How a painting session taught me something about myself

Gabrielle Koster

When I was a kid, I used to l├│ve to paint, draw and do arts and crafts. When I got older, I realized I didn’t have any painting or drawing talent, so I quit doing that.

Wearing the Sloggi Zero Feel collection

But then I attended a painting workshop in Amsterdam, with Dutch artist Roxanne Dekker. I told her up front that I can’t paint nor draw but she told me to just follow the music and paint. Around me I saw beautiful women, painting their butts off. The most pretty paintings were coming alive, from abstract work to still lives. I nervously stared at the blank canvas, then at the paint and back at the canvas. ‘But, I can’t paint!’ is what my head (and my mouth) was saying.

‘I’m afraid to fail’, I heard myself say to someone. Wait a minute, since when am I afraid to fail? Is it that? Or am I afraid to mess something up? Or to express myself, afraid of what people will think of me? I couldn’t believe that my head started thinking all these thoughts, just because I was staring at a blank canvas and people expected me to paint.

Wearing the Sloggi Zero Feel collection

I decided to accept these thoughts, park them and grab the brush: no matter what I was going to paint, the point was that I was painting. I just started doing random things, whatever I felt like. Splatter, sweep, paint stripes. Eventually, some sort of feather was appearing. And I didn’t even hate it.

Artist Roxanne Dekker later explained to me that painting can really be a form of therapy. It can hold up a mirror and make you aware of certain things. I take it you understand that from now on, I will definitely start drawing and painting again. And if it’s ugly or someone doesn’t like it? I won’t mind. I can always start over, can’t I?

Wearing the Sloggi Zero Feel collection

Shoutout to Sloggi for developing their Zero Feel collection and empowering women to be free and to artist Roxanne Dekker for giving me the confidence to paint.