Georgia O'Keeffe

Thought it was about time we looked at a female artist so this week we looked at the work of American artist Georgia O‘ Keeffe. One little lad said incredulously, ‘a woman artist?!’ We started with a look at some of her work on a you tube video and in some books. She famously enlarged flowers in her paintings sometimes to the point in which they became abstract.

I showed them 2 potted plants for about 2 seconds and then ask them to describe what they were like. They recalled the colour and one lad had actually quickly noted the different shape of one of the flowers. Then I put the flowers back on the table and explained that O’Keeffe had said that “Nobody sees a flower really. It is so small it takes time. We haven’t time and to see takes time. Like to have a friend takes time.”

I explained how we were going to look at the flowers from the viewpoint of a bee. We were going to be bees - resulted in much buzzing of course! - and we examined the flowers with magnifying glasses. We described what we could see when we took the time to be still and really look closely. I never tire of marvelling at flowers!

The first activity was to create our own flower. The key was to ensure that the petals touched all sides of the paper. Often people, not just kids, tend to draw small and in the middle of a blank sheet. It can feel exciting to fill the paper. They sketched their flowers with Crayola pens then used watercolours. Results were beautiful.

Our next activity was to continue our close observation but this time we looked at apples and peppers chopped in half. Using pencil and then oil pastels, the kids captured the shapes of the fruit and veg and we noticed details such as shadows, lines and seeds. One little lad decided that his apple was angry and drew an angry face on it! I was really impressed at how the children really took time to observe and managed to capture a lot of detail. We also had a very interesting chat about aliens and I have no idea how we got onto that topic!

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