Exercise 1 – Experimenting with expressive lines and marks – JOY

Words: confusion, difficult, playful, erratic, fear
This was actually incredibly difficult for me to do as you can probably tell by the list of associated words.  It has made me realise that I don’t do ‘joy’ well at all.  The main issue is with my mental health condition; I have bipolar disorder and often extreme joy has meant being in a manic phase and so has lead to me getting into trouble.  I think this has now led me to almost fear experiencing joy and not really knowing how to express normal joy.
Top Left: this erratic nature of my joy is show as a mixture of wavy calm lines and sharp spiky ones.  As this was my first image on the page I think it’s clear I didn’t know what direction I was going in and had no idea what I was going to end up with.
Top Right: as this was with paint I found it a little easier as painting is something that does bring me calm joy.  Painting is something I started doing in order to help with my condition and so I do associate it with well-being and ‘good joy’.  I had a great deal of fun with the skewer and paint splatters.
Bottom Left:  The erratic feelings return but this time with slightly more meaning.  I used the pastel and let it flow, again there is a mixture of marks: waves and spikes but I feel this one is more reflective of how I was feeling.
Bottom Right: again I started with no real aim, I was thinking of things that do bring me joy.  My daughter is a big one and as her name is also the name of a flower I think that’s what lead me to draw an almost floral shape.
This feeling of being unsure of emotions and artists with mental health conditions is one that I do want to research further.