A creative life


In the studio

BY MIHNEA RASCA

The Romanians Abroad section has been created exactly for people like Ana! This is one of the top stories here, uncovering a successful painter who, 7 years ago, has managed to suppress all fears, frustrations and mixed feelings, parting from a corporate career and looking for her true meaning in life. Today, she holds many facets and an extensive life experience we could all benefit from!

Name: Ana Maria Fociuc / ANAPAZ – artist name Age: 42 Hometown: Bucharest Abroad since: 1997 Living in: Switzerland - Aeschi bei Spiez & Zurich Current occupation: Artist

TGR: Ana, I've always had this curiosity: how much time does it take for an artist like you to imagine, design, create and finalize one painting?

It is hard to say. It is different from one painting to another. Starting with the imagining, some ideas are coming very fast, clear, and are relatively easy to materialize in more or less one week. Others need much more time. I have an initial idea but after that I need to wait for some inspiration to be able to advance and finally finish it. This can take weeks. Also I am working in various layers, which sometimes need a few days to dry. I consider a painting finished when it is sold and leaving my place. On some paintings, even after 2 years, I suddenly have the urge to add some brushes here and there.

And I suppose you also need a certain natural environment, a specific state of mind...

Yes, you are right. I need space and time, sometimes combined with music. Space because I paint large canvases and time in order to connect with my self, to quiet all the thoughts I don’t need at that moment and to invite the imagination and creativity to pay me a visit. For my painting style, it is very helpful to travel, to visit old places and nature and carefully observing the environment.

To put it simply, creativity happens when my mind is unfocused, daydreaming or idle. If my mind is constantly processing information, I never get a chance to let my thoughts roam and my imagination drift.

I need to find ways to give my brain a break and for this, in my case, nature and silence work well. Inspiration is everywhere around us but we need to switch off all the other channels and observe.

I paint with my hands, but my feelings, emotions and my intuition are in charge; hand is just a tool. I never know how a paining is going to look like in the end. It is always a surprise to me. All I am doing is to stay as much as possible in a meditative, no-thought, neutral state of mind, and let the intuition do the work, pick the right color, move the canvas, stroke the brush in the right direction. It is all about a magic dance between how I feel in that moment and how much I can let myself go with the flow. It is the opposite of thinking and planning, a child-like state. I play and I discover a new universe, where neither time nor space exists.

I start with an idea; then the idea takes its own life. It’s more like I am a channel, helping deliver something, than creating. I have to be open and aware, and figure out what it wants to become. Anything can happen at any point.

Do you feel it's a gift you were born with, or just a sum of fortunate events?

My strong believe is that everybody could draw, paint, write, dance, etc. at some point in their lives. Because of the educational system and /or some kind of criticism, forgot or just stopped doing it. If somebody would have asked me 10 years ago if I have some talent, I would have said „NO”. But I do think creativity is a gift that everybody has, combined with a sum of fortunate events plus some amount of resilience and patience.

A gift that brings you great satisfaction, once you get to express it through your work...

Creativity is our birthright. It is not a special talent limited to famous artists, writers and musicians. We are all creative beings by default. Being human requires us to adapt to changing circumstances of our lives.

We are used to think of arts as a form of entertainment, and even as personal expression, but many of us have forgotten that the arts can also heal. In the distant past, the purpose of Greek drama was to produce an emot