• Thank you for the stimulating lesson. It was so amazing to "discover" paintings from the inside, step by step with such incredible intensity! I've never before had so complete an experience: thoughts, energy, three dimensional vision, layers of creativity, body exploration and different paths to understand the painting. It was so much more than a mindfulness experience or a different vision of art, it was part of life. Art was a slice of a strong complete emotion...life-like magic. It's an experience I will remember when I go back to museums. I take it like a "transmission", a beautiful present that I will not forget.

    Sabine Paris
  • A few days after your class I went to the Monet Show at the deYoung, I was startled and fascinated I had never cried in a Museum before.

    Donald San Francisco
  • What a pleasure it was to be part of this. An aunt of mine who loved going to museums said to me years ago, "It takes time to look at a painting. It was an instruction that stuck with me like when you quoted Ad Reinhart, "Find one painting in a gallery and stand it front of it for 30 minutes." But what you have added to this wise maxim in terms of physical engagement is truly brilliant. Imaging holding a brush and trying to imitate the brushstrokes in the painting engages the viewer in a new way. First of all, it centers the attention and helps one to appreciate the way the painting was made. It gives one the appreciation of the work that went into it and some insight into the method of creation. That in itself is a gift. But then, for me something rather extraordinary happened. I found myself, as it were, joining into the wonder and even the uncertainty of the artist in the act of creation. I saw how the materials (paper, ink, paint) are themselves a gift and have their own qualities that must be recognized and respected-their own life, with which the artist joins. As I looked more and began and began to use my whole body in the exercise, the experience deepened further - in short - it became embodied. I don't think I will ever see a painting the same way again. I think you are really onto something here. Maybe in a century - this is what all museum goers will be doing. You've opened up art the way the Hubble Telescope opened up our understanding of star making. Many thanks.

    Ellen San Francisco
  • I tried moving my hips along with my hands and arms - which I had never done before - allowing my entire body to move along with the painting, very fluidly, following the curves, brushstrokes, and contours. I was always too self conscious to allow myself to, but this time with your help I did it. My experience with the painting was enhanced even more so, it was magical, I felt embraced by moments of clarity. It felt like my spiritual being went inside the painting and experienced a whole world of sensations while my body stayed outside supporting this experience.   Since you first showed me this technique a year - or so - ago, I have had some exciting experiences with art like never before. I had spent long periods appreciating some of my favorite paintings before, analyzing all the details, and yet only experiencing very brief moments of transcendence, it was nothing like this, it was mostly rational thinking with some extraordinary inspired insights. But exploring the ability to move my body, hands and express my connection to these paintings during the workshop made me go deeper in the paintings, connect to the artist. I had purposely chosen a non-favorite painting, one I would otherwise have ignored, but with the technique, I was able to spend 10 amazing minutes or so contemplating every individual aspect of the painting, feeling it, not from a rational perspective but from an emotional one, it felt like I was inside the painting.   It was an enlightening experience, my fear and mind distractions gave way to mental clarity, a feeling of joy and fulfillment, something like when I meditate or give/receive Reiki.   Thank you again for sharing this and I hope to learn more. I would like to see this being taught in schools, art galleries, museums. I took a great deal of art classes in my life, many years and it was all so rational, we need more of this in the world and I love that you are doing this.

    Paulo San Francisco
  • Well... it was really fantastic. I loved how you kept it simple, clear and tidy. While the concept is pretty straightforward, taking the time to actually do the steps and have the experience were profound. The next day, I found myself 'staring' at statues and paintings in my apartment that I never really focused on and saw them in a different way. I immediately realized the benefits of the techniques you shared.

    Eliot San Francisco
  • Wow. Wow. This is so amazing. I started looking at Pine 3 (a painting by Wesley Tongsin) on my computer screen, enlarged to as big as possible. I started tracing the brushstrokes with my hands, arms and body and started moving. The feeling was quite extraordinary. I was lost in the painting, following every stroke. I was comfortable going up the trunk, feeling very fluid. When I got to the clumps of needles, I could really feel the intensity of how he painted the pine needles. The feeling there was very tense for me, I felt a bit uncomfortable. I didn’t like it, but I continued on. Maybe I was feeling the emotion Wesley was expressing at the time. Goosebumps were all over me for the entire time. After I finished, I took a few minutes to come down. A sense of calm overcame me as if I had just finished a meditation. This is just from a photo and I haven't had instructions in Slow Dancing with Art as yet. I will now view paintings differently. I think the best way is not to use our eyes alone to view. This is way deeper and going beyond the surface.

    Cynthia Tongsin sister of the artist, NYC
  • Thank you for the training in slow art. I think that this is the right time for your method to become part of the art experience at museums, galleries, etc. Those public spaces are now offering sessions in mindfulness, meditation, yoga, etc., but doing it in a context that does not necessarily involve looking at art. Art is all about what these places offer, so it's a wonderful idea to combine looking at art with mindfulness, as your method does. I would also add that hearing your soothing voice through headphones in the art space context is also about using one of the tools already available in most of these spaces. Regarding my own personal experience, I think that my art viewing experience would be even more enhanced by your method if I was looking at an art work of the sort that was outside of my area of expertise. As mentioned, I was reminded of my friend who would sketch a work of art after buying it, as a way to look deeply, and interact with it, while using his hand. Using my hands and body while looking at the Japanese screen certainly did enhance my art viewing experience. I look forward to further explorations along this path.

    Alan