Monday, July 30, 2012

Georgia O'Keeffe's Flowers

Grade Level : 3rd graders .

Objectives : The children will look at the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe and attempt drawing a close-up of a flower themselves .

Material :  *real flowers for students to look at
                  * Color construction paper 12' X 12'
                  * white and color chalks

Biography : Georgia O'Keeffe was born on November 15, 1887 . She was the second of seven children and the oldest of five girls . Her mother made sure that her children had the best education possible . She especially wanted her five daughters to have the chance to learn a profession since it was becoming more acceptable for women to go to college and work . 
The O'Keeffe lived in a farm in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin .
From age 5 , she attended Town Hall School ( a nearby schoolhouse ). When she was 11 (along with her two younger sisters) , she took weekly private drawing and painting lessons . Georgia loved these lessons and she progressed very quickly .From then on , her artistic talents were recognized by her teachers and by her parents who encouraged her to go to art college after graduating from high school . 
In 1905 , she studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and learned traditional art . In 1907 she enrolled at the Students Art League in New York. 
Georgia liked New York City . It was busier and more exciting than the peaceful farm where she had grown up . Whenever she was in New York City , she often visited a small gallery that showed the work of new artists . It was owned by a well-known photographer named Alfred Stieglitz .
After finishing school , she traveled to Texas , where she decided to teach art . She found it an exciting place to be and very inspiring . At this time , she would teach art during the school year and take classes in New York during the summer .
Alfred Stieglitz became very interested in her artwork and asked her to come back to New York , where she could paint and he would promote her paintings in his gallery . The two will eventually get married . Georgia moved to New Mexico after her husband death . She died in 1986 (at the age of 96 ) in Santa Fe , New Mexico .
Georgia O'Keeffe is the only woman in the United States to have a museum dedicated solely to her works . This museum is the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and it is located in Santa Fe  , New Mexico .

Resources : You will show the students several paintings of flowers made by Georgia O'Keeffe . Here are some examples of what you could look at :
(1) "White trumpet flower"
(2) "White flower on Red Earth "
(3) "Blue flower"
(4) "Poppy"
(5) "purple petunia"
and so on . Notice how she doesn't draw the entire flower , but how she draw a part of the flower , a little bit like if she would zoom in on the flower with a camera , showing us a "close-up shot" ? The way she paints those flowers is just amazing as well . They look so soft , so real , so colorful .

Activity : (1) Students will observe the flower they want to draw .
                (2) Using both hands , they should form a "rectangle" and use this "rectangle" to look at the flower , as if it were a camera . It will help them to draw a close-up of the flower .
                (3) Using a white chalk , they will draw the outline of their flower .
                (4) Once they like what they see , they will add color to their flowers and their background , using the color chalks . The flower should fill out most of the paper .