Experience a new masterclasses every month with an expert guest teacher.

Masterclasses are interactive classes of 90 mins and take place on Zoom. Masterclasses introduce you to a new method, technique or skill.

You can join by buying a one-off class below (€79,-) or by becoming a member of The Thinking Museum Membership.

This masterclass is FREE for all members of The Thinking Museum Membership (€59,- per month). Interested in becoming a member? No problem! You can sign up today. No minimum membership or no long term commitment required!

Mona Lisa: Experiments in Drawing with Mindfulness

This class takes place on Zoom on Tuesday 19 July at 17.00 hrs CET (Amsterdam). You can check the time in your region here.

A recording will be available if you’re unable to attend live.

Is it possible to look at the Mona Lisa with fresh eyes, as if for the first time?

How might mindful drawing approaches allow us to observe and move beyond our habitual patterns of looking and thinking?

This masterclass offers an experimental space to explore drawing and mindfulness, with Leonardo’s iconic painting as our focus.

We’ll start with a discussion around drawing as a tool for looking at art, and the experience of engaging with a uniquely well-known image. You’ll then be guided through a short mindfulness practice in preparation for close observation. Encouraging presence and flow, you’ll be invited to respond to a sequence of mark-making prompts, using pencil on paper. We’ll end by joining together to reflect on how our relationship with the Mona Lisa shifted as we spent time with the picture in this way.

  1. Use simple drawing tools to explore your sensory experience of sight and touch while practising attentive looking
  2. Cultivate what is described as ‘beginner’s mind’ – an attitude of openness and curiosity, unclouded by what we think we already know
  3. Experience how mindfulness approaches can help with self-critical thoughts which can arise in relation to making drawings – freeing you up to draw for enjoyment and enquiry
  1. Suitable for all, no previous experience of drawing or mindfulness required.
  2. Materials: Please have available:
  3. 5-6 sheets of paper (A4 or larger)
  4. Two graphite pencils of different grades: harder (eg HB) and softer (eg 4B or 6B)
  5. an eraser
  6. some water in a cup or glass
  7. a brush of any kind, if you have one – or you can use the tip of a finger

Join us for this fun, interactive and hands-on masterclass on Tuesday 19 July at 17.00 hrs CET

Karly Allen is a UK-based gallery educator, drawing practitioner and co-director of Limina Collective. She holds a BA in drawing (University of Oxford) and an MA in history of art (University of London).

Karly has worked for the National Gallery, London, over the past 20 years and has taught widely for UK art collections including the National Portrait Gallery, Courtauld Gallery, Wallace Collection and Royal Collection, where she was formerly Education Manager.

Having trained to teach mindfulness in the Zen tradition, Karly co-founded Limina Collective in 2018 to investigate how mindful looking can deepen our experience of art and sense of wellbeing. Alongside live, guided mindfulness and reflection practices in galleries and online, Limina Collective produces films and recordings for the Royal Academy and Manchester Art Gallery, among others.