A young lady recently came to my studio for a series of freestyle painting sessions.
The encounters and conversations with her emphasized my understanding of how complex the term "freedom" is.
A good painting is a painting created out of freedom. When I am free, the painting seems to flow out of me. Not linger, neither for thinking nor for understanding. It just happens. It is usually accompanied by a burst of energy (even if I came to the studio feeling different ...). On the other hand, when I am "blocked", when I have inhibitions and fears - it just does not work. Feeling stuck.
So what is that freedom? Freedom from what?
To that girl's understanding (and she's not the only one, it must be said ...) freedom is the ability to do exactly what she wants (and who am I to criticize her for it, when I drink from my cup, on which is written: "Only I decide about me"??).
But then it turns out that all she wants is to draw with a pencil and then paint without going out of line. It can certainly evolve into her own personal style. And that's what I want. Let everyone develop their own personal style ...
The thing is, I also want whoever comes to my studio to experience what the place allows: a variety of materials, a variety of tools, and the possibility of making all dirty and just not being bothered by anything.
In such a situation, two approaches stand out: one that sees the meeting as an opportunity to dive in and draw as you please (and I, as a facilitator, may even interfere 😊) and the other who sees the meeting as an opportunity to get to know new things, to experiment, to play. In the first the curiosity is internal and in the second - external. Who determines what is better?
I felt I was losing her. I decided I was flowing with her and just making sure she enjoyed herself. After all, only out of pleasure will the desire to move on comes.
But secretly in my heart I hoped she would also show some curiosity about new things. That she will open up to new experiences. Expand the range of options to choose from, so that the next time she paints, she will be able to choose a different tool or technique.
Then I understood. Freedom is the ability to choose. It is the independence of what others might say, and the independence of not knowing.
Freedom is liberation from others but also from oneself.