Musings about the importance and impact of art and art education in the 21st century.

Musings about the importance of art and art education

O'Keefe's a winner everytime

♠ Posted by ArtMuse in at 8:29 PM

Ah, the incomparable, Georgia O'Keefe. Always a favorite of the mild mannered art hobbiest and practical mainstay in art education. I've seen this lesson done many times before, its various permutations including watercolor and oil pastel renderings, , on square paper, round paper, as self portrait, as decoative motif, and even as collage. And no matter how many times I've seen the lesson it always seems to come out great.
I think part of the success of it is its vivid use of color and its archetypical subject matter. (Most of my students were able to draw pretty good flowers just from their imagination, but they lacked the formality and sophistication that drawing from observation gives) I wasn't really planning on this lesson, it jsut kind of happened. My supervisor asked me to do some Spring themed activities with the kids and use the artwork to help decorate the junior room. (The junior room is a giant rec room where pretty much all the 1-5 graders hang out). That request coupled with the fact that I had made tentative plans with a local bank to showcase some of the students work in their front window wayyy longer ago than I would have liked it to be. This seemed like a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. We spent all week making our flowers and these are some of the results. I had some pretty stiff requirements for the kids to follow, but they stuck through it, some of them even working for over an hour straight, which is pretty impressive for early childhood aged children.
The requirements were that the composition had to touch 3 sides of the page, the flower/s had to be as large as their hands and if more than one was draw, it had to overlap. The composition had to have an off-center focal point (no 'bulls-eye' flowers, I'd say), and they had to use a light, medium, and dark color scheme on each petal of the entire flower. I know this is a 'been there, done that' kind of lesson, but I have to admit, I loved it!