing about #MorningPages in several different locations. I first heard about them on I think a RadioLab podcast, and then I recently read about them in Art Inc. a book by Lisa Congdon, another podcast called Art For Your Ear, by Danielle Krysa, mentioned them too. I was wondering why all these creative people were doing these Morning Pages and wanted to see for myself whether they were worthwhile.

Recluse #4, Anna Baer, 2015, 50X50cm, Acrylic on canvas, 
I am finding Morning Pages to be a great way to begin the day and let my thoughts be put down on paper. It's not great material that I am producing but it's making me realize a bit more what my thoughts are about things. At times they are complaints (I'm not a morning person!!!) or frustrations, sometimes they are lists of things I want to remember or forgot. At times, I get ideas for artworks and blog posts when writing, which is a fun by-product.

This pregnancy has brought out the desire to intentionally reflect again. It also has produced quite a few worries and anxieties in addition to all the joys and excitements, when one is with-child. I used to keep journals growing up, but I haven't kept a written one in sometime. It's a relief to write and write, knowing that I don't need to push publish or share my words with anyone unless I choose to expand on something.

Have you ever tried anything like morning pages?  Interested in trying it for the next two weeks with me?

Thanks for reading lovelies.


Anna

P.S. Don't forget the Calm app giveaway ends tomorrow Tuesday the 13th of September. 
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