Tuesday, July 31, 2012

in which i publicly break down (again) and find hope

'she who guards the night' 48'x36' mixed media on canvas

 well, friends, my appologies
for the inconsistencies in posting.
insert 1001 colorful excuses.
the truth is i fear being irrelevant,
and this overwhelming fear bullies me into inaction.
the irony wink winks.
like you, i desperately need to create
beauty & meaning. to add value. to matter.
to not waste my time & yours.
(where time=life)
unlike you(wink wink), i fail daily.
oh, i seek help. i'm so full of help
my head buzzes with a cacophony of wisdom, well
meaning advice & conflicting self help nuggets
first thing in the morning
every. single. day.
supposedly, 96% of our daily thoughts
are a repeat of yesterday's.
they mostly add up to 1 idea:
'you are not (good) enough'.
i find this to be true. of me, again, unlike you.
 (i process things best in conversation.
just now realizing where this is going)
but, SO WHAT!
the fierce battle of thought & quest for truth
between you're not enough - yes, you are -
no, you're not has been driving me nuts for years.
what's the point, i ask. why does it even matter?
whose standard is it? 
why do we even need to compare?
i love. i am loved. i've got time.(for now)
i do what i can.
(in which what i can<what i think i can)
more or less we are all comprised of the same
the sun shines on the good & the bad.
perhaps we should all just savor
the honey sweetness of the light.

a necessary reminder

lest this gets overbearingly existential,
here are a few snapshots of recent anca times
to be savored and celebrated:
after months of sparse-to-no sales
(no sales at the solo show either),
sales! 4 small pieces & 4 large pieces
-including the commissions pictured-
within a couple of weeks.
sleeping under the stars,
that campfire smell you can't get out of your hair.
cake & steak for breakfast. lots of rain
bringing life on its green wings.
blackberry limeade spiked with an entire bottle of tequila.
sand dunes & sand between the toes & sand everywhere.
good talks with better friends.
surprise flowers. tomatoes from the garden.
picnics & cuddling to live symphony & chicago skyline.
sun & sun & oh so much water that like a child
you refuse to come out of.
the bawling embrace of mom, as i share
how intensely loved i feel.
sushi & korean pancakes & steamed mussels
with crusty bread
& the morning light on the patio.
lovely friends giving birth to new lovely friends.
stealing kisses and drowning them in red wine.
a generous gift of art supplies.
painting for days. finding just the right books
at the corner library.
being invited to contribute to just the right book.

i'd be a fool in the face of all this abundance
to bemoan my undeserving nature.
well, i am a fool.
but occasionally i remember:

'don't look at me, ok?' 36'x48' mixed media on canvas

and now back to egg shells. t-1month till
delivery of the art prize piece.
the next 30 days promise to be
meditative & nerve-wrecking.
exploratory & back-breaking.
but mostly filled to the brim with life
waiting to be savored.
(if we are ever so lucky as to be alive)

take a juicy bite! 

shockingly pretty stacks.  love it when work sneaks up on me.


  1. Anca, you are not alone :) I think the fragility of creativity is just one of those inevitable parts of an artist's DNA. I'm willing to bet there isn't one who never has a confidence crisis! Your work is beautiful and special, and sales are not a good way to measure yourself. Times are hard right now, for everyone. I'm so down with my art right now I can't bring myself to blog, facebook or even spent much time in my studio.
    That's it, celebrate the positive things in life instead. Good for you!!

    1. take courage, dear friend! the ups and downs keep coming. in low times it's good to be reminded that this too shall pass. just a bump in the road. best to make the most of it by celebrating the good things, basking in beauty, hunting inspiration, and stubbornly creating and sharing. as ever, i look forward to your updates and heartbreakingly beautiful, thought-provoking work!

  2. Anca- I absolutely LOVE you!! Love your art, love your insecurities as much as your securities. Love how you so eloquently and beautifully expose your struggles. Love that we get to spend this weekend together and add to your growing list of 'Anca Times' to be celebrated and savored!

    1. well, this just melts my little heart. you're the best sister! cheers to epic 'family times'! i'll make sure to bring the ash-bash!

  3. I've come back to this post several times...partly because it touches a part of my soul - the part that knows about breaking down in public as well in private. And partly because your extraordinary art keeps calling to me.

    You are not alone Anca. As artists, with each new piece we create, we're laying our souls bare for all to see and criticize or praise. And we are our own worst enemy, toughest critic, etc. Believe me, I know. Why do you think I've adopted those mantras - just do it, keep it simple, focus, no fear? Without them, without close friends...well...I'd still be paralyzed with fear as I was for over 2 years.

    Step away from the studio if you need. Do what you need to do to get over your self doubt. Most importantly, remember the good.

    1. oh, the mantras! a great testament to the power of words.
      the words along with remembering to savor and celebrate the good are our saving graces. would love to hear more of your story of overcoming doubt.

  4. Dear Anca, you are not alone in this; as Suzie said, this insecurity and fear is something many artists struggle with. I'll try not to give you advice (can't promise that, though), since you've heard plenty of it. Sometimes it takes years to sink in, if my experience is any indication. I'm assuming you've read Art & Fear; if not, I think it could be helpful (uh-oh- advice again! :-) ). As someone old enough to be your mom, I can tell you that if I had kept all the rejection letters I've gotten over the years, I could wallpaper my studio with them. They used to hurt, and even make me want to give up, but they don't bother me any more. I know I have to keep making my art, no matter what- it's who I am. And as you so eloquently put it: SO WHAT!

    1. dear friend, i am grateful for every precious piece in the choir of advice. thank you for adding your voice. i do believe that each has a special place in helping us grow and develop as artists, as people. as you mentioned, sometimes it does take years for it to sink in, but each of these critical voices are chiming in on our path for a reason. i will look up art & fear. it sounds to be extremely relevant.

    2. I couldn't remember who wrote it at the time, but here's a link to Art & Fear: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Fear-David-Bayles-Orland/dp/B002WGPM3K/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_2

  5. Anca, your words here are painfully beautiful... the ups and downs of a struggling striving hopeful artist.... the dry spells for sales and for ideas for new work.. the creative blocks followed by inspiration and working again.. then sales and opportunities come again... we are all the same and I certainly understand and 'get' you and what you are going through.. I have been there.

  6. Thereis beauty in fragility Anca - evident in you at present and in your work. I think thatyour eggshell works are like a self portrait. Truth is, they are like the 'portrait of an artist' - as we have all been whereyou are now. And will be again. Sending a big hug across the miles and looking forwardto enjoying more of what you offer.

  7. ...all who enter here, could not possibly leave without feeling like they have met a dear, old friend.
    there is something about you ~ your words ~ your work ~ that just reaches down to the dark recesses of our souls and pulls out all the heavy pain, the broken sorrows, the taunting self doubts and allows us to "kick it all to the curb" and sigh with relief that we indeed, are NOT alone, and there are others like us, other dreamers that are just trying to find their way in a world that is spinning to fast to take a breath...

    ~ sigh ~
    thank you for your breath of fresh air!