An Artist's Quest

Zooming In: painting like Georgia O’Keeffe

Last week I taught art at West Side school, a small elementary school just down the road from me.  The blooming garden at the school stirred me to teach a lesson inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower series.  I showed some of her paintings to my group (I had kindergarten first then a group of 1st, 2nd, 3rd graders) and gave them each a “zoom lens” (it was really just a one inch square cut in the middle of a 4 in square of cardboard but it sounds more exciting as a “zoom lens”).  We headed out to the garden to zoom in on some flowers and each child brought a chosen flower back to the classroom.  Most kids instinct is to draw something tiny in the middle of the page so I talked more about going off the page, getting a bees eye view.  After a quick demo I set them loose with oil pastels and paint on canvas.  The photo is a sampling from the day.

This week I decided to follow my own lesson and see where it takes me, see what Georgia O’Keeffe has to teach me about form and shape, color and contrast, representation and abstraction.  Take a few minutes this week to stop and see the roses and see where it takes you.

Check out the O’Keeffe Museum website.

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