Follow @stuckinscared Stuck In Scared: Art for Anxiety, Finding the Self, and Finding each Other. A guest post, by Amy Oestreicher.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Art for Anxiety, Finding the Self, and Finding each Other. A guest post, by Amy Oestreicher.

I love creating inchie art, and in dire medical circumstances, this was the best way to express my uneasiness in the midst of uncertainty. Each individual inchie expressed a fear, worry or concern I had about my future. I called this "Can't Distract" because I was unable to take my thoughts away from this anxiety. Rather than deny these thoughts, I made art from them. Suddenly they became less scary. 

Art Therapy for Finding the Self - I am Myself - Art and Mental Health. 

The pieces I have the most fun creating are the ones that I have no expectations for. This started by some random shredding and gluing of newspapers, magazines, coupons, plastic, wrap, gum papers, and whatever else I was about to throw out. Then, I spent hours just painting layers and layers of paint, trying to obscure some of the printed text. Eventually, this face emerged. For me, this symbolized the process of finding myself - hard to find at first, but with each layer, applied tediously and determinedly with meticulousness and great care, my face eventually surfaced. 

Art Therapy for Finding Each Other 

I created this for my mother at a time when it was hard for us to have hope. For me, yoga is centering for my body, and the poses are very grounding. I painted us both in the tree asana with the quote, "If we stand like trees, we can weather the storm". 


Amy Oestreicher is a 28 year old actress, musician, teacher, composer, dancer, writer, artist, yogi, foodie, and general lover of life. Surviving and thriving through a coma, 27 surgeries and other trauma has inspired Amy to share her story with the world through her passionate desire to create and help others. Piecing her life together after her initial dreams of performing musical theatre took on a beautiful detour into broader horizons. Amy has written, directed and starred ia a one woman musical about her life, Gutless and Grateful, has flourished as a mixed media and acrylic artist, with her art in multiple galleries and mounting dozens of solo art shows, and continues to share her story through her art, music, theatre and writings. 
More information on her unique story, as well as her creative ventures can be found at, visit her blog for her newest art, music and INSPIRATIONAL musings. 

You can also visit Amy's Etsy shop HERE, and learn more about her show HERE 


My thanks to Amy, for being my guest today, and as always, Thank YOU dear reader, for allowing me to share. 

God bless you and all those you love. 

Kimmie x 

Oooh, wait, I almost forgot... The poem! - Amy's beautiful, breathtaking, MUST READ, poem :) 

If (like me) you're a lover of poetry, you're gonna love this!... It's a long one, so I'll just give you a teaser here. Click on the 'read more' text under the excerpt if you want to read the poem in full. (I hope you do, it's one of the most beautiful poems I've ever read!) 

INTRUSION ~ By Amy Oestreicher. 

Whether I am the trespasser, alien 
The outcast, the tortoise turned on it's side 
I can see the stream from here 
and I long to dance with the source 

Can I fish for you, blue glimpse? 
A glimpse of the word as it was intended to be 
The realism thrills me 

In a world of perfect 
geometric-shapes, painted signs, bright-red-automobiles 
my hollow shell over flows with relief  



  1. Thank you for introducing me to Amy. I like the idea of inchie art as a way of facing one's fears and anxieties. Her poem is deeply moving.

    1. Oh, Thank you, Norah. I'm so glad you took the time to comment. Iv'e never tried inchie art myself, but (like you) I like the idea. Art is incredibly helpful for dealing with anxiety, I agree :)

      Oh yes... her poem! So, so beautiful. I keep going back to it.

  2. I think the therapeutic value of artwork is often underestimated – Doing my tiny bit for promotion my next novel features an art therapist!

    1. From experience, and I wish I'd discovered so sooner; it is incredibly therapeutic, Anne.
      Thank you for reading/commenting :)

  3. I love the idea of embracing what it is that is creating anxiety. Thanks so much for sharing

    1. Hi Teena, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

  4. I love the "inchie" idea. Is there a particular post on her blog where she describes this in more detail?

    1. I'm not sure Paula, but I will find out and let you know :)

  5. Amazing pics! Thanks Amy..writing fulfils the same function for me..I can escape into a world I can control and direct...

    1. Thanks for popping by Carol. Isn't she fabulous! I find writing cathartic too, love it, but also find art incredibly therapeutic. There are times when writing takes more brain-cobulation (made up words are my thing ;) than I can manage...times when I find it hard to navigate the key board let alone my head... art offers relief without too much thought. Of course writing is also an art, but I think you know what I mean :)