Saturday, February 19, 2022

Anxiety vs. Figure Drawing: Who Will Win?

Anyone who is close to me knows that I deal with some pretty high anxiety, even though the face most familiar to people is that of the enthusiastic, perennially happy and upbeat version of myself. Unfortunately, living with anxiety is not unique to me. So many people in my life, both adult and student, suffer similarly. And it often has no rhythm or reason as to when it might strike, even in the most unlikely of situations - such as an artist/art teaching going to a figure drawing session...

Consider that I have been teaching art, on and off, since 1999, have six years of high level art education under my belt, and I recently won a major award.... And yet...and yet.... something as simple as going to a figure drawing class has the ability to get under my skin, when drawing is for me, like breathing! I love it, always, unconditionally. And yet...

          1-5 minute poses

Anxiety, for me, is typically triggered by anything that feels "new" or "unfamiliar", whether this pertains to people, places, or activities. And thus is struck today (and really, it started last night, because, you know, worrying is best done well in advance, ha!) I haven't attended a formal figure drawing session in possibly close to three years, so it falls easily into the category of "unfamiliar" at the moment. What if I got lost on the way and arrived late? What if I was terrible and people noticed? Who would be there? What if there weren't enough seats? How would I arrange my art materials? All of these questions and more ran through my head. 

And yet....

           10-20 minute poses

I did go, and I'm so glad! This may seem like a small victory, but every time we go up against those fears, as small and irrational as they may be, pat yourself on the back and be proud of the small wins! In the end it was a great two hours, I feel super pumped (and apparently in the sharing kind of mood) and plan to attend every month. FYI - it was at the Delaware Contemporary, every third Saturday from 10am-12. It's run by Jenna Lucente, an amazing local artist (check out her work at,) and the museum is well worth a visit. I may not have produced my best figure drawings ever, but everyone was so welcoming and it felt so good to stretch my life drawing muscles again!

For those of you who would like to go to a figure drawing session, but are feeling a little intimidated, let me know and I will be your hype woman! You typically start with several one minute poses to get warmed up, then a few five minute, some tens, and then you end with some 20 minute poses. It is a great way to get those drawing hours in and really up your game!

What are some of the anxieties that you face that you have overcome lately? The more we share our experiences, the stronger we will become! 

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