I had heard with relative interest, about these groups where parents in our school gather to explore creativity, expression and paint together. There was something of a curiosity in me about these sessions and particularly how do people overcome their unease and ‘show up’? Where do they find the courage to risk making marks, in a group, and feeling a real urge to make those marks anyway.

In the past, a few people had shared with me that it was an enjoyable and valuable time and my wife planted the seed that I join her on a course, a painting course called Art as Deep Knowing, facilitated by Margaret Laubser, who I had know for many years. I felt my learning edge become very pronounced, it felt very uncomfortable. I joined the course.

And now 7 weeks later, painting in a rhythm, at the same time each week, with the same colours, I have uncovered something so unexpected. I found I knew very little about who I am and that there are aspects and facets to me which the colour and the act of layering light and darker was able to reflect back to me. The theory we were exploring throughout the course opened envelope after envelope of understanding, which built my awareness layer upon layer.

This developed ‘seeing’ translates into a new engagement with the world and the people around me. I experience a new sense of interest in who I encounter and relate to in the many meetings and discussions I have every day, within my school community and in my business. Paying attention through an artful act offers unexpected gifts. What will I see tomorrow and who will I meet?

Koos Lampbrecht has been a parent at Stellenbosch Waldorf School for 15 years and orchestrates a dynamic event and food business called madhatters.com.