September 29, 2014

queen of colors

After almost a week in bed, there are only so many pictures shot. Quick documentary images, symbols only. But still, the light has changed. I am back and this Monday has been one of the most amazing Mondays in a long time. My mind is spinning from yet another meeting. What a bliss to go into coorperation with highly motivated and respectful people. The next step for our show next year. I am so, so excited. And, today we've discovered that our neighbor is a producer of the sweetest little videos. She is already booked and will shoot an image film about the project. Strike. She lives next door, who would have guessed.

On a totally different level, we got an absolutely precious gift today. Yesterday it seemed, it had already gone to another person. When today though, I got an email saying: "You can pick it up, as the other person didn't want it in the end." We have a sparkling new mattress in our bedroom now. Thick, cosy and a dream to lie on. As I've said, the most amazing Monday. Let's wish for more great to come. For all of us.


September 28, 2014

open eye focus

We had a very productive day today. The husband and I, working on the show for next year. And though I love it, it is never too easy to work together as a couple. Adding, being still a sick couple, it doesn't make this cookies and cream either. But eventually, we got there and it worked out.

Oh, and before leaving to cook some dinner, we've discovered the wonder remedy Thyme Tea. Simply brew over some nice Thyme twigs with boiling water and even the nastiest cough calms down.

See you tomorrow, for a new issue of the Queen of Colors.

September 24, 2014

the strategy of the snail

Actually this post should be called La Estrategia del Caracol, as this is the title of a poetic and powerful little movie, I have watched more than twenty years ago. At this time, I had just moved to Berlin, was working as a movie editor and studying Theatre and Movie Sciences. During semester break, I took my little car and drove all the way down to Spain, spending a couple of weeks in Barcelona. Barcelona, the city that always touches my heart deeply and will leave me with goosebumps, while walking its narrow and mystical streets. This is where I have watched The Strategy of the Snail for the first and for the last time. Since then, this inspirational and powerful story about a bunch of poor tenants, fighting their greedy landlord, stuck to my mind. After all these years, I have found it online today. A special treat for myself and for you, if you like. It is exactly what the end of this Wednesday needs.

September 22, 2014

queen of colors

'this short-term evacuation, Pripyat, Chernobyl 30km Zone' by brian duggan

Saturday night, despite feeling a bit like a Zombie, we did manage to attend one of the different fairs of the Berlin Art Week. And we did go to a record release party, hosted in a cellar, a youth club somewhere in a rather rough part of the city. I am not sure, maybe it was me and my blurred vision, or the fever I was carrying around, the chronological order of the two events has simply slipped my memory. I remember seeing some very good art pieces, like the Ferris Wheel by Brian Duggan above, and I am sorry to so say, a lot of clean and pretty surfaces. I am no easy art critic, as probably a lot of artists are the same, but the work has to move me somehow. Pretty is nice once in a while, but unless there is something deeper to it, I will get bored easily. That is why I left a bit dissapointed in the end, heading to a much different experience. A dark place, unknown faces and pink light, paired with heavy rock beats and some down to earth Hiphop beats. We didn't make it to the end of the concert, because our bodies simply went on strike, but I liked what I was listening too. It is great to walk between worlds and be open to the different kind of styles that we're all living.

September 21, 2014

speed limit days

We are sick in the Fishbowl. Both, the husband and I, are down with some nasty virus. And I have to say, he catched the worst it seems. All coughing, little sleep and dark circles around the eyes. Some days I was pretty worried, watching him so pale and so weak. Poor man. At some point, even Emma's nose was dripping. Something I have learned since living with a dog, it is very common to pass viruses back and forth between humans and animals. So, we're kind of down here. Though we did manage to attend the most important appointments, the husband did even go to work for three days, I have to admit, I feel a bit cranky and blocked. Things were running pretty nice lately and now we're forced to lay down and to come up with a good dose patience. Not being able to really think or even move, is rather painful, when your head seems to explode with ideas and the lists, you have planned to knock off, are not getting any shorter. Yes, I know, life is like this sometimes. And I am also aware, luckily we're not talking about serious health issues. So I guess, all I can do right now, is to go back to bed, grab another book and let the day have its own speed. Have a great Sunday out there, I promise to come back with a lighter head and a smile. The sunflower on my nightstand seems like a good starter. 

September 15, 2014

queen of colors

This is probably not the most innovative insight, but Holy Canneloni, time is running lately. Another Queen of Colors, meaning another week has past and we're already right into next one. Although we all seem to seek balance and are talking a lot, about the healthy speed of doing one thing at a time. It just happens so often. Our lifes are packed and colorful. And sometimes faster, than we are for our selfs. I'll take it, as long as it is good stuff buzzing around my head. And last week it was all buzzing delightfully. A studio dinner, an Open Studio and the discovery of figs, marinated in spicy orange juice. I have received the nicest of emails, met the smartest of people and I was able to tell some egocentrics to mind their own business. In a friendly and respectful way. Feels pretty good to me. What did you like about your last week?


September 14, 2014

the last of summer

Saying Goodbye to a season can be pretty delicious and awsome. So was last night. I am tired and still stuffed from a lot of lentil salad, pike perch, figs and chocolate gratineé. And from intense conversations and the adventures life puts on your table sometimes. This might sound a bit loaded, but all I can say right now is, to bring it on Fall. I can't wait.


September 12, 2014

open studio

Just a quick Friday visit, as we're in the middle of three busy days. If you happen to be in Berlin, we're having an Open Studio today. From 4 to 8 p.m. you're most welcome to stop by, look what we're up to in the Fishbowl and have a cup of coffee with us.

For all my other lovely readers, it might look grey out there. Perfect for a late breakfast and for reading books. Or for some really good, homemade food. We are also looking forward to another studio dinner. Whatever you're planning or simply let happen (sometimes the best of all), enjoy it with full passion.


September 10, 2014

reflections and such

The thing with large scale work, it'll stay a while. Sometimes weeks or months. And when we're talking self-portrait, sudden attacks of feeling shy, can make it even longer. As announced, I am back in the studio. Painting. And having fun. And fighting. For those who are artists themselves, you probably know what I am talking about. Facing your self is much more of an adventure, than talking about others. And it takes a good pinch of bravery. At least for me.

September 08, 2014

queen of colors

Today was meant to be a studio day, but blame it on Monday or the weather, some days just turn out differently. And I am fine with it. As long as it fits into the bigger picture. Talking about pictures, I would have never thought, last week might turn out that blue. Blue as in happy so to say, so much good stuff has happened. My mother was around for a quick visit, so was my favourite cousin. Boy, have we talked. Non stop. And did we have great food. Also, I went back to painting, to exercising and to productive meetings. It is such a gift to work with passionate people. Seriously. And last, but not least at all, there is new sourdough growing on the kitchen bench. Looks like last week had everything that makes me happy. What is it, that makes you happy, guys?


September 07, 2014

back in the dirt

After all the ranting in my last post, it's little words, paints and brushes right now. There is not much to see yet, but I am looking forward to long studio hours over the next days. This week ends with a delightful Sunday for me. I wish you a wonderful start into the upcoming one.


September 03, 2014

on promises, emma and one big mess

a very early start today.

Today's post is very personal one. In case I am getting a bit too angry while writing it, please forgive me. It is a story I've meant to tell you for a while already, but then thought, it might be smart to rather wait until the storm has settled a bit. For the ones visiting the Fishbowl on a regular basis, you know about Emma, our beloved Labrador puppy. And you know, that she is in training to become an assistant dog. She is learning to pick stuff from the floor, to open and to close doors, carry my grocery bags once in a while, or even put the laundry in the washing machine. Amazing, ey.

When I've first learned about the possibility of assistant dogs and about the variety there is, I actually couldn't believe it. There are so many choices, some dogs are even able to smell, when their owner is about to have an epileptic seizure. And they will warn them, so they're able to prevent the attack. Assistant dogs mean a lot of freedom to many disabled or severly ill people. They'll help them to live an independent life and to become more active than ever before. So I thought, it might be a great idea to go down this path; first to make my life easier as well, to be able to travel with Emma in any direction (assistant dogs are even allowed to fly beside their owners), and last but not least, to give a her a purpose. Labradors love to work and to please their human.

As Emma was already living with us at that point, the only chance to train her, was to do it myself. At the time, self-training was only possible in the Berlin area through a certain non-profit club. I became a member to the club, paid my anually fee, and we've started. In the beginning everything was fine and it was a lot of fun, to watch Emma learning quickly and enjoying all the attention. We've went there at least once a week and she made surprising progress.

The club did tell us though, Emma would have to pass the exam for assistant dogs, before she would be turning five years. She was almost four, when we did start. Almost eight months went on, we've worked consequently on her skills and patiently paid for the training hours, but my questions about the exam went almost unanswered. It was quite frustrating, but the coaches tried to calm me, telling me everything was just as it should be.

Then suddenly, another exam was mentioned. Emma was already training for ten months and we were told, she would have to make a test, if she is at all eligible to become an assistant dog. I am sorry, after close to a year of training. This is ridiculous, don't even start telling me, but caused by the lack of an alternative, we kept on going. The exam was postponed and postponed, and Emma turned five.

The coaches and the Chairwoman of the club told us, that they could get an extra approval to go on with the test, after she had turned five. But of course, we would have to do the test first. A test that suddenly consisted of two parts. Don't laugh, but we did part one. It was horrible, far too stressful and not at all adjusted to my skills; we walked the city for miles (me on crutches as you know), crossed a super busy parc with drug addicts, had coffee in a crowded tourist café and had to take the underground, which I almost never do, as Berlin's underground is a neverending story of steps and stairs. I was totally stressed out and so was Emma, and some things didn't work out perfectly. Who wonders, I might add sarcasticly. At the end of this test, we were left with another hideous information. There was actually a third part to the exam; a medical one. The club suddenly demanded a so called hd examination, to check on Emma's hips. This kind of examination would have been no joke at all, meaning a general anaesthesia for a perfectly healthy dog. I am sorry, you got to be kidding me. After more than a year of training, you're coming up with this? Seriously. At this point, that was it for us. We would have never gone through with such a procedure and I am not even talking about the costs, but the well being of Emma.

On our way back home, the husband and me, we've both exploded. Pretty bad, believe me. And we did quit all the crap within a second. We've canceled our membership, explaining the move in a letter. Training for Emma was done.This was just too much and even with the perspective of not having an assistant dog at all, this was nothing we could have tolerated any longer.

What followed after the letter, I will not go there, but it was dirty. Very dirty. Only that much, all the way we were told that these are the general standards to become an assistant dog. Later, we've found out, that the chairwoman of the club, was also one of the presidents to the occupational union for dog coaches in Berlin. Meaning, she was the creator and the controller of those standards in one person. Highly unprofessional. A friend of us, who is a brilliant dog coach herself, went on doing research and after a while it was clear, there are no such standards; no hd examination, no age restriction, nothing. I am still asking myself, why this happened? I don't know, are they acting ignorant, are they totally stupid or is it for the money (test plus examination alone would have costed us at least 1000,-€. no mentioning of that in advance, of course)? Even if they're just not capable of taking on the responsibility for what they've promised to their club members, it is pretty disgusting how much they'll let people down. People, who trust the organisation and who rely on the concept of assistant dogs. Only thinking about it, makes me angry. Really angry. Again.

The story has a good ending though. The husband and me, we had given up. But the friend I've already mentioned; she found a proper school for Emma. Since February this year, a professional education center is offering self-training for dogs in Berlin. And what can I tell you, we did start today. A whole new experience, believe me. 

September 01, 2014

queen of colors

Within a week the scenery has completely changed. Starting with a lot of sunshine and an early morning meeting last Monday. And then, all drizzels and grey skies today. Another meeting, but quite a dose of Fall feeling to it. It is alway a bit sad to say Goodbye to the last summer signs, and actually it probably won't be over for some more warm days, but to be honest, I am looking forward to this September. There will be much more time in the studio. Berlin will host all those exciting art fairs. And we are going to dive deeper into the preparations of a nice little November show. Of course, more meetings for the big show next year, are on the menu too. So, everybody is full of energy in the Fishbowl. How about you? Whatever you have planned for the cooler days, I am wishing you a great week for starters.