|Ornamental wall at gated, front entrance of an estate. Built with a mix of fieldstone and quarrystone from northeastern, Connecticut.
Elements of Visual - Art - Investigating Walls
Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard, MA. Such clay-rich soils do not yield stone walls.
Stone walls can be thought of as unusual sculptures. They are full of the major elements of visual art, notably color, line, shape, texture, pattern, shading.
The elements of art include.
- Color: What is the main color is the wall? How does it vary? Are the minerals the same coloro as the stone? What causes the exterior color?
- Line: Is the line of the wall from the sky straight or jagged. How about in plan view? Are the stones dominated by straight line fractures, or by rounded curves?
- Shape: Are the stone circle-shaped or box shaped? Do yo see any parallelograms or triangles?
- Pattern: From the side, do the stones appear to have been set in the wall randomly, or is there some order to the process? Are round stones and flat ones installed with any apparent pattern?
- Texture: Ranging from smooth, shiny quartz cobbles, to lichen-encrusted jagged layered slabs, the stones in a wall have many textures.
- Shading: The time of year, the time of day and the brightness of the sun make all the difference to a wall's appearance.
Have your students visit a wall at least once. If it's bright sunlight, then go back at a time when its foggy or gray. When there, ask them to examine, and sketch these attributes of the visual form. A single stone might be all that's necessary.
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