Online Courses and Zoom Classes

“Mary does not ‘teach’ as such;  she introduces a painting (or an artist, or an idea) and then enters a process of mutual discovery as a co-explorer, always stimulating an attitude of ‘gazing’ and encouraging a heart response.   She fosters the development of  individuals having an openness of vision to perceive what is going on in themselves as well as what the basic intention of the artist might be. Mary’s classes are inspirational.   They have a spiritual dimension in the broadest sense, and encourage the participator to find their ‘inner eye’ to perceive not so much facts and figures about artists and art history, but how art can change us.   At the same time, Mary is very kind and attentive to all her students, and respects everyone’s contribution.   Her classes are wholly accessible both to folk who have in-depth experience of ‘art appreciation’ and those who have little.”

Veronica Bennetts

The Art of Seeing  


A Harmony of the Hemispheres:

Dr Iain McGilchrist’s framework of the two brain hemispheres 

Thursday 9th September 2021,  7-8pm (UK time) by Zoom


“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is,
William Blake

These online sessions on The Art of Seeing, run every month. You do not have to commit to any number of sessions and each session will take a slightly different, explorative approach with just one work of art.
On 9th September 2021, we will be taking the framework of Dr Iain McGilchrist’s discoveries about the left and right hemispheres of the brain when looking at one work of art. Contrary to popular science, the left hemisphere is not the all-knowing, sensible hemisphere and the right hemisphere is not fluffy and all about emotions and imagination. In fact, as McGilchrist points out in his book, The Master and His Emissary, both hemispheres are responsible for almost everything. It is not what they do, but how they do it, the quality of attention they pay towards the world that enables us  to see in two very distinct ways. We will take McGilchrist’s approach with our work of art. As he emphasises in his book, we need both hemispheres in order to see works of art with primacy given to the right hemisphere, which ultimately allows us to see through surface appearances into a sacred realm beyond. As usual the work of art will not be revealed until the evening.
The Art of Seeing – Overview
We know how to read a book and get lost in the other world of the imagination, and we allow ourselves to be moved emotionally and viscerally by music, but have we lost our visionary capacity when it comes to looking at works of art?
Just one work of art will be the focus of our attention and discussion each month. By slowing down and taking time with each work of art, we are able to relax and un-wind, observe detail, character, emotion, gesture, atmosphere, nuances and subtleties presented through the image that are simply not possible from rushed or fleeting glances. When we spend longer than a few minutes looking, we are also able to engage more embodied responses which include imagination, visualisation, contemplation, meditation and reflection, all modalities of knowing and seeing that are just not attainable from a rational mode of looking. Space will be created for you to share what you see, perceive and feel as well as learning a little about the context of each work of art.
This class is  £10 per household. Email me directly to book at or you can use the PayPal button below. This session will be recorded so if you are unable to make this time, you can still purchase the recording. 


Why We need Art- its power & potency  

Exploring ways of seeing Art: Neuroscience, Psychology, Philosophy and the Mystical  

Sunday 5th December 2021, 3- 5.30 pm (UK time)   

  via Zoom  

This session will include both theory and participation as we take a fascinating voyage through the ways in which art can be perceived; from the neuroscientific, the psychological, the philosophical and the mystical, and the implications these approaches may have on us, the viewer,  by seeing through these different lenses. For millennia Western art has been a means through which humans sought to understand their place in, and relationship to, the world. But in modern times, many of these approaches have been lost. As we track the points in our history where these changes occurred from the Reformation and subsequent Enlightenment, we will take a  journey through the works of art themselves as artists sought to either express a loss of enchantment from the world, or conversely embrace it. Drawing on modern neuroscience, psychology, ancient Greek philosophy and the mystical traditions, each of these modes of knowing and approaches to art will be considered in turn as examples of great architecture, paintings and sculpture are explored. The work of ancient Greek and Renaissance philosophers, psychiatrist and author Dr Iain McGilchrist’s theory on the left and right brain hemispheres,  Drs Carl Jung and James Hillman, and the mystical as expressed through ancient wisdom traditions will reveal different ways of seeing and attending to art, which claim to have the potential to be transformative for both image and seer.  

 This session will be £15 per household.To book either email me directly at or book via the PayPal button below. The session will be recorded so if you are unable to make this time, you can watch it via the recording. 




Summer with the Impressionists –

Monday 16th August 2021, 10am- 1pm (UK time) via Zoom

 The Impressionists each had their own style which sought to portray the changing landscape of the late 19th and early 20th century. But they were united in their desire to break with the established tradition of history painting. As industrialisation created the impulse of the move from rural to urban areas, this group of artists told the story of that change and created paintings that simultaneously expressed both the beauty of nature and captured the tension the new changes brought to society and life. In this session there will be time for discussions and some writing and observational exercises as we look at how these artists expressed light, colour and space – and time – in what was considered utterly revolutionary at the time, and not always liked.  

 This session will be £20 per household. To book email me directly at or book via the PayPal button below.

Lives of the Great Artists – Six Week Course,

Mondays  10am- 1pm, 22nd Feb – 29th March 2021 – live online classes via Zoom 

This course will delve into the biographies of some of the world’s greatest artists; their lives, characters, inspirations and psyches from Giotto to Giorgione, Michelangelo to Monet, Botticelli to Brancusi. Discover the fascinating stories about their lives as well as some of the works they created.
Each week we look in-depth at the lives of just a few great artists as well as some of the works they created. At a time when we are becoming less engaged with each other, and in a world where the virtual is taking over from the real and experienced, exploring biographies of great artists helps to re-engage us with character, with personality, with individuality and with uniqueness – qualities which enhance our minds and lives. Spaces for this course is limited. Price – £117 for the course.


Caravaggio- Master of Light, Dark & Perception

Friday 19th February 2021, 10am- 1pm live class via Zoom

Following on from the popular session I ran in 2020, in this session we will return to the life of Caravaggio and his extraordinary works of art. This session will focus in detail on some of Caravaggio’s most famous works of art as well as those lesser known. His works are viscerally alive, full of drama, movement and emotion, often concealing deeper meaning, and ask the viewer to be an engaged participant. We will also explore his ideas of perception and us, the viewer, who he invites – or more so confronts – with his images. He continually plays on ideas of perception, of seeing and being seen, and paints himself as the characters he portrays.  We will discover his innovations, his inspirations and his life story which has made him one of the most famous and influential artists in the world. This session is £20 per household and can be booked by clicking on the PayPal button below. Alternatively you can email me directly if you would rather pay by bank transfer at


The Art of Romanticism

Friday 12th February 2021,  10am- 1.00pm live class via Zoom 

This session will look at the Romantic artists who arose from the world of the Enlightenment and subsequent industrialisation. In a world changing faster than they could keep up with, where the machine and industrialisation was reducing the living world to something dead and inanimate, these artists sought to address the growing imbalance they could see in the world by painting both its harsh realities as well as the inner and outer reaches of the mind and imagination. We will look at works by Theodore Gericault, William Blake, Casper David Friedrich and more. 

This five week course will be a visual feast of great works of art but when it comes to looking at art, there is so much more than meets the eye. These sessions will introduce you to a few known ‘masterpieces’ and reveal some little known facts about them. From the efforts Leonardo Da Vinci employed to entertain his famous sitter, the mysterious figures in Van Gogh’s Parisian terrace to the skull at the base of Hans Holbein’s painting, you will discover aspects of works of art you may never have even considered. Spaces are limited. To find out more and to book, see here.


Leonardo Da Vinci – His Life and Work 

Two week course via Surrey Adult Learning, Wednesday 4th November and Wednesday 11th November 2020, 7- 9pm – ZOOM classes

Often heralded as the archetypal Renaissance man, Leonardo Da Vinci was truly one of the great polymaths of his time and arguably unrivalled since. Scientist, mathematician, inventor, painter, sculptor and writer, Leonardo had an insatiable yearning to discover what might lie behind the world of natural phenomena. Leonardo wrote, ‘all our knowledge has its origins in our perceptions” which is commonly misunderstood today as just referring to that which we can see. But during Renaissance Italy, when Leonardo lived and worked, the eye was considered the window to the soul.  This class will take a voyage through his life and beautiful works of art, from finished masterpieces, unfinished works, drawings and explorations of the human anatomy, which provide some insight into this fascinating figure from history. Spaces are limited for this. To find out more and to book, see here.


Reclaiming Beauty – Sculpture: from Myron to Michelangelo 

via Surrey Adult Education,  Friday 20th November 2020, 10am – 1pm – ZOOM class

To echo the words, ‘reclaiming beauty’ from Sir Roger Scruton, this course will focus on European Sculpture from Myron to Michelangelo, Rodin to Giacometti with an emphasis on the changing face and meaning of beauty.
From the ancient Greek sculptor Myron to Renaissance genius Michelangelo, from the revival of classical art through French sculptor Rodin, to the elongated figures created by Giacometti, sculpture has changed through millennia. This session will look in- depth at great sculpture with a specific focus on the sculptor’s intention of encapsulating beauty, what beauty meant to them, and how the meaning of beauty has changed over time. Spaces are limited.