Responding to Nature Looking & Learning
Have students display and consider their sketches of
water patterns. Explain that they should choose their
favorite sketch to recreate three-dimensionally as a
relief sculpture tile. Textured tiles may be created in a
variety of media, such as clay or papier-mâché on cardboard. As a class, mix a variety of water-inspired hues.
Refer to images of water in natural or human-made sites
as examples. Once tiles have been fired or dried, invite
students to choose a hue and paint their tile.
Display the tiles in groups, with each group corresponding to the sound that provided its inspiration. In
critique, direct students to look for the similarities and
differences within each sound grouping and among the
In his sculptures, Eric Tillinghast explores both the
reflective and rippling nature of water’s surface. Challenge students to capture water in a nontraditional
way using photography. The photographs will likely be
formally abstract. Emphasize the importance of com-postitional techniques such as framing and cropping
with students. Working in pairs, students can alternate
photographing and setting up shots, as many will likely
require water to be in motion.
Students should write a short description of what
they have captured in their photographs and any properties of water that play a role in their image. Consider
displaying information that came up in class discussions such as the environmental role of water. The photographs and their descriptions can serve as a reminder
of the overlapping content and methods of art and science.
Developed by the Kutztown University Looking and Learning
team, with Dr. Marilyn Stewart and graduate students Zoe
DeHart, Amanda Deibert, Cassie Langan, Ellen Pados, and
Rhonda Tomel. Written by Marilyn Stewart, professor of art
education, and Amanda Deibert, full-time student and graduate assistant to the department of art education and crafts.
Eric Tillinghast, Water Series #77—Rain Machine, detail, 2010. Water, rubber,
pump and drip system, 15" x 33' x 81' ( 38 cm x 10 m x 24 m). Installation for
the Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. ©2011 Eric Tillinghast. Photo
courtesy of the artist.
Eric Tillinghast's official web site.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology site on Harold
Edgerton, including his iconic photographs of drops.
Additional Digital Images
Visit the Davis Art Images website for
ten additional fine-art digital images
to support the concepts discussed in
Looking and Learning.
Suiura Yasuyoshi, Fallen Camellia Flower, 2009. Glazed stoneware, 12. 7
x 11. 4 x 8. 9 cm. © Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts.