DER GROSSE ZUSAMMENHANG DER DINGE.

DER GROSSE ZUSAMMENHANG DER DINGE.

DER GROßE ZUSAMMENHANG DER DINGE.

Theodor Fontanes letzter Roman DER STECHLIN (1899) entwirft ein Bild der Gegenwart seiner Zeit: in ihm ist der märkische Adel und die Landbevölkerung, sowie die politischen, wissenschaftlich-technischen und medialen Revolution die Themen. Alle Lebensbereiche einer Gesellschaft im Umbruch werden darin berührt.
Fontane hat das Programm seines Romans wie folgt skizziert: „Titel: ‚Der Stechlin‘. In einem Waldwinkel der Grafschaft Ruppin liegt ein See, ‚Der Stechlin‘. Dieser See, klein und unbedeutend, hat die Besonderheit, mit der weiten Welt draußen in einer halb rätselhaften Verbindung zu stehen, und wenn in der Welt draußen ‚was los ist‘, wenn auf Island oder auf Java ein Berg Feuer speit und die Erde bebt, so macht der ‚Stechlin‘, klein und unbedeutend, wie er ist, die große Weltbewegung mit un sprudelt und wirft Strahlen und bildet Trichter. Und um dies und um DAS Thema dreht sich die ganze Geschichte. Alles Plauderei, Dialog, in dem sich die Charaktere geben, und mit ihnen die Geschichte.“
Der Roman kann als ein frühes Symbol einer „Globalisierung“ gelten. Das durchgehende dialektische Spannungsverhältnis von Alt und Neu ist im Landschaftsbild des Sees angelegt: Nach einem lokalen Mythos reagiert der See auf zeitaktuelle Ereignisse wie etwa politische Revolutionen. Es ist ein sehr moderner See, der per Telegraphie mit der Welt verbunden ist. Die neugeschaffenen weltweiten telegraphischen und telefonischen Vernetzungen zwischen Provinz und Welt verweisen auf die Gleichzeitigkeit eines synchronisierten Raumes. Das Modell der elektrifizierten neuen Nachrichtentechnik wurde auch auf die Medizin, Biologie und Psychologie übertragen. Das menschliche Nervensystem wurde mit dem durch die Kabeltelegraphie vernetzten Globus verglichen, bei dem die Reizung an einer Stelle einen unmittelbaren Reflex an einer anderen nach sich ziehe, so dass man die Telegraphenkabel insgesamt die Nerven der Menschheit nennen könne.
Den Nukleus des Romans bilden die beiden Familien Stechlin am Ruppiner See (Dubslav und seine Schwester Adelheid, sowie Sohn Woldemar) und die Barbys in Berlin (Graf Barby und seine beiden Töchter Melusine und Armgard). Um diese ziehen sich weitere Kreise, in denen nur geredet wird. Die familiären Ausgangssituationen werden zumeist in Form von Gegensatzpaaren eingeführt. Ganze Figurengruppen repräsentieren die durch die Weltvernetzung entstehende Gleichzeitigkeit des Ungleichzeitigen. Wie Relikte aus einer lange zurückliegenden Vergangenheit treten die Stiftsdamen des abgeschiedenen Klosters Wutz auf. Sie verharren in völliger Isolation und Abschottung, hegen ein Misstrauen gegen alles, und verstehen sich als Wächterinnen über die reine Lehre der christlichen Orthodoxie. Am anderen Ende des Spektrums finden sich etwa Graf Barby oder der Journalist Doktor Pusch. Jener verweist nicht nur auf die weltpolitischen Herausforderungen, sondern erklärt darüber hinaus, Innenpolitik und Außenpolitik im Zusammenhang sehend, als deren Ursache die sozialen Spannungen innerhalb der europäischen Großmächte. Ähnlich welterfahren ist die Figur des Auslandskorrespondenten Doktor Pusch, der über Barby hinaus auch die Außenperspektive einnimmt und die Dinge von unterschiedlichen Seiten betrachtet.
Die Figuren positionieren sich durch ihr Sprach- und Kommunikationsverhalten und ihre Haltung zum Diskurs. Adelheids Tabuisierung vieler Themenfelder und prinzipielle Tendenz der Diskussions-Verweigerung äußern sich auch durch die Störungen in ihrer Stimme. Und die Mühlenbesitzer und kürzlich geadelten bourgeoisen Aufsteiger Herr und Frau Gundermann weisen sich durch ständige Wiederholung von Stereotypen aus.
Dubslav hingegen zeichnet sich durch seinen ironisch-selbstreflektierten Sprachgebrauch aus, setzt „hinter alles ein Fragezeichen“, hegt eine „Passion“ für „Paradoxe“ und kennt undogmatisch keine absolute Wahrheit: „Unanfechtbare Wahrheiten gibt es überhaupt nicht, und wenn es welche gibt, so sind sie langweilig.“
Im zentralen Dialog des 29. Kapitels kommen in der Pfarrei Melusine und Lorenzen zum vertrauten Vier-Augen-Gespräch und „revolutionären Diskursen“ zusammen. Darin offenbart sie Lorenzen: „Ich respektiere das Gegebene. Daneben aber freilich auch das Werdende, denn eben dies Werdende wird über kurz oder lang abermals ein Gegebenes sein. Alles Alte, soweit es Anspruch darauf hat, sollen wir lieben, aber für das Neue sollen wir recht eigentlich leben.“ In der Ausdeutung des Symbolgehalts des Sees verweist sie auf den durch die Weltvernetzung der Moderne sich ergebenden „großen Zusammenhang“, dem man sich offen und ohne bornierte Abschottung zu stellen habe: „Und vor allem sollen wir, wie der Stechlin uns lehrt, den großen Zusammenhang der Dinge nie vergessen. Sich abschließen, heißt sich einmauern, und sich einmauern ist Tod.“ Am Ende des Romans wird dies in einem brieflich übermittelten Schlusswort Melusines an Pastor Lorenzen noch einmal bekräftigt: „Und nun, lieber Pastor, noch einmal das eine. Erinnern Sie sich unsres geschlossenen Paktes: es ist nicht nötig, dass die Stechline weiterleben, aber es lebe / DER STECHLIN.“ Lorenzen skizziert in seiner Antwort eine Gesellschaft, die nicht mehr ausschließlich durch Herkunft, Stand und eingefrorene Tradition, sondern durch Freiheit, Talent und soziale Mobilität gekennzeichnet ist.
An die Stelle der alten Herrschaftselite treten „Erfinder und Entdecker“. Industrielle, Ingenieure, Naturwissenschaftler, Mediziner, Pharmakologen, Architekten, Bildungsreformer nennt Fontane als Beispiele für einen „neuen Adel, wenn auch ohne ‚von‘, von dem die Welt wirklich was hat, neuzeitliche VORBILDER (denn dies ist die eigentliche Adelsaufgabe), die, moralisch und intellektuell, die Welt fördern und ihre Lebensaufgabe nicht in egoistischer Einpöklung abgestorbener Dinge suchen“.
Diese Erfinder und Entdecker deutet Lorenzen als Vorboten einer politischen Veränderung der Gesellschaft, wobei sich deren Merkmale „demokratisch“, „weit“ und „frei“ gegenseitig bedingen: „wohin wir sehen, stehen wir im Zeichen einer demokratischen Weltanschauung. Eine neue Zeit bricht an. Ich glaube, eine bessere und eine glücklichere. Aber wenn auch nicht eine glücklichere, so doch mindestens eine Zeit mit mehr Sauerstoff in der Luft, eine Zeit, in der wir besser atmen können. Und je freier man atmet, je mehr lebt man.“
--- Nach Iwan-Michelangelo D'Aprile, "Fontane: Ein Jahrhundert in Bewegung". Rowohlt Verlag, 2018.

Die Kunstszene unter Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Die Kunstszene unter Kaiser Wilhelm II.

1892 war es im Berliner Kunstverein zu einem Eklat gekommen, als man den Maler Edvard Munch zu einer Ausstellung eingeladen hatte. Sie wurde schon einen Tag nach ihrer Eröffnung vom Direktor der Akademie der Künste, der zugleich Vorsitzender des Kunstvereins war, verboten. Elf Künstler verließen daraufhin unter Protest den Kunstverein und gründeten eine freie Künstlervereinigung unter dem Namen „Berliner Secession“. Damit hatten sie die „chinesische Mauer“ durchbrochen, durch welche die Berliner Kunst bis dahin von der internationalen Moderne getrennt gewesen war.
Die „undeutsche“ Malerei der Secessionisten erzürnte den Direktor und mit ihm Kaiser Wilhelm II. Leistikow, einer der Künstler, habe ihm „den ganzen Grunewaldsee versaut“, drückte es Wilhelm II. in seiner wie üblich vulgären Sprache aus. Die Kluft zwischen dem offiziellen Kunstverständnis Wilhelms II. und der großstädtischen, an der internationalen Moderne orientierten Kulturszene war unüberbrückbar geworden. Künstler und weite Teile der Bevölkerung konnten schon lange nichts mehr anfangen mit einem anachronistischen absolutistischen Kunstbegriff, wie ihn Wilhelm II. dekretierte: „Eine Kunst, die sich über die von Mir bezeichneten Gesetze und Schranken hinwegsetzt, ist keine Kunst mehr.“

Bild: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Potsdamer Platz.

FECHIN ON ART



FECHIN ON ART



FECHIN ON ART



It is better, in many respects, for an artist to be an amateur, rather than a professional. I am using the word ‘amateur’ in the original sense as ‘one who loves.’ The same amateur not only sincerely loves art but devotes to its pursuit most of his spiritual life. By contrast, the dilettante uses art as a mere pastime, or perhaps more often as an affectation, but maintains deprecatingly that he is only an “amateur” artist.
 No one can teach you how to paint and how to draw except you, yourself. You cannot learn how to paint by watching a well-trained master while he paints until you, yourself, have learned how to paint with some degree of understanding. Only by the path of much practice and experience can mature results be attained.
 All creation is personal and belongs to you alone. The teacher must not touch this. His main reason for existence is to see that the work of the student is well thought out and constructively organized.
 As a rule, the professional artist looks upon the amateur as an adult looks upon a child – forgetting that even an adult can learn a great deal about sincerity, spontaneity, and independence or freedom of approach from the child. Often, indeed, amateurs make great discoveries and contributions to knowledge. An amateur is primarily interested in the process of achievement, and all types of art expressions have an equal value to him if he sees in them the challenge of an evermore difficult problem.
 A professional, having achieved some technical feat or twist for which he has gained recognition, often fears to leave it behind in order to move ahead. Thus he narrows the scope of his endeavor and prevents the development of new and encompassing processes. Instead of moving forward to meet greater challenges and making further efforts toward unfolding his realm of art, he allows his very success to become a dead-end. He stops – a fatal mistake. An acceptance of any creative straitjacket produces stagnation, just as unmoving, unchanging water becomes stagnant and a menace to life.
 Art, like the whole of our life, submits to the eternal law of change, and any attempts to stop it at one particular level or phase are like vain efforts to stop time itself. Art, therefore, cannot belong solely to any one period or current of development. In the evolution of art, life itself selects in absolute freedom that which furthers its own purpose, sublating the preceding stage. This process of selection remains ever our wise teacher and guide. The experiences which come to us through the ages indicate the path into the unknown future. But regardless of its guiding role, we cannot and must not live by the past. The process of change defines life and from it flow all new ideas. As an artist, or as a human being, for that matter, it is impossible to be alive without the never-ending effort of consciously following this autonomous flow of life.

Iconic Style of Painting

Iconic Style of Painting

The Iconic Style of Painting, conclusion.

Andrei Rublev, the greatest painter of medieval Russia – his teacher was Theophanes the Greek – did not lift, as well as his teacher had not, the barriers that had been set by theology for the aesthetics of icons. Even with him there was no fundamental break with the Byzantine pictorial formula, not a „revolution of seeing,“ as it had seized in the West all forward-pressing spirits. He was interested in neither the „scientific perspective“ nor a theory of proportion that clarified the walking, standing, sitting of „natural“ bodies; he remained faithful to the surface on which he piously and modestly inscribed „sacred signs“ that retained their indicative character. He painted, among others, the icon „Trinity“ (around 1411). Rublev took on the theme and composition of Byzantine prototypes, only that he was even more decisively focused on the essence, on the visualization of a theological idea of difficult subtlety: The representation of the Trinity. His only task was to affirm the „truth“ and the „reality“ of Christian beliefs with all its force through his image. Rublev has humanized the form language of icon painting by not bluntly abandoning an ancient tradition, but by combining it with the enjoyment of the natural manifestations of light and color.
Rublev’s handwriting was too individual to form a school. His art was too much the result and expression of a worldview whose piety was deeply experienced and personally colored. Through him the icon, without abandoning its strict bonds, had received a freedom, a maturity, an inner sweetness that could not be surpassed. Nevertheless, icons and pictures in the style of icons have been and continue to be painted. As late as in the sixteenth and the seventeenth century emerged as exquisite panels as the „Descent into Hell“. In Russia, centuries had regimented, disciplined the artist. He was educated to the objective noetic interiority of the image.

The Iconic Style of Painting, Part II

André Malraux was convinced that in Byzantium – in order to forget man – it required a spiritual effort of the same intensity as was necessary on the Acropolis for his discovery. The artist should now present something that, rationally, cannot be depicted at all: the transcendence, the sacred, the eternal. A sharp reduction of all forms becomes necessary, the concentration on an interior essential. Any rational or aesthetic approach misses the meaning of this Christian imagery. Here there is not the idea of space and time, but of an incontrovertible hierarchy determined by the gradual emanation of the divine pneuma, in which the earthly world is permitted only in signs and forms which do not want to be things but only mean them.
Byzantine artists were called to Kiev after the baptismal act of the Russian ruler of 988, who gave Russia a first object lesson of the new faith in glittering pictures, shimmering glass and stone pens, with the colors of the fresco. The pictures on these church walls obey the laws of icon painting. Their perspective has nothing to do with our mundane viewing habits. It is a „perspective of meaning“ that does not mean the natural spatial reference. All figures appear as seen from the eye of God. Great and overpowering that which is close to him; small, pushed aside, the witnesses of worldly existence. Even the proportions of the human form fit this spiritual optic. Their plastic tangibility is „rewritten“ into a system of angular, sharply broken lines and surfaces. Thus, from the ranks of the apostle and angelic figures on the Kiev walls of the church, by their emphatically emphasized forward stride, by their pleading raised hands, by the slight bending of their backs, an expressive movement emerges which is indifferent to the „body“ – which is nevertheless depicted – at most important as a vessel for something completely different – a vessel of emotional longing for a realm that, despite all certainty of faith, is not yet there. The faces are dominated by the oversized eyes, the foreheads are raised, the whole figure is seemingly seized by an upward pull. Even the light that illuminates these images is a light from within, a light that shines from the background of the picture and does not allow any connection with the „natural light“. Its mysterious glow points to the heavenly transcendence.
The absence of any natural light source from which shadowlessness results forced a coloration that received its values, their relationships to each other, from the depths of the picture, from the surface. According to Konrad Onasch, gold is the ideal color value of an art that receives its impulses from such a strict image theology. Gold is sovereign. It does not require any natural light, but shines out of itself. In addition, it excludes any spatial illusion and denies the duality of light and shadow inherent in the living. Onash calls gold the most powerful incarnation of the beyond in the world of the picture. Its absolute sovereignty, its independence from all conceptions of nature was so compellingly felt by the Byzantines that this independence was also transferred to the coloring of the pictures. Contrary to our sense of natural connection with the depicted persons and objects theirs was rigorously torn. Like the perspective and proportions, the colors within the icon did not receive their value from this world of a possible realistic viewing, but from the beyond of eternal thoughts, which by no means precluded composition and beauty.
The colors appear as powerful potencies in this early Christian art, which, however, is the heritage of ancient artistic experience, each color brilliant in its glory, clearly divorced from each other and yet found together in a concert of high musicality.

The Iconic Style of Painting, Part III

Certainly, the leading masters of this Kiev monumental art were Byzantines, but it is just as certain that they soon trained Russian assistants. Among these, Alimpi seems to have been one of the most gifted. He is the first Russian artist whose name is attested.
One of the oldest, one of the most beautiful and certainly the most famous Russian icon is a mother of God image of Byzantine origin. The picture must have been painted in the capital around 1120 on imperial order and went as a gift to Russia. The icon is known as the „Vladimirskaya“. It must have been the symbol of united Rus. The picture was solemnly summoned by the Ruler of Moscow on August 26, 1395 in Moscow. This Madonna, in her austere sweetness, in her mild melancholy, in the graceful movement of lines that are at the same time divine sovereignty, represents Byzantine painting in one of its most flourishing moments.
In contrast to the western Occident, which at a very early age already shifted the image of the Madonna into the lovable-human, into a sphere of maternal tenderness, and into the sphere of adorned ladylikeness, which permitted the refinement of medieval „heavenly love“ customary among knightly troubadours, the eastern Occident held to the picture shaped by the dogma of the „God-bearer“ who is ONE embodiment of the earthly church and of the intercessor. She belongs to the type of the one who renders mercy, a Mary who hugs her cheek against the cheek of the divine child in painful inner movement, while the sad eyes seem to seek the Son’s future. In addition to this type of the Madonna image, one counts two hundred further variations. Just as famous as that of the merciful one and as widespread as a type was the guide, who faces the viewer with her uplifted head. With her right hand, she points to the child in her arms, which by the way is never a bambino as in the West, but a youthful Christ, the God-Emmanuel, of whom Isaiah speaks: the pre-existent Logos, not the „Infant in the cradle“.

The Iconic Style of Painting, Part IV

In the eighth century, there was a struggle for the understanding of the icon, which came to a conclusion with the decision in favor of image adoration. John of Damascus had developed a theology of the sacred image that applied to the Eastern Christian Church, including the art of painting in Russia – as long as it was understood to be Christian painting. Like the church fathers, he referred to the fact of faith that God created the world, that all things are, so to speak, visible images of his invisible thoughts, and that one could not hereticize matter, substance, nature. Moreover, Christ came into this world, and through his incarnation in the flesh, this world is sanctified. And since Christ is described by Paul in the first letter to the Colossians as the „image of the invisible God,“ his image points back to God, the Father, who remains unimaginable and unrepresentable. So also belongs to each prototype an image, commented Theodoros, the abbot of the studio-monastery in Byzantium. He went on to say that in the image the fullness of God does not live in the equality of existence, but in the essential connection with the archetype.

The Iconic Style of Painting, Part V

Byzantium was the great teacher of the Slavic peoples, as it was also that of the western half of the Christian Occident, although here its influence was broken and reinterpreted by the closer Roman example. Again and again, we read in the Russian chronicles that princes and cities asked „foreign and other icon painters from other countries“ to come and „magnificently decorate the churches with painting on the walls. However, Russian historians are right when they point out and prove by a careful inventory of the entire artistic heritage of this early period that the melody of the lines is slowly changing, that the colors come together in new, different chords. The canonical tradition had not only determined the content and style of the sacred images, but also the technique of their production was subject to a complicated set of rules that was refined from generation to generation, and with which the icon painters complied as long as they were convinced of the sanctity of their task.
If the simplicity of Byzantium had been the highest refinement, the style that the painters of the Russian Novgorod School had formulated is based on real archaism. The Greek artist still knew how the folds of the vestments were alive with living limbs, even when he masked the body. That is why he succeeded in keeping a fine line between abstraction and empathy, expressing the sacred thoughts and at the same time foreshadowing the natural form in which this thought presented itself. But the Russian artist, who is just beginning to learn the alphabet of this highly cultivated painting, decisively takes the side of abstraction, which consistently translates the plastic form into line and surface, which becomes a means for capturing the third dimension in the two-dimensional surface.

The Use of a Special Painting Therapy Method in Patient Groups

The Use of a Special Painting Therapy Method in Patient Groups

ABSTRACT:
A new special method for painting art therapy for patients in a group setting is presented and described in detail, which met with a favorable response with patients. It has helped the patient by introducing him into an active community, confronting him with a novel situation to cope with and help him to relax.
A definite decrease of aggression was noted during the sessions with often difficult patients, which is the result of catharsis, alleviation of
boredom, reduction of feelings of helplessness in face the authority by establishing a trusting fellow-artist relationship with the therapist.
Withdrawal symptoms are counteracted by providing a favorable setting for development of a trusting relationship, encouragement of self-expression in nonverbal form, safe from recrimination frequently encountered by verbal expression of anger, for example. Visual participation tends to set into action the patient’s expression by by-passing the conscious mind and thus the learned inhibitions. Symbols expressed in color and form appear less open to erroneous conclusions by the therapist than verbalized symbolism and can contribute to more awareness and insight leading to healing. The frequent tactile stimulation and interaction inherent in the process of painting may help the patient to overcome eventually a perceptive dysfunction through sufficient kinesthetic
  feedback.
 

INTRODUCTION:
At the request of a group of patients who expressed interest in his artistic endeavors, the author started demonstrating to his patients how to paint and, in this process, developed a new technique which lends itself to very spontaneous self-expression with simple yet very effective nonverbal means without any prior training. Patient response was so favorable that from this initial demonstration regular painting sessions developed as a form of therapy which he then continued. This Painting therapy was done with a special method – where the therapist takes the role of a fellow-painter – and in which primary emphasis is placed on productivity, and interpersonal interaction in a suitable nonthreatening environment.

TECHNIQUE:
Sessions are offered two times per week, each lasting for a period of about 2 hours. Patients are invited but not required to attend; at their discretion they may participate actively or merely observe. No coercive effort is made. Since, however, productivity and interaction are the major therapeutic goals, there is a considerable vocal reinforcement for both painting and attendance.
Of the options to paint or merely observe, a remarkably high number of patients choose to actually paint. Tempera on wet paper is the primary medium offered and it is demonstrated how to first outline a picture  by drawing with a Japanese ink stick. It remains at the discretion of the patient in which medium he wants to work; however, the great majority follow the example of the therapist and use the following simple technique: a large sheet of paper, approximately 22 by 18 inches in size, is spread on a table top and thoroughly wetted with water; lines and outlines for an initial sketch of the subject are drawn with the Japanese inkstick; subsequently, common, nontoxic, tempera paints are applied with a brush or other suitable means, such as hands, pencils, etc.
The therapist executes mainly portraits of patients. It is during the painting of these portraits that a large amount of the nonverbal communication between patient and therapist occurs establishing a trusting relationship.
The therapist seats the patient and then proceeds to wet the paper on which the portrait is drawn. Next, he begins to draw. It is at this point that one can begin to discern nonverbal communication of import. The patient is seated at the end of a long table. The therapist stands diagonally across the corner of the table with the paper flat on the table. The therapist then places his left arm on the edge of the paper outstretched toward the patient. Thus, a communicative effort leading to solidarity between the patient and the therapist occurs the subject of the portrait and the therapist.
The painting of the portrait is accomplished by a large number of glances, scowls, smiles and other facial expressions. Through observation, a pattern of glances directed toward the patient or subject of the portrait has been discerned. The average duration of time needed for the execution of the portrait is approximately 11 – 15 minutes. During this time, glances follow an inverted bell-shaped path.
At the beginning of the portrait, during the first 4 minutes, is the highest incidence of glances directed toward the subject with a mean number of 26; at approximately 6 – 7 minutes, during the middle period of the painting, this drops to an average number of 8 per minute;
  towards the end of the portrait the number of glances rises again to 18 per minute. The number of glances correlates with certain aspects of executing a portrait. To ascertain proper relationships numerous glances are needed when in the beginning the shape of the face with mouth, nose and – most important – the eyes are outlined. Applying the paint and developing the color scheme during the middle period of the portrait, the portrait being expressionistic in type, does not require a high level of glances and attention directed toward the patient subject. The increase in frequency of glances toward the end is correlated with finishing touches, particularly about the eyes.
Scowls also occur. Thes scowls, however, are scowls of concentration, not anger of frustration and the patient perceives them as such. Also, smiles occor, particularly when the portrait is going well and the patient, in turn, smiles back. All of this serves to accomplish a trusting relationship between the two.
Patients observe with fascination how a picture emerges from a wet neutral background and takes shape and becomes alive, participating actively or passively in the creative process.
As the session last 2 hours, the patients frequently choose to execute more than one painting. During the entire session the therapist is continuously engaged in painting the portraits of patients.
At the end of each session, the paintings – still wet – are placed on the floor and all people present congregate around them. Going from one picture to the next, the therapist discusses each painting with the patient who created it – offering his appreciation and encourages the patient to talk about his work and to explain it. The patient may confirm or reject the therapist’s comments; he may offer further elucidation of his original statement. Throughout this exchange, the therapist offers positive reinforcement for the work and encourages further self-expression. All paintings are considered worthy of praise – as a form of very personal expression – regardless of their artistic merit.

THEORETICAL FORMULATIONS:
Painting Therapy succeeds in achieving three objectives: By painting and discussing their work, the patients are placed in an interacting group. Communication, on both a verbal and nonverbal level is required not only for the discussion of the picture, but also if it is to be executed. For example, the patient may need blue paint and may have to approach another patient to obtain it.
The patient is confronted with the threatening feature of working in a new medium, in a new setting; thus perhaps, we may mobilize his emotional and somatic defense forces. Even if the patient chooses not to paint, he is still in a novel and threatening situation, i.e., to resist in the face of peer pressure and not to paint.
Painting Therapy helps to quiet and relax the patient. This effect is certainly most profound as in many sessions over a 10-year period not a single violent or disruptive act has been observed. This is especially striking as some of the patients who attended were reported to be unruly and difficult to manage. Even patients from the Forensic Division function and interact well in Painting Therapy sessions.
 
DISCUSSION OF THE MECHANISMS IN PAINTING THERAPY LEADING TO A DECREASE OF AGGRESSION:
It is exceedingly rare that the subject of a portrait exhibits restlessness during the execution of the portrait. Patients typically sit und watch both the therapist-painter and the portrait growing from his hand with much interest. As to the reasons for the lack of aggressive overtones in the therapy sessions, no firm hypothesis has been established. Whatever the cause of active anger, it is nevertheless certainly present. Yet there has not been a single case of expression of anger during Painting Therapy in the author’s 10 years of experience. It thus appears that the expression of anger and irritability is accomplished through means other than verbal or physical outbreaks, i.e., CATHARTHIS IS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE ACT OF PAINTING. Thus, Painting Therapy benefits the patient’s response.
Furthermore, Painting Therapy as training in a socially more acceptable form of catharsis may have long-term benefits. Boredom and feelings of helplessness and impotence in the face of authority are considered to be major factors in tipping the scales toward producing violent responses. Painting Therapy introduces a new and, therefore, beneficial event into the routine life of the patient.
One of the reasons violent activity and assaults by patients occur is due to a feeling of helplessness in the face of powerful authorities who can determine the patient’s fate and which can and will exacerbate latent resentments stemming from earlier arbitrary treatment at the hands of significant figures in his life. In our experience the therapist is perceived as a fellow-artist, not in an authoritarian position. Thus, resentment and feelings of helplessness do not occur, hostility is virtually absent and violent behavior has not erupted. It is felt that the irritability and anger expressed is a natural sequel to the misunderstanding of the environment which would create fear and therefore hostility.

THE EFFECT OF PAINTING THERAPY ON WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS:
Numerous studies cite the importance of the development of a trust relationship between the patient and therapist in this regard. By its very nature, Painting Therapy encourages a trusting relationship. This occurs because of the unorthodox position of the therapist, who, during the first part of the session in particular, appears only as an artist, engaging in the same behavior as the patients. Thus, no fear and hostility result and peer relationships, trusting in nature, is built. At the very worst, conditions favorable for this development ARE met. Even during the discussion part of the therapy, when therapist and patient engage in discourse concerning the appearance, intent and meaning of the pictures, it is done in a manner of artistic exchange rather than in the traditional therapeutic sense.
It has been established that motoric expression as employed in painting therapy is executed directly by by-passing consciousness of emotionally charged complexes. In painting the visual participation during the creation of a picture seemed to directly stimulate the patient’s own responses, setting in motion motoric expression, not only by by-passing the conscious mind but also by inhibiting other forms of learned behavior. Even the autistic child responds more directly to rhythmic stimuli rather than to a verbal relationship, because rhythmic stimuli appeal immediately to the subconscious mind.

THE ROLE OF PAINTING THERAPY IN THE PROCESS OF HEALING:
Painting Therapy  attempts to restore healthy mental functioning and insight simultaneously. It does not appear that they occur naturally hand-in-hand; one can lack insight – yet maintain a relatively healthy mental functioning. Yet, both are necessary for the development of a non-pathological personality. If healthy mental functioning does not necessarily lead to insight nor if the opposite process occurs, it seems reasonable to attempt to benefit the patient in both areas, rather than relying on the occurrence of one as a natural outgrowth of the other.
Painting Therapy affords the patients an avenue of expression in nonverbal form. Furthermore, poor verbalization in patients is frequently due to fear of recrimination, not due to an actual disorder. A picture holds no fear for the patient – color and form are not considered damning, only words. In addition, Painting Therapy presents a remarkable opportunity for the study of symbolization. A clear understanding of the symbols the patient utilizes is necessary for the patient to benefit from the therapy. Attention must be paid to the separation between archetypal symbols and personal symbolizations. Due to the nonverbal nature of painting therapy, the possibility of the obfuscation of symbolization is markedly reduced.

TACTILE SENSATION IN ART THERAPY:
There exists a far greater probability of occurrence of tactile interaction between the patient and the environment during Painting Therapy than during verbal modalities, due to utilization of the brush touching the paper, wetting the paper and other essential acts necessary to produce a picture. Perception is understood as a four-fold process: reception, registration, processing, and feedback. At each stage, even perception at a peripheral sense organ, organizing processes lawfully select and shift accents of stimulus attributes. What is essential to the whole matter though, is that each of the four acts of the perceptual process must be accomplished in order to obtain proper perceptual registration. Otherwise, perceptual dysfunction remains. Through the presentation of constant tactile stimulation in Painting Therapy, one may accomplish sufficient feedback in kinesthetic form, not only visual and auditory, that perceptual dysfunction is overcome. This, of course, is a long-term process.

CONCLUSION:
A new special method of Painting Therapy described above provides a treatment modality for patients which helps to introduce the patient to an active community, confronts him with new responsibilities and risks in personal interactions and helps him to relax through a nonthreatening and nonverbal form of approach.
Possible mechanisms leading to the observed decrease of aggression are catharsis, alleviation of boredom, reduction of feelings of helplessness in the face of authority through establishing a trusting fellow-artist relationship with the therapist.
Withdrawal symptoms can be decreased and social interaction enhanced by providing favorable conditions for the development of a trusting relationship in a nonthreatening group.
Painting Therapy strengthens healthy mental functioning through participation in the creative process, actively or passively, which appreciates the patient as a potentially creative individual, and – if his portrait is painted – his human face is given value.

— Dr. Hans J. Vorbusch, psychiatrist-artist. 1977. (Modified by me.)