What makes the Painting Play so special and effective is the fact that in itself, it is a ritual. We have all surely felt at some point in our lives how destabilising it is to change a ritual – even the seemingly small ones: the morning coffee, the bike ride to the office, the walk to the kindergarten, or even the quick meditation on the tram into work or between meetings. 

In times like this, we may miss these rituals. But, by missing them, something is revealed to us: we understand the role they play in our lives.

Being in the Painting Room every week and painting for 45 minutes or more was a ritual for many of you, or it was part of your or your child’s weekly routine. If you miss it, what is there to do to get that joy that it brought into your lives? How could we re-establish this routine during this unusual period? 

Arno Stern, the researcher and father of the Painting Play, shared a piece of advice on this on his Facebook page (in German).

Painting Play during Corona

Case 1: If you are a parent or grandparent what you can do is very, very easy. It doesn’t require any preparation or reading material – ‘just’ compassion, respect and patience:

  • First, decide on a time during the day when you want to set this new routine. 
  • Then, give your child/grandchild an A4 piece of paper and a ball-pen. 
  • Now, sit next to them. Do not interfere with their creative process, by commenting, showing awe or approval or completing their drawing with your adult touch. 
  • When they are ready with the first paper, give them a new one and just witness the way they are playing and their creation.

Case 2: If you are a child in the body of an adult, the same routine you can apply to yourself, except that you will have to provide your own papers. 

  • Sit down, grab an A4 piece of paper and a ball-pen.
  • Refrain from “getting inspired”. Just be there with yourself in the moment and let the Painting Play manifest itself.
  • Refrain also from taking a picture of your creation, posting your drawing on social media or sharing it with family and friends. 
  • It may sound easy, but it is going to be a challenge – however, one which I promise will bring inner satisfaction. 
  • Don’t set yourself a goal, don’t do what you can’t do – you will do that when you can. 
  • The same self-respect, compassion and patience I described above for parents’ attitude to their children should be your pillars in your attitude with yourself.

In both cases, enjoy the beauty of the Play in the moment itself.

See you soon in the Painting Room!


Read also: A message from Arno Stern during Coronavirus crisis

Arno Stern contre Corona


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.