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alcippe

Mushroom Squatters

Aug. 2nd, 2015 | 06:37 pm

Finally finished.



Mushroom Squatters
120cm x 100cm
oil on canvas

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alcippe

I should shut up

Jul. 31st, 2015 | 12:01 pm

I held my face in ice water for 40 seconds this morning. woo hoo! I'm getting better at this.

I am bored with my job. I mean, I've been bored with it almost from day one, but so grateful to be earning a paycheck I didn't care. But I'm starting to really be bummed out by the feeling that my life is being spent this way, sitting in front of a computer doing the same boring things every day, leaving me with very little energy in the evenings to do anything for myself.

But I have no idea how else to support myself so I can keep making high-level fine art (read: expensive materials and lots of space required) and keep a roof over my head. Bah. I suppose there are worse fates, and I am aware that my current life as a non-struggling artist in Berlin is the dream of many, many people and the fact that I am actually here doing this oh my God I should just shut the fuck up.

I am hungry for lunch but can not eat for another hour. boo

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alcippe

Ice face

Jul. 30th, 2015 | 12:18 pm

Yesterday I put my face in a bowl of ice water and held it there for twenty seconds. That's about as long as I could go before it got too painful. Doing this is supposed to tone the vagus nerve (which has benefits for reasons), so I thought I would give it a try. Aparently with time I will be able to hold my face in the ice water for longer and longer and maybe in a month be able to hold it there for 5 minutes or so. I'm going to try to work up to that.

I did some meditation last night as well, which felt good and made me wonder why I ever stopped. I'm not one of those people who has the will power to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn to meditate and exercise, so there's a greater likelyhood that such things get lost in the shuffle of everyday living. I'm going to try to make more of an effort.

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alcippe

Close your eyes

Jul. 28th, 2015 | 02:18 pm

I had an EEG done this morning before work, my latest medical adventure. I kind of wanted to take a selfie with all the electrodes stuck on my head but the woman conducting the testing was not of a friendly or cheerful nature, in fact she seemed to be in a particularly foul mood, so I let it slide and simply did as I was told. Close your eyes. Open your eyes. Close your eyes. Open your eyes.

I am doing my best to follow the 5 rules to optimise my leptin levels and it is not easy:

Rule 1:  Never eat after dinner.
Rule 2:  Eat three meals a day.
Rule 3:  Do not eat large meals.
Rule 4:  Eat a breakfast containing protein.
Rule 5:  Reduce the amount of carbohydrates eaten.

Ok, those rules aren't really that hard to follow.
The unspoken rules are that no snacking is allowed and meals must be spaced 5 to 6 hours apart. This is my latest attempt to coax my body into expelling 5 frustrating pounds of excess flesh.

Speaking of meals, these are some things I may make on Sunday for during the week.

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alcippe

Neat-o stuff

Jul. 27th, 2015 | 02:12 pm

A couple things I'm going to give a try:
Vineager and baking soda instead of shampoo
No-bake Almond Crunch Protein Bars



And super interesting, although way outside of my budget:
40 years of zen

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alcippe

Ancient Babylonian Black Magic

Jul. 26th, 2015 | 08:33 pm

I worked on it more, added some stripes and stuff. I feel much better about it now, like I'm not just doing a straight abstract-expressionist rip-off.



Ancient Babylonian Black Magic
80cm x 80cm
oil on canvas

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alcippe

Ancient Babylonian Black Magic

Jul. 24th, 2015 | 10:13 am

I reworked the upper right corner, it was bothering me. Feeling better about it now. And taking a photo in natural daylight makes a marked improvement over the photo I shot last night – the colours and subtleties are much truer.



Babylonian Black Magic
80cm x 80cm
oil on canvas

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alcippe

// No Subject //

Jul. 22nd, 2015 | 06:13 pm

Various things on my watch/re-watch list:

Bates Motel (2013–)
Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures (2001)
Vincent and Theo (1990)
New York Stories (1989)
Where the Green Ants Dream (1984)
Grey Gardens (1975)
Don't Look Now (1973)
A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Anything by Dario Argento

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alcippe

My secret garden

Jul. 20th, 2015 | 05:17 pm

Currently inspired by:
Pollock
Bone Broth
Impressionists/Expressionists
Süßes Frühstück
Coffee

Listening to a Dutch colleague on the phone speaking in his native tounge. This is a language that sounds completely insane to me. Like, I just can't even. It's like he's speaking in reverse.

Two other colleagues are conversing in Spanish together. This is a language where I can understand where one word ends and another begins. It is sane.

I went to the zoo yesterday. There is also a palace on the zoo grounds which is open to freely walk around in. This zoo/palace combo on the east side of the city is somehow still under the radar here in Berlin. I basically had the entire place to myself, which was really dream-like and magical. I visited the exotic birds and went through all the rooms of the palace.





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alcippe

// No Subject //

Jul. 15th, 2015 | 04:28 pm

I don't feel like meeting up with Pool Boy today. I'm thinking of cancelling. Seriously, I have a million better things to do than torture myself through an evening with someone who is so clearly wrong for me.

ETA

I just texted and told him I wasn't interested in going out. I always feel like I'm being such a complete B!TCH when I turn men down. I've been brainwashed my entire life to be POLITE and always say YES even when my gut is screaming at me nooooo.

Uuug I feel terrible to tell him no. I hate this. Regret mingles with relief and I can not feel happy.

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alcippe

Attention deficieted baboon

Jul. 14th, 2015 | 11:27 am

I went to go do a life drawing session at a cultural center near where I live yesterday but they were closed for the rest of the summer, so there will be no life drawing in my life until September. Bummer.

The guy I sat and watched the riot with on Saturday night called me yesterday and wants to meet me on Wednesday for dinner. I said OK, but here's the thing. I am 41 years old and he is 25 (or at least that's what I'm guessing). He's still in school and on the swim team. It's just really depressing to me that I can't find anyone age appropriate to date anymore. I figure that if I could physically be someone's mother they are probably too young for me to be dating. That's just my personal feeling, I'm sure there could be possible exceptions to this rule if The Right guy came along, but sadly I don't think pool boy is The Right Guy.

In other dating news, I went on a date last week with a complete moron who was 58 (age inappropriate in the other direction). "Conversation" with the guy was like being steamrolled by an attention deficieted baboon. Plus he told me things I did not need to know ("I lost my virginity when I was 27, what can I say? I'm a late bloomer") and was ridiculously homophobic ("I'm alright with the gays as long as they leave me alone"). Seriously, "the gays"? What the fuck.

Complete change of topic. madresal's acquisition of two parakeets makes me wish I had parakeets too. I wonder what Rasputin would make of that.

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alcippe

Team Darth Vader vs. Team Punk Rock

Jul. 12th, 2015 | 06:01 pm

I took Friday off. Some second hand browsing at my favorite second hand shops (no purchases, but still fun).

I got my eyes examined. Trying on various frames in the shop I felt that they added a nice new dimension to my persona, making me look more distinguished? expert? librarian-sexy? I don't know. But after the exam the woman told me that my eyes are actually fine and there is no need for me to wear glasses, although they could make some glasses for when I have to work long hours in front of a computer. I thought about it, considering the fashion accessory aspect more than the necessity of having glasses, and then decided against it. No need to waste money on glasses I don't really need.

Then it occurred to me that a Thai massage would be great. So I went to a little place near where I live and it was out-of-body-experience level Good. I need to make that a regular thing.

Saturday I worked in my studio on various paintings. I finished a pure abstract piece, something that I began way back when I was in Chicago, but have waited all these years to figure out how it should go. I think I like it. I think I'm going to try to make more of these, this kind of painting.


Immolation
oil on canvas, 65cm x 65cm

Saturday I went to another art opening at the Kreuzberg Pavillon, where I spoke to the owner a bit, and then with the artists showing. It was a really nice, cerebral show of works on paper. The more I go to this gallery the more I like it – the crowd it draws as well as the kind of work they show. I'm considering putting together a proposal for an exhibition there myself.

After the opening I returned home to find my street again in riot mode. So I changed out of my Fine Art Viewing attire, put on my leather jacket and combat boots, and went outside to watch the aggression. Police vs. anarchists – it's a little like American football. The police in their riot gear looked like a platoon of Darth Vaders, so the whole scene looked like Team Darth Vader vs. Team Punk Rock. One side advances, then there's a skirmish, then there's a mad rush to disperse, and then everyone regroups and the whole thing begins again. Lots of posturing/shouting of angry slogans, tons of broken bottles being thrown, glass shattering and going all over the place. I struck up a conversation with a nice guy also out to watch the police vs. anarchists. We sat on the curb chatting until the violence suddenly rushed our way and we had to run to avoid being caught up in it. We then decided to go dancing at a little club down the street to get away from the maddness of the rioting crowds. It was a nice way to shake off all the tension of watching people fight. I need to go out dancing more often, it's like a kind of therapy. When we were exhausted we sat and ate cherries, as there was a random bag of cherries sitting on the table. All in all it was a lovely, textured and interesting evening. Spontaneous fun is always the best kind.

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alcippe

The results are in

Jul. 3rd, 2015 | 05:16 pm

I went to see my doctor yesterday to go over the results of all the tests and it looks like I may have food allergies. We're going to have to do further tests to pinpoint exactly what is to blame, but fructose/lactose intolerance is looking suspect. More on that as the story develops, but YAY I don't have a brain tumor!

In other news, I met the head curator of the Torrence Art Museum in L.A. last week and he is interested in showing some of my work at the museum. That would be wonderful, I'm totally down for that. I fear the whole artwork shipping process, but then again, if I could ship 40 paintings from Chicago to Berlin when I moved here, I'm sure I can ship a few from Berlin to L.A.

My friend Mark in Switzerland also asked me if I'd like to be included in a November group show in Zürich, which I said yes to. He told me I could take the painting off the stretcher bars and ship it to him rolled up and then he would re-stretch it upon arrival. That would save me some cash if he's willing to do that. I would be able to attend the opening, too, which is pretty kick ass.

This weekend I might go to a couple art things on Saturday evening. Sunday I might meet a friend for tea. It's about all I can handle right now because I do still feel like crap. Maybe I should pre-emptively start eating a non-fructose/lactose diet to see if it helps me feel better. I feel like my entire summer is being robbed from me due to neverending fatigue and it pisses me off. I should be out doing things, full of energy, not languishing on the sofa.

Non-fructose/lactose things are not what I think of as being super delicious. They include such things as radishes and turnips, kale and eggplant. I gues eggplant is alright :/

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alcippe

Adventures in health

Jun. 26th, 2015 | 01:53 pm

I've been having adventures in health lately, both the good and the bad kind.

A string of migraines knocked me out of work for a solid week, during which time I visited the offices of three doctors, only one of whome decided to actually do some investigation and not just throw prescriptions at me.

I'm now supplementing with vitamin D, and I also made the decision to cut out all grains, dairy and meat from my diet for a while, so that when I slowly add them back I can keep an eye on how I feel and see if there's a food allergy componenet involved. Since making these adjustments my chronic cough and migraines have both completely vanished, which is both amazing and mystifying. It was so bad before that I could have sworn I had entire-head-cancer, if that is even a thing.

I had a ton of bloodwork done last Friday and an MRI is planned for Monday.  be able to piece together what is going wrong inside my head, if it was just a vitamin deficiency or something more.

Last Sunday my energy levels were up enough that I was even able to work on the Mushroom Squatters. That was a big deal because for weeks I could barely do anything beyond lay in bed or on the sofa; those were the two flavors of my fatigue. Finally having energy to do things is awesome.



I also completely re-vamped my website, so now it now displays nicely on mobile devices and high-resolution screens. I'll need to re-shoot some of the pieces to get higher resolution images, but that's not a problem. I plan to dedicate tomorrow morning to dragging out old artwork into the light of day and photographing it.

Tomorrow evening I'm going to an opening at the Kreuzberg Pavillion where a friend of mine from the states is having one of her pieces exhibited in a group show. Looking forward to that. 

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alcippe

Noble Woman III

Jun. 9th, 2015 | 04:53 pm

Finally, this piece is finished! I've been working on it off and on since September. Some pigments take longer to dry than others, and this veridian green took forever, plus it was super-transparent, so I had to layer it up over time to get the dark areas really dark. But I think the results made it worth it – there is a very luminous quality to this painting that doesn't come across in a photograph due to all the layering, a bit like very thin layers of stained glass.

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alcippe

// No Subject //

Jun. 2nd, 2015 | 02:53 pm

Went to an ear-nose-throat specialist this morning for what I believed was a sinus infection but she found no sign of one. Not even one little bit. But I am definitely suffering from something, so the next step is to have an MRI done. Because there is pressure in my head, my eyes are burning and my cough is as bad as ever.

My mother of course thinks it's all diet related, and is of the belief that I have 'leaky gut syndrome'.

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alcippe

Of no real importance

May. 27th, 2015 | 02:36 pm

On a whim I put my hair up this morning in a kind of messy bouffant thing. I am tied between thinking it looks good and feeling like I have a weirdly shaped cone head.




Also, it's great that marijuana laws are loosening up and all, but I would love to see psychedelics get the same treatment. I would love to have to option to take medicinal mushrooms to help ease depression/anxiety rather than side-effect ridden SSRI medications.
Magic mushrooms 'less harmful than thought' and should be reclassified, says leading psychiatrist

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alcippe

// No Subject //

May. 25th, 2015 | 05:45 pm

Today has been all about paperwork, bookkeeping, taxes and other things that I've been putting off and/or dreading. I'm trying to diminish the pile of things that contribute to my skyrocketing anxiety levels.

One highlight of the weekend was having the chance to make some progress on the painting. Seriously, thank God for art.

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alcippe

// No Subject //

May. 22nd, 2015 | 03:23 pm

I discovered a 'Free Store' in my neighbourhood where I can donate things. That way my old roller blades/hot plate/rebounder/etc. can hopefully find a new life in someone else's home who needs them more than I. The store is called Systemfehler.

I paid a massive amount of income tax to the government today. Glad that's over with (for now).

Looking forward to the long weekend – we're celebrating Pfingstmontag here in Germany. I'm going to clean all of the things! And maybe do some painting, too.



In other good news, more than 90 days since I started my new job have passed, which means that my trail period is over! woo hoo

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alcippe

Not for the faint of heart

May. 22nd, 2015 | 11:56 am

First ever panic attack as I walked home from work yesterday.
do. not. want.

You know what triggered it? Someone asked me for advice on moving from the U.S. to Berlin.
LOL

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