Artist Study - Georgia O'Keeffe

For our very first week of school, I wanted to do a simple lesson on noticing details.  What better artist to choose than Georgia O'Keeffe, who took often overlooked small details and magnified them for all to see the beautiful, graceful lines and colors.  Additionally, she lived from 1887 to 1986, which fits perfectly into the time period we are currently studying in our history lessons.

I began the lesson with picture study.  We viewed four paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe.
These included:
Red Hills and Bones, 1941
Autumn Leaves No. 2, 1927
White Rose with Larkspur, No. 2, 1927
Jimson Weed, 1932

For Red Hills and Bones, the children described the subject, colors used, identified foreground, background, and effect.  We then discussed if we'd like to travel through this painting and the emotions it stirred.  Of course, we then noted all the details O'Keeffe included on what appears, at first, to be a simple landscape.

Autumn Leaves, No. 2 followed.  My youngest traced the lines of the leaf.  The older children noted the use of analagous colors, shadows, highlights, and repetition.  We compared the use of similar color pallette to the first painting, but the difference in emotional responses. 

For contrast, we viewed White Rose with Larkspur, No. 2.  The children noted the usage of cool colors and discussed the effect in comparison to the warm tones used in the previous two paintings.  They tried to imagine what the roses would smell like. {Since we have rose bushes this was easily done.}  Then the children examined the painting for minute details.

Finally, we turned to The Usborne Art Treasury, by Rosie Dickins.  We viewed the copy of Jimson Weed, read the biographical information contained within the book, and tried our own "Petal Collage." (pp. 78-79)  My children's pictures...

I love how each child completed the same project but with their own personality and preferences shining through.

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