We all wear masks from time to time.

I’ve been meaning to do a mask activity with patients on the ward for sometime now. I finally got round to buying a paper mache one and had a little experiment with some acrylic pens. A lot of the patterns I’ve used are from other doodling exercises I’ve posted about in the past.

I want to experiment with different mediums – coloured tissue, beads, blocks of acrylic colour, real flowers!

I can see where this activity would have lots of benefits for patients. There’s the obvious mindfulness aspect, concentration, dexterity, relaxation, self-expression, etc. (Which increases dopamine and reduces cortisol levels.)

But it would be interesting to see whether people express themselves literally or metaphorically. How much (or little) their emotions and state of mind are expressed in their work.

Anyhoo, when I’d finished doodling/tinkering/experimenting with my first attempt, I then felt inspired to pen a little micro poem.


You may wear a mask,

But it cannot conceal the pain

Emanating from your eyes.



I decided to have another go. Here’s a WIP using acrylics.



Filed under Art, Children, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Design, Education, Ideas, Illustration, Innovation, Inspiration, mental health, nhs, Photography, Poetry, Science, Uncategorized, Writing

6 responses to “We all wear masks from time to time.

  1. Love the poem and the mask. Hope it’s a well received session. Happy Easter.

  2. I think this activity would be quite absorbing. Who will be created? Is the question.

    • Absolutely, Claudia. Care would need to be taken not to trigger people. There will be certain people it would be inappropriate for.

      • Yes. It is interesting to think about how powerful something so simple as a mask can be. I don’t like them, to be honest, as wearing one makes me feel kind of trapped, (not the Covid kind but the kind that go over the whole face and are meant to disguise or change appearance) and I don’t like them on other people as I feel uneasy about them not showing their real faces. However, I like to make them to decorate, it is like creating a person in the same way as I might paint one or make a figure or whatever. Anyway, this post gave me a lot to think about!

      • I have to wear a PPE mask every day for work so I’m used to them now. I’ve only ever worn a full face mask once to a fancy dress party. (A Venetian carnival type one about 20 years ago.) It did make me feel different. More confident, I think. There’s something very detached about them. (Which is also quite revealing. How a person behaves when they are anonymous, perhaps?) Even though you can wear these ones, I just like the act/process of decorating them. I’m really not interested in wearing one. Glad they’ve made you ponder!

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