June 30, 2015

a little announcement

You might have expected the Queen of Colors today, but another sleepless night in the studio made it clear, I need to go on a little blog break. Nothing spectacular, simply a proper announcement, that I will be away from this space until Tuesday, July the 7th. Instead of another fading out of schedule.

Right now, there is just a little too much on my plate over here, that needs attention and demands a lot of work. Including the big date on Friday (at least 200 pages of reading to go until then) and a visit by the lovely Nadine from tinyWoolf, which I am so looking forward to.

Therefore I wish you a wonderful week of summer, with lots of popsicles, a little picnic maybe and some dancing in the moonlight. Taking life from the good side.

I won't disappear completely though; if you like to see what is going on during the next days, I would love to meet you over on Instagram.

June 23, 2015

queen of colors

This week's Queen of Colors, entirely in black and white. I needed that. Calming things down or at least, setting some purity against the millions of things running through my head right now. But first things first.

I have a new studio ride. Finally. Working mainly in a wheelchair, the old and chubby thing I have been using for decades, just didn't do the trick anymore. Heavy to handle and some functions, like pumping it up and down, not working at all, this has been a real pain lately. So after weeks of discussions (I know, the German Health System is usually known for being effective and pretty comprehensive, but compared to my teenage years, things have gotten a bit more complicated, it seems. Probably like in many places.), after annoying phonecalls and a million emails, today the new ride got delivered. Boom! We are not the closests of buddies yet, as getting used to new tools is not necessarily an easy process, but after six hours together, the improvement is incredible already.

Over last week, we have met the most amazing and inspiring people, we had an Open Studio with lovely guests and the husband baked another load of his delicious Hausbrot, when suddenly the oven broke down and he had to finish the job in the little Swedish cafĂ© across the street. For the upcoming weeks, this means no pizza or cakes, until a technician will fix the problem. 

When looking into my lists, yeah I am one of these crazy list lovers, it shows I have painted far less than planned, which makes me a bit mad. But then again, you can't do it all at once. I did manage to finish a commision for a Berlin restaurant owner though, who has asked me to draw his menu. It wasn't a huge job, but maybe things aren't looking so bad.

And then, yesterday a huge opportunity has popped up in front of me. Something I can't talk about just yet, which is pretty annoying, but believe me I am over the moon and a nervous wreck at the same time. This feels big. It is about politics and about, having the chance to talk to some of the most important decision makers for us cultural workers, about our working conditions and not to forget, about clearing up with some of those nasty prejudices lingering around. Whatever will come out of this chance, I promise it will end in a detailed blogpost, once I have survived it. So for now, wish me luck, that I am really able to calm myself down a little and that I will rock this as good as possible.

I hope you're having an exciting week ahead of you as well. The rest is rain. At least in Berlin these days.

June 18, 2015

on having your studio at home

As you probably know, the husband, our Labrador Emma and I, are living in the so called Fishbowl. It is actually an old shop on ground floor, with huge windows in front, where our studios are situated, and an appartment in the back of it. Meaning, our workspaces are only divided by a small hallway from where we're living. There are a lot different opinions out there, on what might be better. Is it  more productive to get out of the house or to get started just a footstep away, from where you'll sip your morning coffee or enjoy your dinner? It both probably has its bright and its rather difficult sides, but to me this is the most practial solution. It means short ways and one set of equipment, like computer, scanner or printer. And in my case especially, one wheelchair for the studio and everday living as well. Besides, we are having our studio dinners in my studio and can use our private kitchen, which is close to a professional one (the chef husband would argue differently here, of course), including dishes, cutlery and chairs.

Other than that, I am a great believer in art being a part of life. The idea of working in a studio, totally isolated from the outside world, doesn't appear attractive to me. I like the idea of an intersection, an atmosphere of everyday life mixed with the interpretation of it. It keeps me going and inspires me deeply.

There is one point though, we're stumbling upon once in a while. Working both as freelancers, all is fine as long as the husband has a cooking job somewhere else or when I am out and about, creating something outside of the studio. Or, these are the ideal phases, when we're involved in the same project. Once we're both here and have totally different stuff on our lists, it can get difficult.

It already begins with our work schedules; I will almost never be the first up, but will start quickly. He will go with the dog in the morning and brew coffee (I know heaven!), but then it will take him a couple of hours until he is actually getting started. I love working late, the husband prefers a proper cut around six or seven p.m. (unless he is holding cooking classes and does catering, but that will not take place in the Fishbowl). You already got the picture, I suppose.

To sychronize these not at all sychronized rhythms can be a tricky thing, and it will require a good dose of compromise and dicipline. Sometimes, like today for example, it doesn't work out at all. Is is alrady way past 10 p.m. and I am still in front of the computer. Eating some really unhealthy stuff for dinner. Well.

What can become even more difficult than plain schedule contrasts though, are energy levels and those motivational lows you'll get struck by. Sometimes, when one of us is down, the other can help and support. On other days though, it seems like our different moods dissolve one another. Leaving each of us feeling kind of blank and a bit blocked. Luckily it doesn't happen that often, but other than leaving the house or putting on our headsets and making our way seperately through that particular day, nothing might fix it. Over the years I have understood, these things simply happen. If I would be in a studio far away from home, there would be other issues to tackle. And the benefits of the Fishbowl by far outweigh its problematic moments. I am still deeply convinced about this arrangment and will keep on going to enjoy that first coffee together, before both heading in our offic or studio. Door to door.

June 15, 2015

queen of colors

Green to me is like hope, it is love, it is being close to myself and it is about adventures. Last week has been mainly green. Though there had been a lot on my schedule, like an unexpected translation job and impresive piles of not overly pleasant office work, I did manage to paint a lot as well. Well, painting is part of my profession, but sometimes we artists seem to get lost so much in everyday errands, that the thing we are actually here for, will fill only a small part of our routine. Not so last week.

Above that, after wanting to have it for quite some time, the husband and I finally created an indoor herb garden in the studio. We do have a little backyard with a terrasse coming with the Fishbowl, but despite bamboo and hydrangeas almost nothing grows there. As the husband is a talented chef, using herbs like crazy, it has always been our idea to harvest them directly in the kitchen. And it worked out. We have found the perfect system of pots and greenhouse lamps and now, the Fishbowl smells of mint, verbene, thyme and rosmary. I love it.

On that note, I wish us all a wonderful and inspiring week. Maybe some green included. Again.


June 11, 2015

ways to get painting

To be clear in the beginning, I love what I do and I would, for nothing in the world, change the fact that I am an artist. A painter, most of the days. There has been one thing though, whatever I was up to, I always had been struggling with . And for many years, it made me wonder, if I am a real artist at all. Many years and even more sleepless nights. Many of my collegues explode with ideas, with energy and with pleasure when riding the infamous flow. I have never been like that. Though I love painting and, that it is the one thing in life, that makes me the happiest. Almost nothing else gives me that amount of feeling accomplished and fulfilled, but working on a painting or a project. But, of course you knew there will be a BUT, things will never run smoothly for me. At least not for long. I basically had to force myself to get in the studio and to get started. Procrastination overload every single day. It was even harder to bring up the dicipline to keep going. Because once things are running, when the paint grows on the canvas or an installation is starting to take shape, my mind would start running too. Like the heart of a marathon woman, it is pumping and spinning, more hard by the minute, in wider circles every hour. Everything that bothers me; my problems, maybe an argument with the husband, a sick family member or money issues, once the work was building up, my sorrows were too. 

For many years, I have believed this has to be overcome the hard way. I've kept pushing harder and harder, earning nothing but pain. Or I'd believe, that it was a sign of things not being right. Even, that I am a complete failure, had been in the picture more than once. And that I do not want it enough, this artist life.

Today things are very different. I have met many others with similar panic attacks, if you like to call them that, and with a tendency to think too much while working in the studio. It is not that uncommon. There are simply many different types of artists and each and every one of them might have a different approach to their work. Not getting lost in the process has nothing to do with quality or with the fact, that you are in the wrong spot and that you should rather look into changing your career. Absolutely nothing.

These days I am so much more able to trust my skills and the quality I am capable to produce. And I have somehow learned how to deal with that busy brain of mine. These days when working in the studio, I am simply listening to audio books or podcasts. (Music has never worked for me, as it is far too emotional for me and will get me in the same corner, of my mind going on a rampage). Podcasts though will change my focus. Away from myself into some other topic. This way I am working much calmer, my mind is not going crazy and I can work for hours, while widening my horizon. A quite simple solution, don't you think, to a long lasting struggle.

These days, I love going into the studio and to get going. Sometimes it just is not the bigger picture being wrong, but a tiny detail. A detail that can be changed within the blink of an eye.

P.S. In case this little exposé speaks to you, one of my favourite podcasts these days, got to be Strangers by the amazing Lea Thau (it can be found on KCRW or on ITunes).

June 08, 2015

queen of colors

Good morning, Monday. Hello, week. I am not quite there with you yet, feeling a bit raw and muted.

Last week's tasks have been almost and completely fulfilled; only some final, minor repairs around house and the English version of my newsletter are left do (in case you want to be on the newsletter list, simply send me an email saying: NEWSLETTER to mail@anntonbeateschmidt.com and I will be very happy to hook you up.). Actually, I can't recall when this has happened the last time. The weird thing though, I am not feelig relieved. Rather a little overwhelmed, about all the possibilities unfolding in front of me. All the new stuff, that is waiting for me to grab it and start.

Well, not yet. Not now. I will go on, enjoying that blank canvas a little longer, finish the last stuff to be ticked off and have just another cup of coffee. Not every day is made for adventures. Have a good start into your week as well, lovelies.

June 06, 2015

saturday paints

It is hot out there. All doors and windows open wide, I am enjoying this Saturday in the studio. I love working on weekends; when running errands and busy mailboxes are fading. And when everything looks promising and a lot more fun. I wish you a lovely day too. Wether it means work or a lake, take it all in.

June 03, 2015

thwarted moment

Just when I have believed to be back on track, a technical bug hit the Fishbowl. And there we had it again, just another break. This time a rather annoying one; inlcuding a dead cell phone, flat tyres on the wheelchair and no one around to help. No wheels, no moving, no phone, no help. Stuck.

The great thing about miseries like that, the moment they are over, you will get up, brush the dust of and go on like before. As they are nobody's fault, no mean trick, just a little bump in the road.

So today is another day, a good one so far, and I have great things happening around me.

First off all, I fulfilled myself a little childhood dream. For years it has been a secret fantasy of mine to have an indoor swing. And now, lucky me is having a swing in my studio. Big smiles, as you might have guessed.

Yesterday, I have also learned, that Berlin actually has its own, a very distinct color: Berlin Blue. Did you know about that? 'It is also known as Prussian Blue, but of course I like the other version best. A collegue brought it over as a present and I find it adorable; a dark royal blue it is. And it is sitting on my painting table shining and waiting to be used.

And last, but by no means at least, on Monday we had twelve lovely, elderly people from all over the world for lunch. We had coffee, homemade bread and cake and have been chatting and listening to each other stories. I am still deeply touched and impressed by the gift of talking to them. This meeting will be followed up by a cooking session for Berlin.Bites

As you can see, the me being grumpy part has been outruled by all the good stuff, and I am happy camper again. Have a wonderful Wednesday, everybody.