WHY JOY (IN PAINTING) IS SO IMPORTANT

Over the years, besides teaching about painting I try to make the students aware of everything that is involved in the process of painting, how ones ability to become one with the moment has a strong influence on the success. One particular thing though, always seem to a main obstacle: the struggle to reach a certain aim. And in most cases times I tell my students how important it is to have fun in what they’re doing. I thought I could elaborate on this a bit.

Often, and this doesn’t only occurs with those who start painting, during a painting process you can find yourself coming to a point where you feel that you are stuck. This can have several different causes. For example not understanding certain technique, blocked by trying to much to understand what it is that you are painting, being convinced that you just can’t do it or any other circumstrances that implies that things are not going the way you want it. It is true, and I would be the last one to say it’s not, that getting a decent sense of technique, knowledge on material and to know at least the basics on what paint and medium does while working with it, is inevitable for learning the art of painting. With everything you wish to achieve there comes a time you will have to be on the learning side of the table to fill yourself with any given and available knowledge on what it is that you want to achive. And overcoming that feeling of being stuck or being blocked is, just as learning a specific technique, a attribute that can be mastered.

Painting should be a joy. The whole process should fill you with happiness, joy! Isn’t that a strong statement that implies that without it…well, you might as well give up. No. it is quite the opposite. But, to be clear, it is not the hilarious and excited kind of joy. More a inner happiness and sense of peace.
How many times did you experienced this feeling that you completely lost track of time, forgot where you are or who you are and was absorbed by the process of painting? And how many times did you experience that you where blocked? Couldn’t get what you wanted, seemingly having totally lost that long desired and appreciated ‘touch’. How many times did you experience that anger, that uncontrolable feeling of throwing that painting across the room? Both are magical moments which, with a paradoxale twist, are entwined together.
But how do you get yourself (back) in that zone of enjoying the whole process? How do you get yourself from outraged to serene calm and enjoying the process?

Well, if you’re indeed as angry that even the fires of hell don’t seem to upset you anymore, I think you indeed better take some distance from your process and have a good cup of relaxing tea. The idea is to not let yourself enter a state of frenzy. How? By cultivating one important espacts in the painting process: JOY. How do we do this? For one thing by focussing on the process only. Not on what it has to become. Not on how detailed it has to be and not on how many more layers, time and effort it needs before it’s perfect. No. Stop bothering yourself. You will get there anyway. Don’t rush yourself by focussing on the irrelevant stuff. Focus on what gives the most pleasure, the most joy: In this case Painting!! And I’m sure that this isn’t so hard for you. Because you choose to paint, to learn about painting, techniques and stuff, because it gives you so much joy.

It is the same with all the other stuff in life. I know, that when you are learning it might feel that this natural state of being in the flow and enjoying the fact that you don’t have to think about what the best approach is for this particular subject you want to paint, is hard to reach. But it isn’t. It isn’t your knowledge that will give you joy. It isn’t the experience that will give you joy. It is your own mindset that makes you choose. So choose to focus only on the process of painting. And this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to study hard to gain the appropiate know how, this means that this process includes the studies you make to learn, to make something your own or to understand matter. All those things should be done with the joy of the process. It is the same with drawing an object. Once you try to interpretate the object as something you can understand logically you will start to make weird mistakes. You disconnect yourself from the object by trying to understand what it is. But once you let this interpretation go and just look, you will amaze yourself by drawing exactly what you see.

So go out there and have fun! Enjoy whatever it is you’re doing! Really…!!! Do it!!

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The influences of HSP and Introvert.

 

During the last few month something interesting took place. Since more than 6 month I was experiencing some difficulties while practicing the part-time job  I have working with children.

It started with a confrontation that I should be more interactive with my co-workers. According to what was said I was working too much on my own little island. I wasn’t sure what to do with this feedback. My first consideration was to figger out a way to set things right and I started to force myself to be more interactive and do what was expected from me. The result was that I felt insecure en unnatural in my behavior. So I kind of dropped it and went back to my nice little island.

As you probably can guess there was another knocking on my beautiful wooden door as soon as there was an opportunity to do so. Again I was confronted with the fact that I lacked the skill of interacting and seek others opinion about the choices and decisions I made.

It left me angry and misunderstood.
Why couldn’t they understand my view on this matter?
Why couldn’t they trust that I had everything under control?

It remained a question until I run into an article about being an introvert in a working situation written by Susan Biali.

It was as if I was reading a story about me. So much of what was written I could relate to and recognized. So I started to become more familiar with the concept introversion and high sensitive people (HSP). Here it was mentioned that most people who seem to have the characteristics of an introvert are commonly also highly sensitive people. Perhaps one could say that when someone is born with a high sensitivity in a surrounding that is mainly focused on extroversion are easy to develop an introspective character to coop with their high sensitivity in an extroversive  society.

The more I read about it, the more I started to recognize the characteristic parts of an introvert in myself.
But an interesting thing happened though, although by receiving this knowledge I was able to create some peace and rest about these specific characteristics I created over the years. It really helps sometimes to find some sort of understanding and recognition in your own behavior especially when yours is being questioned by your surrounding.
But at the same time I wanted to ensure that this new information would not become an established order within my creation. That is to say that this knowledge about introversion should not become my excuse for my behavior.

Character doesn’t make the person. The person is the form in which the energy is shaped because the energy itself is shapeless. Character is formed by choice. Choices that are made before the actual manifestation as a person and during the life as that person.

But let’s go back to the topic on introversion in a working place.

I think I’m not far off by saying that most working places are still unaware of the full potentials of their employees. Although more and more people, and therefore companies, are becoming aware of subtle changes that are accuring around and in themselves, it is still accurate to say that most companies are afraid to make a leap into an environment that might seem to be uncontrollable.  The safest thing to do is indeed hold on to what one knows and in this case is a working environment that is based on extroversion. The one who speaks first, the one who speaks the most or the loudest will be heard, the one who speaks afterwards, thinks before speaking or doesn’t want to speak at all is easily overlooked.
But being save doesn’t always work. And as well; this being save can be interpreted in different ways.
One thing that should not be a choice for safety is to decide to deny your natural character to fulfill the expectations of your surrounding, in this case the working place. A company might want you to adjust to their current believe that everyone should have the same working skills as being assertive and aggressive when it comes to giving opinions and making decisions. And although everyone, extrovert or introvert, could, till a certain level, do this it requires an enormous unnatural effort from someone who is born with the characteristics of an introvert.

The unfortunate thing is that in most working places it isn’t realized and valued that the possibilities and opportunities they receive when acknowledging the introversion of people, they are missing an enormous value of knowledge and working force that can be obtained by these people who are considered to be introvert.
But let us not forget: It is not your surrounding that needs to adjust to your characteristics. It is and will always be you who needs to make the choices that will lead you to the happiness and fulfilling life that you are aiming for.
it is what I have been trying to say now for some time. It is not about getting everybody on the same line. It is about letting everybody have the unconditional freedom to be what they need to be. And this is and can only be considered and decided by the person in question.
This is what I try to say in the previous post: “NOW” and “STOP LOOKING“.

It is funny and beautiful at the same time to see how those little fragments and possibilities of knowledge and insight always seem to fall into place when you need them to know.

If you like to know more about introversion and extroversion? Here are some interesting links:
https://www.csuchico.edu/eap/docs/empathia-advisor2014-04-IntrovertsExtroverts_and_the_Workplace.pdf

http://career-advice.monster.com/in-the-office/workplace-issues/understand-workplace-introverts/article.aspx

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