Friday, December 31, 2021



   And here we are, one year is coming to a close and another waiting to unfold.

    What was 2021 like for me and my art practice? My days, as a parent of two still young kids (6 and 11) are always filled with action, and I often need to make decisions and do things quicker than my personal inclination would be, had I the luxury to have it my way. But then again, who has that luxury? I am a slow paced soul, I like to reflect and set aside time at the end of each year to look back and see where I was and where I got.
So here it goes, a shorter version than I might like, but something, nevertheless. And something is better than nothing.
    In spite of the still ongoing pandemic I was happy to participate in two great exhibitions:

I debuted my work with twelve watercolors at Olson-Larsen Galleries (Des Moines, IA) in "Dreamland", a four artist exhibition (featuring work by Naomi Friend, Jane Gilmor, Jeanine Coupe Ryding, Ken Smith, and myself, in April and May 2021.)
    ..from the introduction to the show: "Dreams are ephemeral and elusive. Much like washes of watercolor, words in a passing conversation, moments caught on film, and nearly endangered species. The artists in Dreamland are dealing with fleeting feelings, shapes, colors, ideals, ambitions, and strength in one dream.".

    In September/October /November I showed seven of my watercolors in "Winds of Change", another four-artist exhibition (with Helen Gotlib, Ahavani Mullen, Allison Svoboda and myself) at gallery 1871 in Chicago. I love the tranquil feeling of all the pieces in this show. They are, each in its own voice, deeply connected with nature, and are tied with subtle lyricism.

    In 2021 my work was covered in several online and print publications: I was contacted by Mark Walton of the Covert Collective ("a gathering of visual art curators from across Canada, sharing the work of artists they love, and work that inspires them. Digitally platformed and branded as curated. the ad hoc group celebrates the artists and work that makes them think"). Mark discovered my work on Instagram, and was inspired by my pandemic mark making sketchbooks. He wrote a beautiful essay about my work titled "In One Breath".

    In connection to my practice during the pandemic times I was also featured on Hyperallergic's website in "A View from the Easel During Times of Quarantine"

    I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I got listed on "Women Artists to Watch", among 60 women artists from around the globe. Since Artsy features works by 150,000 artists globally, making it to a list of "60 women artists on the rise" (as Artsy states!), is pretty exciting.

    My work was also published in the "In Her Studio" publication, with a 7-page story titled "Making my Mark". It was fun walking into a nearby Barnes and Noble, picking up the current issue and flipping through the pages featuring my work.

    In November,
during the Giving Tuesday, I decided to put two of my small Origin Aqueous watercolors for bidding on Instagram, in an effort to raise funds for the local Mooseheart Child City and School. I am grateful my artwork has the power to help children in need, and that in just a few hours I was able to raise $750 for a great cause.
    Looking forward to 2022, I already have several shows scheduled (solo exhibition "Inner Wanderings" here locally at Geneva Arts Center in January/February 2022 and a spring/summer exhibition at Walker Fine Art in Denver), with a few others that are in the making.

Lastly; I am truly grateful that another year in my life was filled with what I love doing the most - my art practice. I am ever so grateful to my family, my galleries, collectors, and followers, and all the amazing supporters of my artistic practice. Some of you are making sure I have the time to create, some of you are taking care of the sales, some are passionate about collecting my work, and some of you just inspire me with your acts of kindness - with your words of inspiration and love. Thank you!

Here is to a fulfilling year ahead of us!


"Dreamland" exhibition at Olson-Larsen Galleries (images above)

"Winds of Change" exhibition at gallery 1871 (images above)

Studio Views above- images courtesy of Indigo Skye Photography

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


 Women Artists to Watch

I am so excited to be featured on Arsty's "Women Artists to Watch" and be among 67 women artists from around the globe recognized by Artsy's Curatorial Team.
Artsy, a prestigious online art platform and artist/gallery database, features over 100,000 artists represented by art galleries.

"Historically underrepresented and undervalued, women artists have always made work that is innovative, impressive, and thought-provoking. Today, many institutions are giving due recognition to this fact. Below, find a selection of highlights from new and noteworthy female-identifying artists, hand-picked by Artsy’s Curatorial team."



Wednesday, October 13, 2021


Gallery 1871 

1871 N Clybourn St, Chicago, IL 60614
Opening Friday, September 17th, from 5PM - 8PM
On view through Friday, November 19th

Flow Earth Series, Watercolor on paper
30 x 22" unframed
40.75 x 33.5" framed

Here are a few images from the newly opened exhibition "Winds of Change" at the Gallery 1871  in Chicago.

 The exhibition features new works by Helen Gotlib, Ahavani Mullen, Allison Svoboda and myself. 

I love the tranquil feeling of all the pieces in this show. They, each in its own voice, speak of a deep connection with nature, and are tied together with a sense of subtle lyricism.

All Images Above: Ana Zanic, Viridis Series, Watercolor on paper
30 x 22" unframed
40.75 x 33.5" framed

Left: Ana Zanic
Right: Alison Svoboda
Left: Alison Svoboda,
 Right: Ana Zanic
Top: Ana Zanic, Bottom: Allison Svoboda, Right: Ahavani Mullen

Left Back: Helen Gotlib, Right Front: Ahavani Mullen

Helen Gotlib

Thursday, June 24, 2021

 One Breath


Recently I have been approached by Mark Walton of  Covert Collective about doing a write up on my artistic practice. I am truly humbled by his inspired response to my work.

Here is a copy of the text:

  One Breath

  by Mark Walton

 The first time you see Ana Žanić’s watercolor and pencil artwork is like taking a sharp blow to the limbic system. Every one of your senses screams “I know this” but cannot figure out what “this” is or why it knows it. They take on the form of something both organic and subliminal, communicating to us of the past (back to pre-history) and our deeply troubled emotional state we find ourselves in through the pandemic.

Her colour palettes are very natural and gently reassuring… mother earth will take us back into her bosom and help us heal. The meticulous marks speak of long journeys past, and reach out to our future selves to remind us that we have struggled before and have overcome those obstacles… we can do it again.

I reached out to Ana and asked her a few questions.

Your work is a very strong combination of the abstract and the meticulous, and you work in many different sizes (the notebooks to huge wall pieces). Can you speak to how long it takes you to complete these?

Smaller formats like a 9″x12″ piece can take as little as a day or two if I am looking for a simple statement, where the piece feels as if it happened in one breath. In other cases it can take me much longer, as I am coming back several times to the same piece with more details. Sometimes the work is not finished even after a few months. The really large paintings (like 99″x55″) can take me a few months or a year (or more) to get to the place where I feel the piece is resolved and finished.

My small sketchbooks, the ones I started during this pandemic are an ongoing process – I have been working on them for a full year now. So far I have eight of those pandemic sketchbooks, and none of them is completely finished.

When you start a work, do you have a general idea of what you want to do or is it more of a stream of consciousness? To my mind these are somewhat like dreamscapes.

I like to randomly open my sketchbooks, pick up one of the unfinished pages that I am drawn to at that particular moment, and continue working on it. This is very similar to almost all my work, even large scale, as I am not at all drawn to planning out my process. I see all my work as a time and place where I release myself from the need to control and plan, which is almost the opposite of how my mind works the rest of the time 😉

My art practice gives me a license not to be concerned with the outcomes, and to enjoy a sense of flow. I guess that is then reflected back in the work itself.

In my process, I see a metaphor for the duality of life; where certain things can be controlled, while others happen spontaneously.

Can you tell me briefly about your artistic journey – how did you wind up here with these images?

My artistic journey goes way back to my earliest childhood. Ever since I was very little I was drawn to doodling and playing with clay. Many of my parents’ close relatives are visual artists by profession; some are painters, others sculptors and printmakers, several of them are also university art professors. Though both my parents and sister hold degrees in math and physics, my parents always recognized and encouraged my artistic expression, and bringing me up, they were in general never stifling.

I think the spontaneity I am drawn to relates greatly to the way I was brought up, with a general sense of freedom to often do what I like. Some might call this being spoiled, I guess.

In my work I am always interested in the spontaneity of the process, and a sense of life and intimacy. I am not interested in work that would be considered bold and striking, but rather I seek the expression that is quiet and calming. My works can, in a strange way, be seen as both optimistic and a bit melancholic at the same time. I guess at heart I am a true romantic.

Thursday, April 08, 2021


Olson-Larsen Galleries, Des Moines, IA 

April 9, 2021-May 22, 2021

Tomorrow is the opening of "Dreamland" at Olson-Larsen Galleries in Des Moines, IA.

This will be my first time to exhibit with the gallery, and I am excited to show twelve of my watercolors, from several of my series, in a group exhibition with five artists: Jillian Dickson, Naomi Friend, Jane Gilmor, Jeanine Coupe Ryding and Ken Smith.

 "Dreams are ephemeral and elusive. Much like washes of watercolor, words in a passing conversation, moments caught on film, and nearly endangered species. The artists in Dreamland are dealing with fleeting feelings, shapes, colors, ideals, ambitions, and strength through their individual expression– all coming together to create one sweet dream."

(by Olson-Larsen Galleries) 

 Pictured above top to bottom: Origin Cloud, 56"x55", watercolor on paper, Origin Cloud, 56"x55" watercolor on paper and Blush Nebula, 35"x55" watercolor on paper*

Saturday, October 24, 2020


Schingoethe Center of Aurora University


 I am right now exhibiting these three "Migration" panels, in the "Art in the Time of Coronavirus" exhibition of the Schingoethe Center of Aurora University (12"x12" watercolor, graphite and burn marks on wood panel).

Here are the links to this online exhibition and my short contributing video

During this unprecedented time of the corona virus pandemic everyone's routines have changed, nothing is quite the same, and we are all learning to adjust to every single day as it comes. The country's political and social crisis adds an intense layer of uneasiness and uncertainty.

It is interesting to me that my new series on wood panels, the one I started last year, titled "Migration", emerged as a reflection on the changes and perpetual adjustments in my process of moving from Croatia to the United States many years ago. This feeling of unknown, of being suspended rather than grounded has only intensified, and I am certain it is now the prevailing feeling for practically the entire humankind.

Every day I find gratitude in the ability to add small marks to my sketchbooks, whenever an opportunity arises. Sometimes it comes while my kids are playing in the yard, sometimes while sitting by my kindergartner during his online school meetings. It's all more fluid now, and that is a nicer way to say: the concept of time feels quite blurry. There is more time, and yet less rest for the mind.

I feel, if all ends well, and we push through, this pandemic will probably be a time to remember how much we got to be together. And yet, in this moment, however blissful the cuddles and playing together (and doing school together!) are, there is a huge lack of "alone" time. Time for reflection. Time for a quiet room, with nobody else but yourself, for just a couple of hours. I am not counting here the very early morning that I am already stealing when I wake up a few hours before everyone else in our house...

If it, indeed, all goes well, I am asking myself, will I remember the richness of the time together, and reflect on it with a sense of nostalgia; once my studio resumes being again just - my studio, and no more also a makeshift classroom of my little five year old brother-in-arms.