A few days ago, we paid a visit to our friend and Portland artist, Anne Fudyma, in her studio to ask her about her work, process, and what fuels her passion for creating.
Tell us a bit about yourself
Hi, my name is Anne. I am an artist, primarily a painter. I try to keep my art practice and existence as close as possible which has recently resulted in time based paintings that explore concepts such as synchronicity, time, solitude and energy. Typically the paintings are abstract with elements of symbolism and iconography in order to communicate these abstract concepts. I also work in other forms and mediums such as ceramics, flowers, movement/personal performances, bread sculptures, email correspondence, sound and video.
How do you work?
A typical day in the studio starts extremely slow. I make coffee, sit in different chairs or in my backyard in stillness/silence. Sometimes I read, clean my house, walk my dog, or just find ways to get grounded in the day. Lately I have been taking the step into painting with responding to an email correspondence I have with my friend about our art practice, concepts, reasons to make, etc. From there I usually begin painting. My work style is intentionally not consistent and sometimes I get distracted, wander around, make two marks per hour and try not to rush the paintings. Other times the painting just flows in a really concentrated and intense way for hours. It really depends on my mood, the weather, how my body/mind is feeling and many other elements. I am trying to unlearn the idea that a productive studio day means I have to paint all day, and instead find value in the entire process of making.
What inspired you to start making art?
In early high school I had a life changing switch from competitive soccer athlete to becoming an artist. At the time I was dealing with a series of injuries and immobility. Art became a core part of my identity and recovery. Ever since, I have continued to constantly create in many different forms and capacities.
How has your practice changed over time?
My practice is constantly evolving. I started as a film photographer and have slowly moved my way through ceramics, ink, performance, oils, etc. As time goes on my practice becomes more serious. I schedule it like a job on my calendar, writing in hour time slots and days that say “paint”. Recently what has been changing is accepting that I can have a productive studio day without actually painting. Taking it seriously but not being so intense about a specific routine in the studio is opening up my practice and allowing new ideas and inspiration to come.
What art do you most identify with?
I identify often with more abstract work or work that feels connected to the inner experience of the body. As in emotions or ideas/concepts that you can’t explain or grasp but can feel. I am really interested in this idea of energy being transferred from color and mark or this sort of spiritual, inner emotional force. I also am inspired by art based on the mundane or daily life; work based in solitude; work that is made out of a necessity. I identify with memoirs, letters, journals or anything that documents existence.
What work do you most enjoy doing?
The work I most enjoy is definitely painting. When I’m painting it’s the only time I am completely free of my anxiety and any emotional or physical discomfort. I get into this state where I’m not really aware of my body, yet I’m extremely grounded. It’s hard to explain. After a good painting session I feel like I learned something and am really relaxed and at ease. Sometimes the next day I don’t recognize the painting and I am in awe that I made it. There is also this give and take that occurs with me and the paintings. They are teaching me and I am teaching them. I learn from them over the years. It’s really exciting and feels like at times it’s almost a mirror to my subconscious.
What is your dream project?
I do not have one single dream project. My dream practice would be to have a lot of space, time and money to create consistently for an extended period time so I could create many dream projects.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
For me, advice is relevant one day and not the next. I think we are constantly changing and shifting so our needs and advice change. Lately I would say the best advice that has been working for me is to sit with feelings and not judge them or run but just observe and feel. For example when i’m sad instead of trying to explain why i’m sad or find ways to get over it, I just feel sad and cry a lot. Personally I work through things faster that way.
Professionally, what’s your goal?
Professionally, my overall goal is to be able to keep creating and engaging with other people through art. I don’t have an end point in mind. I hope to always be open to change with the work I’m making.
What wouldn’t you do without?Art/painting. I took a year off of painting/art making and without getting too personal I had a bit of a breakdown that was correlated to the absence of my art practice.