A Respite From Anxiety and Fear

A Respite From Anxiety and Fear - student project

I am so grateful to Marie-Noelle for this class. She created an opportunity to explore and grow without fear of judgement or failure. I hear messages all the time about creating without fear, learning from your mistakes, and so on. It was very different to watch Marie-Noelle go through the exercises with me, and talk about her thinking process after.

I have been creatively stuck for a while, and positively frozen for the last month. I'm an art teacher, and because of the pandemic, I am home for the rest of the year. I have more time than ever to create, but when I sit down I just. Can't. Do. It. I started this class about a month ago but never finished it; today, I finished the last exercise. These experiments gave me permission to move and create without expectations of the results. More importantly, for a couple of hours I was present, I was having fun, and I was free of anxiety fear!

Exercise 1: One abstract drawing using the different textures, colors and feel of your tools. I had an absolute blast making this piece. My favorite part was applying water to the soft pastel and charcoal, and seeing the way the mix moved and blended.

A Respite From Anxiety and Fear - image 1 - student project


Exercise 2: A title page filled with fun hand-lettering and decorative elements. This isn't my favorite finished piece, but I took the techniques I enjoyed most in exercise 1 and repeated them here.

A Respite From Anxiety and Fear - image 2 - student project


Exercise 3: Two creative mini-self-portraits and one drawing made to music. I tend towards all-over compositions and really full pages, so at first I felt these drawings were incomplete. Reviewing them, however, I appreciate how the minimal composition allows the drawing to stand out.

A Respite From Anxiety and Fear - image 3 - student project

For the music piece, I listened to a song from one of my favorite movies, Princess Mononoke. I layered circles in different media, and thought about how we are all connected. I want to take individual circles and blow them up or isolate them, as the lines inside each one are incredibly interesting to me.

A Respite From Anxiety and Fear - image 4 - student project

Exercise 4: One chaotic sketchbook page where you explore how many different ways you can transform a plant/animal/thing...I stopped and started this course, and missed this exercise. Oops!

Exercise 5: One drawing where you engineer a 'mistake' and learn how to integrate it into what you initially made. First I drew the fairy door. My mistake was the loopy green marker line that ran all over the page. I'm not sure what it turned into, but it was a great experiment in overlapping shapes and combining the small and detailed with the big and gestural.

A Respite From Anxiety and Fear - image 5 - student project