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Sep 4, 2019

In this month’s Master Class with artist and psychologist, Rachel Davis, we learn that all artists get stuck and all mental challenges with our art are fear-based. In this enlightening and informative Master Class, Rachel teaches us how to notice our challenges, reframe them, and move forward, based on what really matters to you as an artist.

In this Master Class you will learn how to use the ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) Matrix to help end trying to be something or someone than you are. 

Some things you will learn:

• Fear is evolutionary—built into our DNA to protect us, so it is not going to go away

• To recognize your resistance—the things you have been doing to avoid what you want to do

• We don’t like to feel things like being incompetent for example, so we do things to avoid feeling it altogether

• We can release great amounts of unhelpful energy when we surrender to what’s holding us back

• Most of us don’t think twice about the awful way we speak to ourselves

• We become more sensitive the more we are aware



Be certain to check out Rachel’s art at her website:  Her psychology website, where she practices as Dr. Ruth Davis Kalb, can be found here:




*Please note that guest presenters are not necessarily Academy members available for commenting.


  1. Really enjoyed this session…awareness is ever-present…but not always evident!!!
    Thank you Nick for exposing your own ‘frustrations’ and showing us we all have similar goals and distractions. Away moves – I think I have a few hundred of those!

  2. I really needed this – I am aware that I have huge resistance and fear in making my art – “I’m not good enough, who am I fooling, I haven’t sold anything in years and I never will again, do I even like painting at all, I don’t know what I should be painting, I should just accept its nothing but a hobby.” I know that the fear will never go away but I have to learn to live with it. Are the thoughts I have always untrue? But oh boy it can be debilitating. I hope that this will help me.

  3. Thank you for this masterclass. I am not avoiding making art right now, but i am clearly avoiding building a web site. I understand that I put a huge resistance to selling my art because I deeply believe that it is not good enough (and never will be… so let’s pretend it is impossible ha ha). I will use the matrix and see if i can make a first move. Thanks again !

  4. Fantastic learning experience….. I worked on my own “matrix” and will continue to review, and observe. Thanks so much for this learning opportunity….Nick, your continued honesty and vulnerability is an honorable inspiration for me.
    Thank you, Carol

  5. That was such a fantastic and insightful conversation. Thank you both. One of the reasons I was drawn to do CVP this year was because I could sense that the program and Nick and the team are “real” and that you talk about the deeper aspects of what it means to be a human walking through life and a creative. You honour our vulnerability and the thirst for connection even when it’s scary. It is so honest to stop and notice and be attentive and that in itself feels a bit scary. The lower mind can say do you really need to do this grid even. Rachel’s call to be compassionate with where you’re at is what I’ve been practicing and it will be life long. When you are brave enough to expose your soul Nick, as you do, it helps so much for others watching you to realise that we are all in this together at various stages along the path, as you say in the course and it’s perfectly ok. These feelings belong.
    PS what does cry uncle mean? It’s not an Aussie term.

  6. This was SUPER helpful. The AVOIDANCE is running high within me right now (haven’t painted anything since CVP ended). Instead, I have been feeling awful about myself trying to TALK myself out of it and of course it isn’t working. I tip toed TOWARD my studio by working on some Zentangle designs out on my deck, but my true love is abstract, expressive art. OK… my next baby step is going to be going into my studio and working on this matrix. Thank you so much Rachel and Nick.

    • So glad this resonated with you Diane. Baby steps can really help get out of that stuck place. Just doing something and congratulating yourself goes a long way. You’ll get there!

  7. This is awesome! Nick, thanks for being the guinea pig to show us how this works. That was very courageous. It helps to see how to do it. Also, I hope that it’s helped you on your newest venture of your book. Would enjoy seeing a Part 2. Perhaps this Master Class can be mentioned again for folks to do it now during the Covid-19 while they are at home. The perfect time! Everyone is doing house cleaning as well as Internal cleansing. This would be super helpful for their art practice and their life in general. Thanks again!

  8. This was so unbelievably helpful! Thank you, Rachel and Nick!
    I would love to see a second part to this!


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