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How to Develop your Aesthetic Awareness: Stimulating Your Senses

By Edited Aug 27, 2015 0 0
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Aesthetics is the study of developing new ways of looking at and understanding the world through mental and verbal response. It sharpens the 5 senses of Seeing, Hearing, Touching, Tasting and Smelling, to help you become more aware of and be able to better appreciate and respond mentally and emotionally to the beauty in the environment.

The study of aesthetics is the core learning experience for development in the Visual, Literary and Performing Arts. It is a proven fact that the Arts have the capability to inspire, inform, challenge, raise self-esteem, provide pleasure and allow for self-expression; creating a sense of pride, identity, and development of skills that are transferable to everyday life.

The following is a sample lesson in using the five senses to heighten aesthetic awareness. This is a great exercise to try with a group of people, or students so that you can get an idea of what others are experiencing through their senses and can learn from sharing the experience. You may want to copy and print out the "Magical Garden" print below so that each person in the group has a copy to closely focus upon.

Things You Will Need

Pen or pencil
paper for notes and painting
Your choice of paints, markers or crayons
A sense of adventure and imagination
A desire to heighten your senses and develop your aesthetic awareness

Step 1

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STIMULATING THE SENSES

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Take three minutes to intensely stare at and study the painting, "Magical Garden", as shown. Make mental notes of everything that you see in the painting, considering the subject matter, colors, shapes, small details; anything and everything you can soak in. After your three minutes are up, close your eyes for a few seconds and re-create that picture in your mind.

Step 2

SIGHT:

Take 10 minutes to make a list of all observations that you made, everything that you can remember. Share your observations with the group. Other things that can be discussed would be textures, mood, colors, and thoughts (how does it make you feel).

Step 3

TOUCH:

Talk about the textures that you see in the painting. How would certain things feel in the painting; rough, smooth, cold, hot, soft, hard, etc.

Step 4

SMELL:

Discuss what types of smells would you experience if you were sitting at the table or walking through the garden.

Step 5

SOUND:

Imagine yourself sitting in the blue chair, lie back, close your eyes and imagine all of the different sounds that you might hear, then share your thoughts with the group.

Step 6

TASTE:

Discuss the types of taste would you experience if you were sitting at the table or walking through the garden.

Step 7

VISUAL ARTS:

Paint your own version of a magical garden, using as many details as you can. When finished with your painting, have everyone share and discuss their creations with the group.

Step 8

LITERARY ARTS:

Write a poem or short story about the painting, being as descriptive as possible, so that the reader will experience the beauty, richness of color, aroma of the flowers, etc.

Step 9

PERFORMING ARTS:

Using your body and motion, act out a certain object in the painting and see if others can guess what it is. Another idea would be to divide up into groups and have an impromptu play by acting out an imaginary scene as they were in the painting itself.

Keep in mind... The more you practice taking a closer look at things around you and exercising all of your senses through the Arts, the keener your aesthetic awareness will be.

Tips & Warnings


This is a great awareness lesson to use for home-schooling, classroom students, or just as an individual.

Try several sessions of the same type with the same group to reinforce and heighten the aesthetic awareness learning process.

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