Painting on TV in front of a national audience or with thousand of eyes upon you at a concert is enough to make even the most confident of artists’ hand tremble slightly. So how does he maintain his focus when the clock is ticking with every single brush stroke?
Jean explains that it all comes down to mental attitude and concentration techniques that can be applied, not just to painting, but to many other situations: “I quickly realised that the key to performing well in live painting events and creating a spectacular painting in a short space of time was all in my mind. I already had the techniques and vision to accomplish the feat, and the only thing standing between me and a successful outcome was my state of mind.”
He recalls one of his first live painting events, in which the first 10 minutes weren’t going as planned. With bright lights and expectant eyes upon him, the nerves started to set in.
“I realised at that moment that to turn the situation around and transform the painting, the key was all in my mental attitude. So I cleared my mind, I shut out everything around me and I focused on the task at hand. I didn’t let myself think about the end result, what peoples’ reactions might be, I just concentrated on the here and now, and let myself be fully in that moment. And sure enough, the painting came out great. It’s a mind technique that can be applied to many other things in life.” And it’s also a technique that Jean likes to apply in his Art&Wine sessions.
“Sometimes, the people come in and they see a blank canvas in front of them and the painting they’re going to create and I can see they’re thinking:”There’s no way I’m going to be able to do that!” So I tell them to relax, not to think about how the painting’s going to end up, and just to concentrate on each step, only on that moment. And then, as they start to see the painting take shape in front of them, they start to relax and quite often they even begin to experiment! And guess what? They leave with a stunning painting and a sense of happiness and empowerment. It’s amazing what anyone can do when they put their mind to it.”