Updated: Jan 24
"I dream my painting and paint my dream", Vincent Van Gogh
In summer 2013, I attended Art Therapy course in Spain with a wonderful free spirited artist and teacher Meera.
When I saw her painting on the website for the first time I had tears running down my face. The colours, the flow, the originality, it all spoke freedom to me.
Not just freedom of expression but freedom of an artist who painted it. It was tangible. I felt strong longing in me just by looking at it and decided there and then to attend her class.
Whole course was a discovery into my deeper self and I enjoyed it very much but there was a part that left particular impression in me. Meera setup one of the classes in the garden with tall trees and had preschool children join us. They were given same papers and colours as we were, free to paint and play. There was a four years old boy who seemed not to have much interest in paper. He was painting both with his hands and brush, diligently mixing all these happy colours all over his legs: blue, red, yellow. When there was no space left, he raised his short pants and painted beneath it. Then he moved and painted all over his hands up to elbows and finally his head until he became a little walking masterpiece. He was fully immersed in it and completely oblivious to grownups watching him with tender smiles. Just by seeing him I relaxed and my own brush movements became more spontaneous.
Meera then shared a story about another boy who did not want to paint. He was crying when she came to him and ask: „What is going on? Why are you not painting.“
„Oh, I cannot! Look at that tree! It is too much. I cannot do it like that!“
So Meera smiled at him and responded: „Oh, I understand you. It is perfect. It has so many leaves and branches. You cannot draw all of that. But you know what? You do not need to draw it as it is. You can play with. Just dance with it.“
The boy understood her immediately, nodded his head and started to paint happily.
It reminded me how simple it was when we were children.
It need not be perfect.
It is meant to be fun.
It is coming naturally when we do not concentrate on what others are going to think. When we are not burdened with our expectations. When we are just in the moment, relaxed, in one with our brush, our colours, paper and that tree we are painting.
Just dancing with it.
At that moment, in the company of that little walking-painting boy, I created the most amazing painting on the whole course. I never knew I could do that or have that painting in me. It is still on the wall of my living room as a reminder to allow myself to play and have fun.
I also understood that this does not apply only to painting. It is exactly the same with any of our dreams. With anything we long for. We long for it because our heart wants to express itself in a particular way or to bring something into the world. It does not matter what our dream is. It is part of our life path to bring it about.
As with that little boy who only needed an encouragement to dance with the tree so it is with us.
Dance with your dream. Let yourself see it and know what it is.
Dance with expression of your dream. Let yourself free to build it.
One of the greatest artists of all times, Vincent Van Gogh put this so beautifully in words – „I dream my painting and I paint my dream“.
To see people come alive when they paint their dream is one of the most beautiful privileges of my work as a coach.
With gratitude and love to my late teacher Meera.