Summer art class: Georgia O'Keeffe-inspired flowers

{Artwork by Malayna}

One of my all-time favorite artists is Georgia O'Keeffe. I've loved her since I first saw her work back in high school. It seems like her work is on everything - calendars, notecards, t-shirts, coasters, umbrellas, etc., etc. Despite the over-saturation, I still love her style. She was one of the most important artists in the 1920s (and one of the only famous females). Because all of my art class students are girls, a Georgia O'Keeffe-inspired lesson is inevitable!

 {Lola is wondering if the flowers are edible…}

Before class started, I went out to my yard and cut some fresh flowers. I looked for simple shapes, and wound up using black-eyed susan and rose of sharon (both white and purple). I put a few of each in little vases and placed them on each work table. (Unfortunately, we were experiencing a heatwave in this area, so we weren't outside for class.) I had several books about O'Keeffe's work that the girls could look through for inspiration. We read Georgia O'Keeffe (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists). Some of the girls couldn't understand why she was only one of a few famous female artists, so we talked a bit about what girls and women were doing in the 20s. They thought it was very "unfair" (Malayna) that most of the famous artists we've heard about are men. I agreed!

{Busy at work!}

Before they sat down to work we talked about how O'Keeffe basically zoomed in on flowers and didn't necessarily include the entire flower on the page. I told them they should fill their page with the drawing and could even have the petals going off the edges. I first gave each girl a small piece of paper to do a trial drawing. I wanted to be sure they knew what I meant by filling the page with the flower. This was an important step, because some of them made their flowers teeny tiny, and it gave them the chance to practice drawing big. When the drawings were finished they used watercolors to fill them in. 


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Inspiring work!!!!!