What’s the painting play?
It’s a game, but whose rules are there only to enable your spontaneity. The difference between this painting game and other games is that there are no rewards, there is no other purpose to it than to tap into your inner resources, imagination, effectively your inner world. There is no audience, no competition or judgement.
What is the role of the Servant?
Before each session, the colors, brushes, walls and the space itself have to be ready for the start of the painting play. This is where the role begins. During the session, the Servant is always present in the room to “serve” you – ensure you have everything you need to stay focused on the painting play and not get distracted or tired. I’m not there to share any knowledge nor to interfere in the process of painting, by making remarks or asking any questions concerning the paintings. I am there to observe the needs of everyone and stimulate the expression of creative spontaneity. After each session I archive and store the paintings in individual folders.
How does it work?
Once a week, for one hour and half (45 mins for age<5years) participants of all ages share the 18-color pallet table. You can also mix colors, if need to. Painting with your bare hands/fingers is encouraged if you will feel the need to do so.
Everyone paints standing, the white paper is on one of the 4 walls covered with special paper.
No one will impose themes or briefs on you, nor give you feedback on your creation at the end. The practitioner only stimulates your spontaneity and also ensures people have all the resources required to express themselves freely. His role is not to judge the work you produce or create boundaries.
Minimum number of participants is 5 and maximum 12.
What happens with the paintings?
All paintings will be archived in the workshop. People do not come here to produce works of art for the eyes of others, but to live an experience in the moment.
Can I try once?
In order to develop a new skill, you need to dedicate time and be patient. One session is not enough to discover the joy of the game.
The reason for this is that it takes some time to break habits. We have all been educated to think things over and reason at all times, but that is also how we stifled a spontaneous, playful part of us which takes some time to be rebuilt.
Can I do it at home?
Formulation can happen after a while outside the Closlieu but never with the same intensity. The specially designed room with pallet table, high-quality materials, the walls, the rules of the game, no external distraction, the group with their continuity and the practitioner who is there to serve the participants – all this belongs to the painting game and cannot be reproduced in the same way outside this space.
What can parents do at home?
Don’t ask questions, like “What did you want to draw”? Or “Is this a plane…” and so on. Just be the observer, give them the attention and time they need. Do not express your wonder or appreciation, even if you like the painting and feel proud of your child. The lack of judgement, may it be critical or appreciative, should have a continuity outside the Closlieu space.
Why should I not praise the child for his paintings?
The process of painting is more important than the result. The child must be confident in his own resources and needs. If he’s being praised, then the next time he will paint, he will do it knowing that his work will be analysed and that something is expected from him. The spontaneous manifestation of one’s self is then gone.
Does it have a therapeutic effect?
The painting play is not therapy, and should fend off the need of therapy. In art therapy the patient must talk about how he felt when he was painting, whereas in the painting play the process of expressing oneself is the only activity that counts. No one has to justify him/herself.