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Lesson Plans

Re: Water and the Arts (fwd)

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Anita Debnath (adebnath)
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 11:03:25 -0500 (EST)

Anita Debnath

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 1997 15:39:58 -0500 (EST)
From: Anita Debnath <adebnath>
To: James Nairne <>
Cc: artsednet
Subject: Re: Water and the Arts

I have really been enjoying reading the letters you all have sent me about
currciculum issues and arts and the enviroment. I would like to respond
to James Nairne's article about water and the Arts, since I can relate to
a similar experience. I plan on teaching art in the future, and here is
what I have to say from a student's perspective. You may not agree with
me, but I think it is important to understand the student's perspective
and the methods I would use if I were to conduct a lesson plan relating
water and the Arts to David Hockney, the well-known English artist or
even Andy Goldsworthy.
Water is never static. I always find using a view finder, and
going to a private pool will help me concentrate and focus more on the
movements of water, relections coming off the water surface, and the
colors on the water surface as well as the bottom and the sides of the
pool. To search for the pattern, it is always best to look down at the
pool from several angles. The lines that create the pattern aren't
straight, they flow, they bend, and they coordinate to the slight wavy
movments from the water. An artist will search for the following things
I mentioned above, but a regular student may need to understand basic
art elements before launching on this project. Beginning students should
look and talk about plenty of visuals from artists such as David
Hockney and Andy Goldsworthy who relate the Arts with the environment.
I also believe looking and talking about art used to represent
water will help the students understand different styles and drawing
languages. David Hockney is a really good artist to study as he has
spent a great deal of time observing pools and painting them. If you are
studying the movements of water, you might as well integrate lakes
another day and seascapes another week....perhaps you can play a cd with
ocean sounds to get the students to hear the sounds of the ocean, and
there are some great video tapes produced in Hawaii that will give anyone
a breathtaking view of a variety of ocean scenes videotaped with speacial
colored filters. If you would like the name of this videotape let me
know. My parents bought me this tape from Hawaii, and I absoulutely love
watching the scenes. I am a member of the marine association, and you
can get videotapes from them here in the States.
I also agree with the production activity you have
suggested...sketching the subject matter should be done quickly, but also
"carefully." I think you hit on the key point, "Draw what you see, and
not what you know." If you can even bring some actual samples of
paintings with a variety of brushstrokes to class and show the students
actual art works, I found that always to be a big help. If there aren't
any available, a demo is always a good idea to get us, the students,
motivated....that always works for me...
One of my favorite artists is David Hockney. I really like the
following pieces that relate water to the Arts:

1) Le Plongeur (Paper Pool) 1978
2)David Hockney's swimming pool, 1987
3)Big Waves
4) A Bigger Wave, 1989
5) Green Tide, 1989
6) The Sea at Malibu, 1988

All in all, I find painting and drawing water is not an easy
task, so the more we assignments we have dealing with water, the more
likely we will get the task accomplished in the end. As they say,
"practice makes perfect."

PS. Anyone, respond back, and let me know what you would
you relate Arts and Water?

Anita Debnath