"The best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person" (Andy Rooney)
I learned so much during a recent video call in which I sat down with my dear artist friend of many years Tessa Maagdenberg and her 78 year old father Loek as they were creating and spending a typical Wednesday together in Tessa's studio in The Hague.
Loek, a former educator in his earlier years, discussed how he uses drawing and colors to relax and re-story challenging people in his life “to make them more likeable”. As he described his process I learned and resonated deeply with his process. His sharing resonates with the essence of what I teach in my recently published book Life in Full Colors where I share 7 transformative tools for leveraging life's challenges as your ultimate art material.
Loek told how he would draw the "guys I didn't like" from his work day and turn them into likeable characters in his artwork! He did this all throughout his working years (and continues on today) as a way to de-stress and let out tension healthily.
As Loek trusts his intuition to blow off steam this way he shared with me that oftentimes he’s “drawing and laughing” as he creates. As Loek says,
“It bubbles up in my life...I always make guys I didn’t like... then I make them likeable...I make drawings to relax myself.”
This beautiful father/daughter duo show us all how art is a way of knowing and accessing our deep joy as the years roll on. It's precious to be in the company of a daughter and father sharing the wonderful and relaxing effects of using art this way.
Here's a few of Loek's MANY drawings that he generously shared with me after we met that special day...