Introduction: One Hour/One Painting

Please visit my other pages for Testimonials, Video Demonstration, and information on my latest publication, based on these events, Slow Looking: The Art of Looking At Art.

“One Hour/One Painting” is an exercise in seeing. The idea was developed from the observation that viewers, in museums and galleries, spend an average of six seconds in front of any given art work, and often spend more time with the identifying label than with the work itself. It’s a habit Peter also noticed, to his discomfort, in himself.

In “One Hour/One Painting”, Peter invites small groups of participants to sit in front of a single artwork for a full hour. He begins with a brief introduction to the principles of closed-eye breath meditation, encouraging participants to relax and refresh the eyes, and to rid the mind of expectations and pre-judgments. This leads to an alternation of closed- and open-eye work, the facilitator guiding the process with brief instructions and directions. This is individual work: there is no discussion or interaction, allowing each participant to experience the work as fully as possible, without interruption. At the end of the hour, however, he invites responses and discussion of the experience.

This is NOT a lecture. It is not about art history or criticism, but about giving the eye and the mind the opportunity to learn about pure visual experience and the benefits of contemplation. Participants can expect to come away with the very complete experience of a single work of art, and with the added benefits of an unusual hour of relaxation and serenity.