Marin Sea and Boat #1


Sailboat on choppy water in pastel hues.

John Marin
b. 1870 Rutherford, NJ; d. 1953 Addison, ME
Sea and Boat #1, 1942
Oil on canvas
22 1/8 x 28 1/8 in
Acquired in 1989
The Dr. and Mrs. John J. Mayers Collection
© Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Language Arts

Grade Range





Museum trip


Index cards

About the Artist

John Marin, known as an early American modernist for his abstracted landscapes and watercolors, was born in Rutherford, NJ in 1870. He attended the Stevens Institute of Technology in NJ for a short while and spent six years working in an architectural firm before becoming an artist. He studied art at both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and Art Students League of New York City.

Marin spent several years studying and painting in Paris. While his watercolors were on exhibit at the Salon d’Automne, Edward Steichen, impressed by Marin’s watercolors, introduced him to the American photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz. This introduction led to Marin’s first important exhibition at Stieglitz’s gallery, 291, in 1910. Stieglitz and Marin became good friends and Stieglitz exhibited his work quite often.

Marin is considered an important member of the early modernists which includes Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley.

Marin lived in Cliffside, NJ and had his studio there during most of the year. Beginning in 1914, Marin, and later his wife and son, spent most summers in Maine. Its landscape and seacoast became a major source of inspiration for the rest of his life.

Learning Goal

To use adjectives to describe the seascape painting Sea and Boat #1 by John Marin. 

I Can Statement

I can use adjectives to describe the seascape painting Sea and Boat #1 by John Marin.


 Adjective, noun, category, classify, evoke, seascape


  • Define adjectives: an adjective is a word that describes a noun.
  • Review nouns: nouns are people, places or things.
  • Give a few examples of adjectives and elicit a few more from the class.
  • Introduce/review and discuss the vocabulary.
  • Record the following elicited adjectives on index cards:
  1. texture (smooth, rough, thick, soft or hard).
  2. shapes (round, triangular, angled, organic).
  3. colors (bright, dull, warm or cool).
  4. moods evoked by the painting (happy, sad, playful or none at all.).
  5. lines they observe (straight, curvy or diagonal). 
  6. symmetry 
  7. setting (time of day, season, location, etc.).
  8. energy or motion (intensity, direction, etc.).
  • Have the children classify the adjectives on the index cards into categories.


List ten adjectives describing the classroom or the school building.


List ten adjectives describing family members or friends.

Florida Standards

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades K-5

  • Vocabulary: VA.1.C.3.1 / VA.2.C.3.1 / VA.3.C.3.1 / VA.4.C.3.1
  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: 
  • VA.1.S.1.4 / VA.2.S.1.4 / VA.3.S.1.4 / VA.4.S.1.4 / VA.5.S.1.4
  • Adjectives: LAFS.K1.L.3.5 / LAFS.2.L.3.6 / LAFS.3.L.1.1 / LAFS.4.L.1.1
  • Nouns: LAFS.K.L.1.1 / LAFS.1.L.1.1 / LAFS.2.L.1.1 / LAFS.3.L.1.1 / LAFS.4.L.1.1

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades 6-8

  • Vocabulary: VA.68.C.3.1
  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: VA.68.S.1.4
  • Nouns: LAFS.68.L.1.1

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades 9-12

  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: VA.912.S.1.4
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