Ana Popescu It’s all terazzo, pools and Palm Springs for this illustrator

Cover Image - Ana Popescu

It’s easy to develop a crush on Ana Popescu’s work; her pieces exhibit a childlike joy that keeps everything playful and vibrant. The artist, who was born in Romania and now lives in Austria, has an eye for color and composition, and depicts lovely Bauhaus structures in a way that reminds us of summer days. It’s the kind work of that comes across really casually at first glance, only to reveal how much skill hidden beneath the seemingly simple first impression.

You won’t encounter the houses Ana depicts in real life, as each scene is loosely inspired by images she has found online. The artist spends many hours researching before picking a building, which she then carefully alters into a colorful interplay of rectangles and squares. Finally she adds the occasional curves from a vase or plant, which create a nice contrast to the straight lines and shapes of the buildings.

Ana is fond of Bauhaus – it reminds her of Romania, because the German architectural style has influenced the country after the First World War. And she recently developed a fascination for mid-century mansions in Palm Springs, known for their large geometrical shapes. They allow her to focus on the overall composition, instead of getting lost in the details.

Ana mixes the acrylics herself. Her brushstrokes look spontaneous but there are times she works on a piece for a couple of days before she’s happy with a specific shade. “At one point I mixed just about every color I could think of, but I wanted to create some texture. Since I like terrazzo a lot, I started placing little dots everywhere, and that’s when I became more obsessed with patterns,” she explains.

Instead of approaching her paintings very conceptually, the artist sees them more as experiments in form. This being said, she’s very interested in how people relate to their surroundings. “If there was just an empty space, I would not be able to appreciate it. When there are elements in it that I can relate to, this changes.

So even though people aren’t depicted in Ana’s work, the architecture, the plants and the pools all refer to human connections and interactions. The question remains – have these people been and gone? Or are they on their way?