In December 2020, we hosted our very first Express Yourself Art Competition. This was part of our Community Wellbeing & Recovery project, supported by Foundation Scotland.

Open to all participants of our Art for Wellbeing workshops, we wanted to see how you had been inspired to get creative during lockdown (and beyond!). We were truly delighted by the high quality, colourful entries we received. Our judging panel carefully reviewed each artwork, and scored them on creativity, skill and theme. Thank you to our special guest judges Lin Chau, Pui Lee and Fiona Tong for their support.

It’s now time to announce our three lucky winners! Congratulations (in no particular order) to Sintija Plāce, Samantha Ann Robson and Maria Frank. Take a look at their artworks below, and read more about their inspiration.

Sintija Plāce – Self Portrait

‘The submitted work is one of the many that were created during the Blind Drawing/Connecting with Yourself workshop … As I was not glimpsing, nor trying to make my drawing visually direct or pleasant on purpose, I felt as if I did let go of my ‘persona creating self’. … Last portrait was accompanied by colours and shades which represented my mood of that night. … This exercise perfectly shows that the best unintentional results come when we allow our senses and emotions to flow without strain in our minds and no eraser by our side.’

Samantha Ann Robson – Beach Treasures

‘I found both … classes helped me build my confidence in drawing and expressing myself through art, as well as giving me some really helpful tips for improving my drawing. I also found them really calming during this very frightening time, and gave me a sense of being in contact with others. … I chose the beach treasures, including shells and a wooden ice cream spoon for my still life subject, as it expresses how everything really is in the eye of the beholder. … A little wooden ice cream spoon may look like rubbish to or act as a reminder of a blissful day at the beach… It’s all in the perception. ‘

Maria Frank

‘The drawing I submitted includes my real furry family of two cats and one dog enjoying a moonrise. … My subjects include nature, animals, and everyday things in life. … I found these workshops inspiring and they re-energised my desire to create art and to learn more about technique, perspective, materials, etc. … I’ve been yearning to draw and learn how to paint, and the pandemic provided time and opportunity (via online workshops) to do so. … The instructor’s very positive approach to drawing helped me work through self-criticism and encouraged me to stick with my work (i.e. work through seeming “mistakes”) until satisfied with the result. … They have made a huge difference in my life during this difficult time for the world.’