Online course

The Art of Now









Art-making can be a very liberating activity. You can get in the flow, forget about yourself, and just play with the colors, the shapes, the textures. Simply enjoy the process and watch the painting unfold.

But so often it doesn’t work that way. Painting sometimes becomes a struggle. The voice in your head is criticizing you. You doubt yourself. You wonder if you’re meant to be an artist. And you ask yourself: is this it? Why can’t painting be a free-flowing, inspiring experience? Why is this all so difficult?

Before you know it, you throw in the towel. You put your paints and your brushes in a closet. You decide: painting isn’t for you.

That hurts.


It doesn’t have to be that way.

If you learn to let go of the voice in the head and surrender to the painting process in the Now, your best art flows freely out of your hands. Your ego comes to a standstill. The voice in the head finally shuts up. You’re free to paint from a deeper place inside yourself. That’s a such an joyful process!


This flows over to the rest of your life

This ability to let go of the voice inside your head and to be in the Now makes painting a wonderful experience. But it can also help you to develop the same attitude to the rest of your life.

This way, your painting practice becomes a spiritual practice. Not with your eyes closed, not sitting on a meditation cushion, but with a paintbrush in your hand and paint on your fingers. You surrender to the painting process, and you surrender to the Now at the same time.


How do you start painting in such a free and liberating way?

The secret is to not think, but let the painting process itself take the lead. To be able to do that, you have to practice letting go of your pre-conceived notions about how your paintings should look like. You have to get used to not-knowing where the painting is going.

And since we’re so used to controlling our lives that might not always be easy.



Getting used to letting go is the key to free, intuitive painting

The secret behind painting in a free and liberating way is allowing the painting to unfold by itself, and letting go of the controlling mind.

In order to do so, I’ve developed six ‘Art of Now Games’. These games invite you to joyfully play with paint, markers and crayons. They draw you out of the seriousness that can spoil the fun of intuitive art marking. They help you to unravel the true power of your inner artist.


It’s not about ‘just doing something’

If you would be given the advice ‘Just do something’, you most probably get stuck in the mud. ‘Just do something’ is too vague, too wide. There are too many possibilites to try out, too many directions to go. Before you know it you feel lost and don’t get anywhere.


The six visual elements

To give you a handhold, I introduce six visual elements:

  • marks & lines
  • color
  • value
  • shapes & images
  • texture
  • depth

These visual elements give you a sense for what an abstract painting encompasses. They offer you a kind of basic structure that you always can come back to.

This structure is so simple, that it doesn’t hinder your free expression. On the contrary, they invite you to explore how your marks and lines look, what colors you love, what shapes and images come up from your subconsciousness.

This way, your very personal art can come to the surface, and you will develop your very own style.

Practice, practice, practice

And once you get the idea of how it is to let go, and let the visual elements appear on the paper as they present themselves to you, it’s a matter of practice, practice, practice.

Our tendency to be focused on the outcome, and to control the process is deeply engrained. To be able to paint in the Now, you practice to let go, to let go again, and to let go another time. That’s why painting in the Now can be like a spiritual practice.

The six ‘Art of Now Games’ help you to do so. Whenever you feel stuck and ‘out of the Now’, you can play another Art of Now Game, over and over again.

At a certain moment, painting freely in the Now becomes a habit. You don’t worry about the outcome anymore. Because you’ve learned to trust the process, and you’ve learned to embrace and appreciate every painting that comes out of your hands.



This course is for you if:

  • You have never painted before, and don’t know how to start
  • You have painted realistically, but want to start making abstract art
  • You are already making abstract art, but you feel stuck, uninspired or blocked
  • You love painting, but you lose your joy in the process because your inner critic is too active
  • You want to develop a more personal style that reflects who you are
  • You feel that your paintings are stiff and ‘overthought’
  • You keep on doubting and second guessing during the painting process




This online course is part of ArtSchool (the online school where you’ll find all of my courses). Read more about ArtSchool here. You’ll get the first week for free, so you can try out the course without risk.




I’ll give you and overview of the course, and introduce you to the materials and tools that you need, and give you a detailed shopping list. This shopping list will be quite short since you don’t need a lot of expensive materials to make art.

Here you can access the course page.


In the first module, I’ll give you four (audio)meditations to help you center yourself and work from a state of ease and joy. They’re called:

  • Entering the Now
  • Letting go of thoughts
  • Loving yourself and you work


n the second module, I’ll introduce the six visual elements: marks & lines, color, value, shapes & images, texture, and depth. This module encourages you to explore every single element separately.


In this module, I’ll introduce you to the first game: the Card Game. In this game, you’ll use randomness and chance to experiment with the six visual elements.


The second game is called: the Speed Game. If you’ve got all the time in the world to make a painting, chances are that you start overthinking and doubting. This game helps you to stay out of that.


Game 3 is called: the Simplicity Game. If you give yourself too many possibilities, you might get overwhelmed and get nowhere. In this game, you’ll restrict yourself – which paradoxically gives you more freedom.


In this module, you’ll play the fourth game: the Color Game. You learn to let go, not get attached and kill your darlings.


Game 5 is another let-go-game: the Value Game. It resembles the fourth game – but with a very different effect.


In this module, you’ll learn to play game 6: the Cut Game. You surprise yourself by making drastic changes to your painting – which gives you new starting points over and over again.


















My name is Simone Nijboer


I'm a Dutch artist.

Before I turned into a full-time artist, I’ve also been a life coach in private practice for about two decades. I’ve always loved my coaching work. I’m deeply interested in personal growth and spiritual deepening, and in my experience, these are inseparable from unleashing your creativity and making art.


A joyful and fulfilling life

Being an artist, I know how fundamental creativity is for living a joyful and fulfilling life. And being a coach, I know how important it is to create from a still and deep place inside of yourself.

The beautiful thing about making art is that it helps you to foster your creativity and at the same time your personal growth and spiritual deepening:

  • Creativity: Making art helps you to express yourself, become playful, find back your inner child, lets you explore all the creative possibilities that you thought impossible.
  • Spiritual deepening: it helps you to become still, get out of your head and into your body, experience that you're one with the fundamental life force that's underneath everything. It invites stillness and depth in your life, from where wisdom, truth, and power can emerge.
  • Personal growth: it makes you resilient and strong. It helps you to find the inner power and trust that you need if you want to make fundamental changes in your life.



How I started art-making

My personal art journey is long and winded. For many years, I wanted to paint but did not dare to start. When I had gathered enough courage, I started painting, but dropped it again quite soon, since I had lots of insecurities, doubts, and unhelpful thoughts around painting.


Daily painting

This all changed when I started painting on a more or less daily basis. I loved it so much! It might sound exaggerated, but I personally feel that daily painting changed my life. Creativity became an indispensable and joyful ingredient of my day, and this joy spread over to the rest of my life.

In a miraculous way, being in touch with my creativity grew my resilience and resourcefulness, and it strengthened my ability to simply enjoy life instead of staying trapped in negative thinking.


The Joy of Collage Making

Then I discovered collage making, much to my delight. The moment I started making collages, I found it to be so much easier to sustain my daily painting practice, even in busy times. Making collages happened to be a fantastic counterpart to more time-consuming types of painting.

Because I enjoyed the collage-making process so much, I decided to make an online course about it: ‘The Joy of Collage Making’. I wanted to inspire other people to start making art on a regular basis and in a very intuitive, easy, and light-hearted way. Collage making is the perfect way to do so.

I am a great lover of intuitive painting. But I also developed a more structured approach: The six visual elements. In the online course about collage making, I systematically teach these six visual elements:

  • Marks & lines,
  • Color,
  • Value,
  • Shapes & Images,
  • Texture,
  • Depth.



I had always loved the freedom and joy that some paintings seem to radiate. And when I started painting, I knew one thing for sure: I wanted to paint in this free, liberating, and intuitive way. From that moment on, I’ve experimented a lot. I was always focussing in the first place on the joy of the process instead of on the outcome of the paintings.

Of course, I didn’t always manage to paint that way. Often I got stuck, harassed by my inner critic, doubting and second-guessing how to proceed in the middle of an ‘ugly’ painting.

But I realized that in the moments I could paint from this free and liberating place, I felt wonderful. I completely lost time and became one with my paintbrushes and painting.



These moments ‘in the Now’ lifted me up and helped me to develop the same attitude for the rest of my life. Whenever I felt stuck in my life, often painting helped me to get in the flow again. It brought me back to an attitude of trust, in myself and for the rest of my life. Slowly, making art became a kind of spiritual practice for me. 


The Art of Now

That’s when I started to create my second course ‘The Art of Now’. I wanted to show how you can learn to experiment, play, and not worry about the outcome. By letting go of expectations, painting becomes a meditative process.


Make Art & Change your Life

More and more, I realized that making art, spirituality and personal growth are interconnected. When you encounter personal issues, your art can help you to break through barriers and get in touch with your natural joyfulness and inner wisdom. That’s why I created the online course ‘Make Art & Change your Life’.



After I created the three courses

I felt that it was time to create my ArtSchool - a membership site for people who want to discover the wonderful world of abstract intuitive painting. 


Try it out: one week for free!

With ArtSchool, I wanted to make my courses available for a larger public, and create the possibility to try my courses out for free. That’s why ArtSchool is free for one week.


Join me!

If you would like to

  • learn to let go,
  • use your intuition,
  • discover artistic freedom, and
  • make paintings that you love,

join Artschool!


I would love to meet you there ;-)!





I haven’t painted before. Is this course for me?

Yes. Making The Art of Now is not difficult at all – anyone can do it – So it is a perfect place to start your creative art-making adventure. You don’t need to have any experience in painting.


I have already quite a bit of painting experience. Is this course for me?

Yes. This course is all about letting go, exploration, and experimentation! That can be very helpful if you have a lot of experience, but feel blocked in any way.


What materials do I need?

In this course, I work with only three colors of acrylic paint (plus black and white). One red-ish, one blue-ish, one yellow-ish.

Two of them (and black and white) can be student-grade paint, and one of them needs to be professional paint. Next to that, you need some mark making and other tools, like brushes.

Follow this link to find the course curriculum. In the module about ‘Materials’ you’ll find a detailed shopping list, and a 20 minute video about the materials.


How much physical space do I need?

Playing the six games in this course can easily fit into your life without the need for a big studio. You can just work right in a corner at your kitchen table! A table specially reserved for making art is convenient, but not necessary. Since you don’t need a lot of supplies, you can easily store them in a box and carry them around.


Do you teach me to paint in your style?

No. You are a unique human being, and that’s why your style is or will be unique.

In the course, I will show you a way of being during the painting process. A free, spontaneous, intuitive, fluid, energetic, and bodily way of being. Painting this way will help you to unleash your very personal style – so that’s the opposite of learning to paint in a specific style.

Of course, you might be inspired by the kind of marks I make or the colors I choose. But if you paint from this place of freedom, your personal style will emerge all of its own.


Is the course in English?


How long do I have access to the course?

The online course is part of ArtSchool, and you pay $ 47,00/month (ex VAT for EU customers) for access to all of my online courses. The first week is for free. Do you want to know more about ArtSchool? Check it out here.

What if I’m not happy with the course?

The first week of ArtSchool is free. In that week, you can check out if you like ArtSchool. If you cancel your membership within 7 days, you won’t be charged.

How does the membership work?

If you enroll in ArtSchool, you are automatically enrolled in all of my courses. All the courses in ArtSchool will be listed under the ‘my courses’ tab. 

The first week is free. If you cancel before the free trial ends, you will not be charged.

How do I cancel my subscription?

Go to the ‘Edit Profile’ tab on your school page, then go to the  Manage Subscription page. There you’ll find your ArtSchool subscription, including the time of enrollment, and the cancel button (which will cancel your subscription at the end of the current billing cycle).

You cannot change the billing date of an active subscription—your billing cycle is determined by the date you purchased the subscription.

Do I get a notification before my free trial ends?

Teachable sends an automatic notification 7 days before the free trial ends. Since the trial is only 7 days,  you will get this notification straight at the beginning. Afterwards, Teachable doesn’t send you another notification, so it’s good to keep that in mind in case you want to cancel your subscription.


Does Teachable have an iOS-app?

Yes. Go to the App Store on your device. Search for Teachable (or simply click this link to be redirected to the page in the app store). Click the Get button. Click Install. Enter your Apple ID password or Touch ID if prompted.

You can read all about it here.

What do I do if I encounter technical problems using the course platform?

If you encounter any technical problems, you can get in contact with Teachable’s support desk: support@teachable. com

Also, you can find the student’s guides here. There you will find answers to a lot of practical questions.


I want to find out more about ArtSchool.

Then check out the ArtSchool-page. There you will find all the answers you need (and if not: let me know ;-)!

I have a question that’s not on this list.

Please drop me a line at, and I’ll be happy to answer all of your questions.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this page!

I am sure this course will give you the tools to get your art practice up and running or give you new inspiration to dive into your creativity. Be welcome to join me, and experience the joy of making art in the Now!

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