Laurel Schenkman


Administration Building at the Redlands campus


These are a series of acrylic paintings that focus on Laurel's experience with anxiety. She tends to feel anxiety really strongly. In these pieces, Laurel uses colors and imagery that she associates with her anxiety. She uses drawings in her sketchbook as a guide for the subjects of her artworks. The drawings that Laurel made are not part of the final project. She used acrylic paint for the images. She used deep reds, light gray, dark purples, and desaturated purples. Laurel applied paint straight onto the canvas for her process.


She was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Laurel is an abstract artist. She has an interest in abstract art that started at The Art Institute of Chicago. Laurel got into painting in high school and started taking painting classes at The Art Institute during the summers. In past semesters, she has painted highly saturated images of her friend's body and body parts. This semester Laurel is taking a figure painting class so she is hoping to continue those works in that class, as well. A huge inspiration for her is Elaine DeKooning. Laurel really enjoys her imaginative artworks and the combinations of colors that she uses in her pieces. What she cares most about in her life is mental health. Mental health is a major national public health issue. Lauren has been caring about it since she was 13 years old. More specifically, a mental illness called generalized anxiety disorder (GAD.)


GAD is defined as excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events for no obvious reason. People with symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder tend to always expect disaster and can't stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school. Lauren was diagnosed with GAD during her sophomore year of college. For her, it affects how she feels in school most of all. This semester, Laurel focused on combining painting and abstraction with her own mental health. Laurel feels anxiety everywhere in her body, and her paintings depict how she feels when she experiences it.