Training Course

Primary Objective: Spread the Word

Arno Stern has liberated painting from the limits of communication. In creating the Closlieu, he has made previously-incommunicable Expression possible.

His pedagogy is based on the absolute respect of the individual. It gives the practitioner an uncommon function, not at all that of a master, but that of the servant of an exhilarating form of play. Through Play-Of-Painting, latent and unsuspected capacities unfold in every human being.

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A brand new formula

Arno Stern and his team have worked intensively on a completely new form of Arno Stern training program. Namely: ONLINE and WITH SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION. Arno Stern has reworked the content of his courses and developed new presentations, which describe all the practical aspects of the Play-Of-Painting and the Closlieu, even better in this online program than before during the courses in Paris. It is particularly impressive to see how Arno Stern can master the most modern tools.

This new formula brings many benefits. The group can be larger (though a technical limit is to be considered). Participants do not have to travel to Paris. They can thereby save the expense of a 10-day stay in Paris. The course takes place on 5 weekends, and not for 10 days in a row, which is much easier to organize and does not require any special leave. Learning is more relaxed and not tiring, because there is more “in between” to “digest” the large amount of information.

The certification received at the end of the training (attendance is monitored through the online platform) makes it possible to open a Closlieu according to Arno Stern’s criteria list. Using the online platform is very easy: our team will be at your side before and during the seminar.

The next English-translated online training with Arno Stern will take place on 5 weekends.

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Next training course with Arno Stern


Online Training Program To Become A Play-Of-Painting™ Servant

Arno Stern offers an online training program to the profession of Play-Of-Painting Servant.

This program – both theoretical and practical – lasts for 5 weekends, and its content is equivalent to several
semesters of course.

This concentrated class formula was designed to offer the best economic terms to people coming from far away, in order to learn a subtle and demanding profession, based on the essential scientific knowledge of Semiology of Expression; It results in a new concept of relations, combining both rigor and respect for the person, a stimulation of the act of expression for those invited to the Play-Of-Painting.

After this training, proven over the years, many sites have been created for the Play-Of-Painting, in countries near and far.

Arno Stern offers the new Servants the possibility to rekindle their knowledge in Resourcing Days. Out of any rigid structure, he wishes to maintain the contact with all those he has trained, to help them in their achievements and answer all questions that may arise in the course of their work.

Starting from 2014, the scanning of paintings, archived by Arno Stern since 1947, has enabled an innovative HDdisplay that amplifies original phenomena and gives a new appeal to the training program.

You can now join Arno Stern’s next training course by filling in the registration form.

Registration Form

You can find answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the FAQ page of this website.


If you have any other question, you can send us an email.

Training details


Illustrated lectures and Q&A, with a new approach to the act of tracing and the relationship with the tracer.

Training course delivered in French, with simultaneous translation by a team of professional interpreters (languages currently available: English, Spanish, Italian – change the language of the website to learn more. For other languages, please contact us).

Arno and André Stern provide a live, interactive and online training program. Non-real-time program will not be available.

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5 weekends from 17 January to 16 February 2025

  1. Friday 17, Saturday 18, Sunday 19 January 2025
  2. Friday 24, Saturday 25, Sunday 26 January 2025
  3. Friday 31 January, Saturday 1, Sunday 2 February 2025
  4. Friday 7, Saturday 8, Sunday 9 February 2025
  5. Friday 14, Saturday 15, Sunday 16 February 2025
COURSE’S SCHEDULE (including breaks and Q&A times*):

Paris Time Zone (GMT+1/+2 depending on the time of year)
Please check your time zone accordingly

On all Fridays: From 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm (break from 6:00 to 6:30 pm*)

On all Saturdays: From 9:30 am to 12:30 pm (break from 11:00 to 11:30 am*) and from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm (break from 4:30 to 5:00 pm*)

On all Sundays: From 9:30 am to 12:30 pm (break from 11:00 to 11:30 am*) and from  2:30 pm to 4:30 pm 

*Scheduled break times are indicative.

  • A/ Non-member or Person with funding 4600.00 €uros
  • B/ Member of I.R.S.E.-A.S.: 1800.00 €uros

    • Training: 1800.00 €uros
    • Membership to I.R.S.E.-A.S.: 2200.00 €uros

Payment terms: see registration form.

Registration Form

More informations about joining the I.R.S.E.-A.S. on the organisation’s website.

Go to I.R.S.E.-A.S. website


The ability to trace appears very early among little children’s gestures. The very first traces are dependent on functional motor abilities. They then grow, following a programmed inner process, and not, as some have claimed, through the children’s observation of their environment.

Arno Stern has given the name Formulation to the set of signs born out of this natural sequence. Formulation is not limited to a given age. It is part of each phase of every human being’s life.

The increased interest in children’s drawings, first appeared in the 19th century, led from the beginning to faulty assumptions. Some children have been considered more gifted for drawing than others. Children’s drawings have either been used to communicate, or considered to be merely a step on the path towards the arts. A threefold mistake, on the basis of which artistic education has been developed, as well as art therapy, in more recent years. There is a completely different vision of the Trace, which is neither limited to childhood, nor pertained to the arts.

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Expressing oneself

Mankind has always used traced signs to communicate. The image has allowed to enter into relationship with others other men and with higher powers. But that the trace could be an emission without an intended recipient, this remained an unknown fact.

Yet, it is when it is no longer intended for others – relieved from the necessity to be understood by a recipient – that manifestation of the trace becomes Expression of the Organic Memory, and this has unforeseen consequences. Such aspect of the ability of transmission can only emerge under the right conditions. The Expression is triggered and stimulated in the Closlieu™ (the enclosed place) which shelters it from influences and distractions.

Imagine this place, away from daily life pressure! Imagine the reunion, in this place, of a dozen persons who have unlearned competition, because what is being enhanced here is their diversity – diversity of age, personality, and origins. Finally, imagine an activity that has the virtues of a game and the seriousness of a task in which are concentrated all the abilities of one’s being.

But is it possible to imagine such an involvement – a task driven by an inner necessity, and which will not produce artwork? It needs no further explanation and provides a pleasure never felt before because, through this Trace, is released a very ancient organic retention. Formulation is theonly manifestation of the Organic Memory. This is what the Trace in the Closlieu is. It belongs to a coherent and universal system; it can be expressed by all beings, regardless of their social conditioning

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Realize oneself

Arno Stern created the Closlieu seventy years ago. There, because one’s expression arises freely, pure from any influences that could affect and diminish it, Arno Stern discovered Formulation and was able to study it in all its originality. He has then furthered his research work through stays with indigenous peoples of the desert and rainforest, at a time (1960s-70s) when formal education had not touched them yet, and having chosen tribes who had never drawn anything. These experiments have enabled him to show the universal nature of Formulation.

The attention paid to the mechanisms of Formulation rules out any curiosity for its content. Understanding its function is a scientific approach and it is completely different from drawings’ interpretation.

Knowing what Formulation is guards against astonishment, intrusiveness, interpretation and appropriation. The Play-Of-Painting Servant acquires a respectful attitude toward the person and the person’s Trace.

Painting in the Closlieu is not a therapy; but it does prevent the need for therapy, in the sense that it stimulates everyone’s capacity for self-empowerment. It boosts precisely all the natural abilities that have been stifled by culture, and it makes each being, whenever he or she begins to engage in Formulation, a more accomplished person.

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