Up Close With Georgia O’Keeffe (5th Grade)

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Georgia O’keeffe is notable as both a pioneer of abstract art in the early 20th century, and for being a successful female artist during a time when the field of art was dominated by men. Although she is best known for her large scale paintings of flowers, these are just some of the many hundreds of images she made throughout her lifetime. Other subject matter includes cityscapes of New York, where she lived briefly, before moving to New Mexico, where she painted the distinctive southwestern landscape.

For this project, students selected a subject related to nature and zoomed in on it. We used Photoshop filters to turn our source imagery from straight photography into images that reflected the smooth brushwork of O’keeffe’s work. These Photoshoped images were printed and gridded. The grid allowed students to blow their images up further, by copying what they observed in each square into a correlating square on the final piece of paper. With the sketch complete, we learned to mix colors to match our source images and to use specific types of brushes to achieve a style of painting reminiscent of O’keeffe’s.

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