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Lesson Plans

Re: Lowenfeld's Illusion of Sky

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Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Thu, 13 Mar 1997 09:16:23 -0500

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Lowenfeld was quoted by Craig Roland. I have been thinking about the sky
blue band at the top, too, but I have to say I disagree with the idea that
the sky meeting the ground is an illusion. I'm looking out my window right
now, and it is not an illusion-the sky is meeting the ground.

The problem is that we can't actually touch the blue part of the sky (or
whatever color it happens to be at the moment) because the sky is clear
near us but appears colored by the water vapor when viewed at a distance.
The fact of the matter is that when we go out in the school yard, we are
indeed standing in the sky-made of the same stuff as the sky with color
that we see in the distance. It is not an illuision, it is a physical fact.

Would someone like to defend Lowenfeld's position? Am I missing something here?

Mark Alexander, the art teacher who walks in the sky.
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031

At 9:55 PM 3/11/97, craig roland wrote:
>To Heidi and others interested in the "skyline" phenomenon, Lowenfeld
>offers an interesting perspective worth consideration. I quote here from
>his book, Creative and Mental Growth:
>"A counterpart to the base line appears in drawings as a sky line. This is
>usually drawn at the top of the page, and the space between this and the
>base line is identified by children as being air. As adults we usually
>think of the sky in pictures as coming down to ground level; however, this
>is actually an optical illusion. Not only does the sky never actually meet
>the ground, but of course there is no tangible sky, only an accumulation of
>air over a dark background. The concept of the sky above, ground below,
>and air between is just as valid as our concept that the sky and ground
>meet. Both are illusions."
>CRAIG ROLAND. Associate Professor-Art Education.
>Department of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville Florida.
>32611-5801. (352) 392-9165 - Art Ed Office (352) 392-8453 - Fax

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