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


Please click here to watch our video walkthrough on how to download the audio and transcripts for all Academy materials.


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


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


  1. Oh wow – this matrix is going to be so useful – already I’m making sense of all those times when I head off to start something new instead of …. (the harder stuff but the stuff that will help me progress along my path better! Classic avoidance wrapped up as fun!)
    Unusually for me I’m feeling very sh**y about my art and the path I’m on but this is really going to help me unpack this in such a profound way and I feel better for just having this level of comprehension about how to take notice of what I’m doing; like I can recognise now that I had some over ambitious summer goals which I’ve ‘failed’ to materialise – time for some self compassion too and to start making kinder better choices.
    Please let there be a part 2 – really getting so much from being in this Academy. Thanks to Nick and Rachel for this great learning, tool and honest insights.

  2. It is so empowering to understand how fear holds us back rather than hanging on to some idea that counseling will make the unpleasant go away. Learning how to respond in a new way. Identifying what I do to avoid the feelings. Thanks for making this video and sharing the template.

  3. When the subject came up about what we do to avoid doing things, I had to chuckle because one of the things I do is watch Master Classes. This was very informative and makes for a good personal practice, not only for art, but also for life.

  4. Thank you for making older master classes available! This session will keep my wheels rolling along! I hope that I never reach the end of the incredible information available through CVP and the Academy.

  5. wow I know this is last years class but I LOVE it!!! I remember those moments when someone understood me and what was important to me as an artist’s …. its so rare that they understand your fears in art. And i realize … it’s really me that needs to understand my own fear. Thank you.

  6. This was very good!

  7. This masterclass is so incredibly insightful.

    • That was awesome. This is the kind of pro-active therapy I want with my therapist. My old therapist was like this. We would talk and then do an activity like working in the sandbox or writing things out. I like doing “the work”, not just complaining about my week.
      I like the No Pressure/No Guilt/No Shame angle of this A LOT. My only concern is that, with my ADHD, I have executive dysfunction a lot. So, I often notice when I’m avoiding All The Things. Even The Things I really want to do. I sometimes just sit there, staring at the floor asking myself… why am I not moving? Which will lead to a nap or doom scrolling.
      So, I notice where I’m at, I notice I’m not doing the thing by way of Doom Scrolling social media.. aaaand…. that’s it. I may even get up but it’ll be to the fridge… just replacing one avoidance/self soothing tactic for the next… let’s, see, there’s snacks, going to the bathroom (to doom scroll there instead), mess with my face (am a popaholic), play with my hair, reorganize rocks on my shelf, MAYBE I’ll get close to painting… or fool myself that I am, by “cleaning my workspace”. But….. then I start doom scrolling again…. rinse. repeat.

      Like, today, I opened up 21 tabs here.. all master class videos. First time I’ve even used the site since we joined. (Is time up with that yet, btw?) So, I was about to watch them, but I had to go to the bathroom, I then wanted to put my new tiara on (it makes me feel good and sometimes motivates me) but I couldn’t figure out how, cuz its a,new very different one… so I was then on YouTube trying to learn how. Then I went to put my hair in a messy bun but its getting so long I couldn’t figure it out…. back to YouTube tutorials… for like…. a while. Then made tea, let cat out, made snack, got distracted by rocks while cleaning off my desk…. ugh.

      And this is me ON my ADHD medication.

      I forget what my point is… oh… so, I notice what I’m doing… that doesn’t change anything tho. How long are you supposed to put up with these shenanigans?

      …… okay, I am realizing that I eventually DID watch a video here (obviously)…. it was 12 hours later than planned but I did it. BUT, I think the ONLY reason I did was because I’m on cam in a painting group so we all support each other by painting together. Unfortunately, no one has been on to keep me company…. it really depresses me when no one is in there. I’ve been trying to pretend this video was “live”… which helped. But, still…. its 2AM now…. I just know if I go to bed ppl will show up. *Big Sad Feels* I need a daily art buddy to body double with me.
      Downward spiral is coming…. TIME TO DOOM SCROLL!!

  8. WHAT A LESSON!!!!!!!

    Phew….. no words!

    HUGE ThanQ !!!! … Yes PLeez for part 2 ❤️

  9. This is so interesting! I’ve been avoiding painting for months and can’t work out why. Have downloaded the matrix and started working through it. I know this is going to help me focus my energy in the right direction (not Netflix!)
    Thank you

  10. I really enjoyed this interview, took copious notes. The matrix pdf doesn’t seem to be downloadable however. Thanks. I really appreciated, as always, Nick’s willingness to go out there and be honest and completely truthful.

    • Hi Terry, Thank you for bringing this to our attention! The PDF is available for download now. 🙂

      • I am unable to download this PDF. Others have worked. Please advise.

      • OK. download worked on another browser.


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