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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Preggy on the Road
Being pregnant on the road had its challenges, but living in a van is honestly the best way to travel when you're pregnant. 


You have a real bed anywhere you go. We left home towards the end of my first trimester, so I was still feeling pretty terrible. I was nauseous most mornings. We didn't have to check out of any hotels, and didn't have any time pressure. So every morning I slept through my nausea until 11 or 12. Yes!!! It was the best!!! Dom would go out for hours in the morning and explore, or play guitar quietly near by, before he would rustle around a bit, finally needing his "morning coffee" at noon. 

No luggage!!! In the afternoon I was fit and ready for adventure. You don't have to carry any luggage with you when you live in a van. I absolutely loved this part of vanlife. For day trips we just took a small bag along. Honestly backpacking through Europe when pregnant would be a nightmare. My stamina is pretty much non existent. A camping or backpacking trip would have been bad. We also never had to totally pack up and move, we did have to secure everything so that it wouldn't rattle and shift around, but we could even leave a few dirty dishes in the sink and drive to the next spot.

Eating on the road is great. We cooked yummy meals on the road. With my growing appetite, it was fantastic to have a kitchen with us, to warm up a soup quick or cook a fresh meal. We were in Scandinavia so eating out is super expensive on a German salary. So we didn't eat out much.  The stove in the van is honestly better than our stove at home so cooking in the van was great. I had lots of snacks and fruit along in our pantry, so I never went hungry/hangry.


I could always find a place to rest. Resting is not only super healthy when pregnant, it's unavoidable, your body can't take standing for long. You want to be horizontal most of the time. We would go on walks, and explore, but we took a lot of breaks. Our pre-pregnancy city trips involved hours of urban hiking. On this trip it was more of a walk to a cafe to sit and read, or a walk to the beach to lie down. haha.


Beautiful views from home. I got to see some of the most beautiful landscape without even leaving my bed.  Norway especially, had such wonderful places to park with the most amazing views. We didn't have to hike for hours to enjoy some of the most beautiful natural views. It's a lazy hiker and pregnant lady's dream.




Well, have I convinced you yet? If you're planning a babymoon any time soon, make it a vanventure.

I'm excited to see how traveling in a van with a tiny baby will be. More on that, when it decides to come.

Thanks for reading.

Anna
Self Doubt As An Artist

Can I really call myself an artist? It's a scary thing to say. I haven’t made art seriously ever in my life. Since studying art, I have had times of abundance in the art-making realm, but it hasn't been consistent. I struggle to even call myself an artist. I am and have been an art teacher now for 4 years, but am I really an artist? 

Growing up I created paintings, collages, art journals, but I never thought I was any good. Talent wasn’t really evident in my hands. I couldn’t draw realistically. I wasn’t one of those girls that could draw horses impeccably. It wasn't until my second year of uni that I learned to draw.

There is just so much self doubt as an artist. Is my work good enough? Will anyone want to buy it? What do I want to create? I will never be as good as the masters. It’s crippling at times to even think about it. When I was teaching I used a lot of my creativity for lessons and helping students develop ideas. I excused my lack of art making on that. At times teaching insipired me to create, but most of the time it left me a bit dry. I have such artist guilt about creating so seldom, and somehow that is the reason I believe I’m not really an artist. An art professor from my undergrad said that only a few of us would continue to make art in our lives and those that did, were the true artists. I hoped I would keep creating, but convinced myself that I wasn’t a real artist. I mean I had only been making art consistently for 2 years by then.

When I did learn to draw and realised I could be an artist, it was such an exciting time! It felt so right. I could learn to make anything with practice and patience. I was so happy to have the skills and to know I could grow in the skills to be an artist. It really made sense. I had created visual things my whole life. I did love to create. I was moved to create, it made so much sense that I was, deep down an artist. 

I suppose the self-doubt will not ever completely go away, but I hope that it will visit less frequently. 

I AM AN ARTIST! 



Thanks for reading.

Anna


5 Tough Things About Vanlife

Living in a van just looks incredible, like a dream. It is, but it naturally has some challenges. I thought it's only fair if I share a few things that have not been the easiest since being on the road. 






At times picking a spot to stay the night can get a bit tedious. We always wonder whether there will be another, more beautiful spot around the corner. It has gotten easier over time. I still have a bit of anxiety about parking in villages and cities, because I don't want to inconvenience anyone or be in anyone's way.  I’m a pretty conscientious person, so not caring is hard for me at times. 

This is more of a mental one, but not knowing whether living on the road is actually a feasible way of life has been somewhat of a challenge. We are hoping to spend quite a bit of time on the road in the next year, so we’ve been brainstorming ways to make money on the road, and thinking about budgets and such. If you have any ideas please let us know! 


Dominik practices music a lot!!! He has brought 4 stringed instruments: acoustic and e-guitar, banjo, ukulele, and he creates digital music on his computer and keyboard in the evenings too. It’s inspiring and wondeful to see him practicing his craft and creating new tunes. But at times the constant bending, blues riffs can get to be a bit much. To download Dom's new EP for free click here!


As I mentioned in my last post that we love being closer to nature. It’s been so refreshing to spend so much time outdoors, but sometimes there are a few too many mosquitos, and our toes get a bit too cold for comfort. 


A bit TMI but… This is just not a pretty part of living on the road. I haven’t posted any photos of this part on instagram. haha. Dumping our little toilet tank is not a pleasant task. We’ve been trying to keep it to pee pee, to make the emptying of the toilet not so smelly. Thankfully Dom does this most of the time! ;)

Living on the road is tough at times, but what life isn’t. It's been so worth it though. 

Thanks for reading lovelies. It's been fun to share our journey with you. 

Anna
6 Things We Love About Vanlife
We’ve been on the road now for 4 weeks. Dominik and I moved into our Ford Transit for the summer, this is our last summer with just the two of us. We’re expecting a Little Baer in January 2017. 



We have been finding amazing places to park our van for the night. Driving a few hours a day and visiting cities and amazing scenic nature spots along the way.
We love camping and being at new beautiful places everyday. I love that it’s a home that we can take with us. I am a homebody so having a home on wheels makes living on the road for so long comfortable and homey. If we were just backpacking, I would have longed for home 3 days in. 

Life is simpler on the road. We are on vacation, we’re both arts teachers by profession, so we have to keep that in mind, but daily life on the road this summer has been wake, eat, play, drive, eat, play, eat, sleep, repeat… Just being able to focus on our basic needs, without having to tend to a lot of things, is such a relief. We are seriously considering living on the road for a few months at a time playing shows and traveling. Somehow making a living on the road. 


    We’re enjoying figuring life out and fixing things up on the road. Dom has especially loved making improvements and I am all about nesting, so it has been fun to make this place more fuctional and cozy while traveling. Living in such a tiny space requires a lot of creative thinking and problem solving.

    Holiday without accommodation fees. We shouldn’t forget the almost 10 thousand euros we used to buy and repair the van, but we are hoping to get our monies worth over the next few years. It’s such a luxury to be able to pay no fee to sleep anywhere. 

    We love that there is no TV. We haven’t had internet most of the trip. Not watching a lot of shows and surfing the web has been a refreshing  break for us. I haven’t had so much time to think, journal, read, and play sudoku as I have the past 4 weeks. It’s been fun to give our minds a bit of a screen detox. Internet and movies then become a treat. We did download a movie the other night when we got wifi at a cafe, a few rainy days in the van gave us some serious cabin fever. 

    That being said, we love the sound of the rain on the roof and being closer to nature. It’s been so refreshing to spend so much time outdoors, enjoying such scenic views, and cozying up with tea and a hot waterbottle when it gets cold. It feels so different from our little city life in Heidelberg, Germany.  

    Thanks for reading lovelies,

    Anna