Emily Muir: Stonington

This artist used her environment as subject matter and found the materials within that environment to create with. This favorite work is currently on view, and when visiting the Farnsworth you will come upon it while exiting towards Elm Street. 

All the variations in color and form were achieved with small stones. 

The work is quite large and 28 x 148 inches. 

That is a lot of pebbles.

When viewing art, allow a few minutes just to observe. Careful observation allows time to use all the senses, become engaged, and notice things missed at first glance. Make a list of everything observed: objects, colors, shapes, patterns or textures, the quality of the line, as well as the feelings that the work conveys to you.

Emily Muir, Stonington, Circa 1960
Emily Muir, Stonington, Circa 1960, Stone mosaic, 28 x 148 inches, Bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth B. Noyce, 1997.3.35

Work of Art

Emily Muir, Stonington, Circa 1960, Stone mosaic, 28 x 148 inches, Bequest of Mrs. Elizabeth B. Noyce, 1997.3.35

Guiding Questions:

  • What’s going on in this picture?
  • How did this artist create this image? Can you identify the materials?
  • Are there patterns or shapes that look familiar to you?
  • How has this artist arranged the figures to tell a story?
  • Check out the surface of this image. What kind of texture can you describe?

Using this image as inspiration, let’s create a mosaic with natural materials!

We are going to make a modified mosaic using multiple types of found materials. Gather the following: 
  • A sheet of paper, it can be a white piece of paper or found paper, like a paper bag
  • A pencil and eraser
  • Collect some interesting colored leaves, sticks, stems, pine cones or other materials, even different colored earth from your neighborhood or yard
  • Some glue or glue stick might be handy, but is not absolutely necessary

First Step

Bring to mind an image you’d like to re-create. You can use your imagination or a photo for reference

Second Step

Once you have your image or images for inspiration and have an assortment of natural materials begin by drawing in pencil the contours of your subject so that it fills the paper. Lightly draw the large shapes without worrying about details right now. Take note of the color or value of the shapes.

Third Step

Using your found materials, fill in the shapes with one material of one color. Think about texture. How might you use your materials to better portray your subject matter?

Fourth Step

Glue things down if you want to or take a photo and upload to our link below and start again!

Fifth Step

Share your creations with us by uploading your finished work here:
Artwork Upload from Activity Sheets
First and Last

Maximum file size: 2MB

For more information on this artwork, visit the Farnsworth Art Museum Collection website: 


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