I have struggled for years with anxiety. It comes and goes based on what life is throwing in my direction. Considering all that is going on in the world I’m currently at about a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10. If you have been challenged by anxiety you know it seeps into all areas of your life – day and night.
On February 29, 2020 I was over the moon happy! I had the opening reception for a fused glass and craft teaching studio I started along with my son, Jess, and daughter-in-law Darcy. The studio was flooded with light, the space to teach was filled with friends and family making suncatchers. There was art from Jack Vest, a young artist friend, and fused glass created over the last few years on display. Yummy food and drink. It was a great day!
The following week I began to pay more attention to the news reports about the corona virus. I knew that the classes would not be filled and plans for the business would have to change in order to protect my family and potential customers. Two weeks later, I announced that classes were cancelled and the studio would be closed along with all other non-essential businesses. At that point, reality had not yet sunk in.
Ever the optimist, I thought I would plan to make class examples, get product ready for Pepper Place Market and work on some new designs. The first week I spent in my office working on transitioning the Horizons School (my full-time job) from a residential transition program for young adults with disabilities to an online school. We were all working hard to learn new technology to host the classes and have zoom meetings with staff and families. I had little time to focus on my side gig.
Week two, was spring break and I spent time in the studio with Darcy and Jess working on class examples and teaching them different fused glass techniques.Towards the end of that week my anxiety began to kick in as reports from around the US and the world became more dire. When I’m anxious I struggle to be creative and focus. I wake up at night, heart pounding wondering what I will do if……. My thoughts go down a negative path and I worry about all those I love and care about.
While I continue to work at my full-time job, that creative spark and drive is gone. I know from reading posts on social media that many others are going through the same thing. Despite telling myself that tomorrow I will get into my studio and start working on some projects, I find myself numbing my brain with pointless games on my iPad. Maybe that’s what I need right now, but I hate the thought of wasting studio time.
I am hoping, that putting this out in the world will help me move forward and focus on creating rather than allowing myself to be consumed by my anxiety.
So here’s the plan: I am going to post photos of artwork by artists I admire. Many will be glass artists, but there will be other artists in the mix. I will also post photos of past work that was inspired by those artists, and make a goal of creating something new.
Artist number 1 is Jessica Laughlin. She first came to my attention when I visited the Bullseye Glass Factory in Portland, Oregon back in 2009. I have been a huge fan ever since. Jessica Laughlin is an Australian artist. When I view her work It takes me to a quiet and calm place. I feel my heart rate slowing and BP dropping as I am pulled into her artwork. These two pieces are examples of her work that I find especially calming.
awash ix an ever changing constant viii
Inspired by her work and color palette I created this bowl several years ago. Although, my piece is smaller and has more texture that same quality of calm and quiet is present.
Continuing with that color palette I created this triptych that has more movement and tension.
The Primordial Series (I, II, III)
Lets generate positive creative energy and support each other during a difficult time. Who inspires you? Post your comments and photos below.