It’s not a straightforward thing to navigate your way to Art to Heart’s venues for first-timers; one is located in the maze of an old estate in the city, the other is in the middle of nowhere in the countryside.
Though I provide detailed directions on how to get there, more often than not, people get lost – even with the aid of their GPS.
I believe it has nothing to do with a lack of sense of directions and to the apologetic late arrivals I reassure them that’s just fine, it’s all part of the journey so please relax. I am myself in the habit of getting lost a great deal lately, but I realise getting lost is when you can meet some of the most interesting people and discover new landmarks. In the end we always get there, eventually.
Once the group is finally together there is a great feeling of anticipation: here we are at last! We settle down just in time to realise that a new journey is about to start. No maps yet, no known landmarks except the excitement of a new adventure.
Often when we participate in a new course or workshop we do so with mixed feelings: Is this the right course for me? Will I be able for it? Will I get my money worth? Will the facilitator inspire or disappoint me?
The same is true for the facilitator: Will this be a good group? Will they gel? Will they be very challenging? Am I prepared enough?
As the journey starts I am aware that my main role is to hold the boat, to guide and steer making sure that people are reasonably at ease. When they ask I give advice refraining from interfering too much, reminding them that they are the creators, the decision-makers.
Even when painting the simplest of picture they have to please themselves -their internal voice is a hard enough judge – not me. From my part I know they’ll get there eventually, with time and trust.
Many people who participate in Art to Heart’s programme are themselves teachers and facilitators in their own field, they are the experts, the guides. Yet when we cross over into another area we often loose the courage to dive into it and have a go.
I feel like a child! we say, excusing ourselves to ourselves, but the fact is that the child, when still in control of her own creativity, doesn’t feel like a child at all. She feels like the artist she is and has no hesitation in taking up a brush and making her mark. She knows how to get there in that very moment.
I believe that every course we take part in is a stepping-stone and a landmark in the map of our personal journey to become whole. That during this time we grow in confidence and meet other fellow travellers and often forge new partnerships that enrich our lives. That one day we will realise we don’t need a facilitator to guide us any more. That we’ll never get there because the real fun is all in the adventure.
I believe it’s at that point that we are finally free to participate in group or solo work as true creators, for the sheer joy of it and the love of art.