Artist & Writer, San Francisco Bay Area

Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”

Nate's "The Bowl Wave"
Enn’s “The Bowl Wave”

Well, my internet has been down at my house since Saturday morning when my mom was “fixing” something that was working 🙂 (thanks mom!) 🙂 ha ha.

I’m having trouble uploading photos here at the library. I’ll do that someday when our internet returns to normal.

So, from what I recall of the last class I taught, the children really got into making their waves. I did a few things to add to the experience of reading the book Hokusai: The Man Who Painted a Mountain by Deborah Kogan Ray. (And yes, I did skip the part that they have no record of his father’s life, and his mom died when he was six.) So, I had them watch videos of ocean waves crashing on YouTube (carefully selected ones that had no expletives and no weird random happening interspersed among the awesome waves) as well as a shot of Mt. Fuji taken by someone from an airplane.  I wish I had the links, but alas I clicked out after class was over. I wanted them to get the sense of Mt Fuji as a real place, and the hugeness of it & the waves, too. I also used playdoh to make s pretend Huge Wave in the front of the table, with a Mt. Fuji way at the back of the table, that way when they stood in front of the wave they could see “in the distance” the Mt Fuji that I made. Well, they liked squishing the playdoh, especially my son, in the middle of me telling the story of Hokusai. 🙂

I’m not sure how clearly the concept of drawing a wave translated to these little guys, but they enjoyed making crashing waves nonetheless. I’m so happy they made it easier to persevere through my half-migraine during the class! They are a lot of fun.

Art History: We looked at Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” c. 1830. He is a Japanese artist best known for this selection from “Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji.” He was influenced by a limited exposure to Dutch painting, and then himself became a precursor to Impressionism when those artists discovered his work.

Vocabulary: perspective

Art Techniques:  drawing an ocean wave

One Reply to “Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa””

  • crashing waves + migraine = OUCH 🙂

    I like how you used the different perspectives of looking at waves. very cool.

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