Exploring Art with your Mind & Senses

Carly Nichols, Support Services Manager
Ann Recotta, Education and Volunteer Programs Coordinator
Amy Ruza, Youth and Family Programs Educator

In this video session, The Rockwell Museum and CareFirst educators explore American landscape paintings in the Rockwell Collection and provide ways to use your senses to imagine what you might see, smell, touch, hear and taste.

Carly Nichols, Support Services Manager at CareFirst begins with a breathing meditative exercise focusing on an artwork that depicts a serene landscape with a forest and rushing waterfall. She acknowledges how stressful the past several months have been, and demonstrates how you can use your senses to bring down your level of stress and worry. She introduces a S.A.F.E box, which stands for “Sensing All Feelings and Emotions”.  You can fill this box with all sorts of things that activate your senses and help you to feel calm and relaxed. 

After you are focused, Ann Recotta, Education and Volunteer Programs Coordinator at The Rockwell will show you how to explore the painted landscape scene using your senses. This is a fun way to connect with artwork and to think about how it makes you feel. The next time you visit The Rockwell Museum, try doing this!

Next, Amy Ruza, Youth and Family Programs Educator presents a more abstract landscape painting where the bright and vibrant colors are exaggerated and the expressive style captures the spirit of the place. She points out how the artist creates perspective by including “vanishing points” in her painting, where two lines meet to create a more three-dimensional scene on a flat surface. The artist also paints different textures and plays with scale to create layers of depth.

Then, create your own fantasy landscape inspired by the paintings in The Rockwell collection using your imagination and mixed-media materials. Construct a place you want to visit, and think about who you may want to take with you. It can be real or invented. Your scene can take place on land, in water, in the sky, in outer space or event another dimension. Write about your special place, and think about the senses that you will experience in your scene. Where is your scene located? Why is it special to you? What do you see, smell, taste, touch and hear?

Keep your writing and any small objects you like in your S.A.F.E. box as a reminder of a place that can provide relief from the stresses of your life and ground you with nature. Using your mind and body to experience art and connect with your inner emotions is a wonderful way to take a deep breath and find peace and solace within your life.  

When you’re done, please take a moment to fill out this survey to let us know how you did. Take Survey >>

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