“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment.” 

-Georgia O’Keeffe

After spending a couple of days learning about Georgia O’Keeffe (we watched an instructional video on BrainPop Jr., took a look at an interview with O’Keeffe on YouTube, looked at several pieces of her work, and discussed her philosophy of art/painting), we were ready to begin our art project. (Of course, a study of O’Keeffe naturally encompasses science, too, and we reviewed the parts of a flower—which Katie originally learned during our Apple A Day unit in September).

Yesterday, the kiddos and I used the iPhone to take pictures of some flowers and plants and textures around our yard. I love that this technology comes easily to this generation.

We sorted through all of our photos, and while Eric was napping yesterday, Katie helped me choose our eight favorite pictures. We printed them out last night and had them ready for this morning.

Making our Georgia O’Keeffe art posters with examples of her work (free printables from Montessori Printshop—at least, they were free a month ago!)

This morning, after a good breakfast and putting on our paint clothes, we set up a project with canvas and acrylics:

Picking out paints…

A morning of painting in the beautiful air

Artist at work

Graham cracker break and thinking about his work

Eric’s inspiration

Eric’s painting

Katie used this as an inspiration…

…and this pansy, also…

Katie’s painting

My inspiration…

My flower abstract… (I hardly need say that I am a little intimidated to put this up here, since I have friends and family who are legitimate, really-and-truly visual artists…but I did have fun, and painting was so relaxing. I wish I could take an art class someday)!

Afterwards, we talked about how we used shape and color to evoke mood. Katie wanted to guess everyone’s mood, and she said that she sees a “calm mood” in my painting. She says hers was a “happy mood” and Brother’s is a “stormy mood.”

Maybe as we travel through New Mexico we’ll take some pictures of the landscape or collect things, just as O’Keeffe did. I would love to revisit this type of project with inspiration from New Mexico.

To extend this project for Katie tomorrow, I might lead her through a “tints and shades” lesson—and then maybe look at O’Keeffe’s paintings again to talk about how tinting and shading help to give the flowers depth and emotion.