Georgia O’Keeffe was born in 1887 and died in 1987, almost 100 years old and painting up till the end of her life. Even when she was a baby, Georgia O’Keeffe saw the world around her a little differently than most people do. Can you describe anything that you saw before you were a year old? Georgia could describe the shapes and patterns on a quilt she played on before she could even stand up.
When Georgia was growing up most girls learned embroidery and other sorts of artwork that help decorate the house. Some girls became Art teachers. Few were encouraged to try to make their livings as artists! O’Keeffe didn’t see things that way at all, she started taking art lessons, and when she was twelve years old she decided to become an artist.
One day in her high school art class, she experimented with a new way of looking at the world. Holding up a wildflower, her teacher showed how important it was for her to examine it carefully before drawing it. She did look closely at it, but she did a lot more than that. She turned it in different directions, drawing it over and over again.
Then she tried drawing just part of it, to see what that would look like. Every time she drew it, she made the shape of the flower look simpler. Someone looking at her drawing might not have recognized the flower at all. That didn’t matter at all to her. Just to copy the flower was dull. In her drawings, a flower became a world to be explored.
After painting for a few years as an adult O’Keeffe realized that she’d begun to copy other artists, but she still felt that she say things differently than the other artists. She remembered her high school experience and began a series of paintings that explored the world of flowers up close and personal the way she liked to see them.
Her compositions used the outside format to frame the edges and to look inside the flowers. Her use of colors and simplified shapes created an abstraction of the flowers. She was just looking for the design and beauty that some people missed altogether. She said she wanted people to be surprised into taking time to look… to see what I see in flowers.
Watercolor Vocabulary Wet-on-wet (or wet-into-wet): A wash is a very thin coat of paint. You can still see the paper underneath a wash as it is transparent. Washes are good for flat, light areas like sky or a large body of water. Washes are created using a technique called "wet-on-wet." This simply means you are painting with a wet brush on wet paper. Transparent/opaque: created with watercolor wash or wet-on-wet method
Watercolor Vocabulary Wet-on-dry: This technique is well- suited for the painting areas that require greater control and more saturated colors as in the foreground of a landscape. Wet-on-dry means you work with a wet brush on dry paper. Dry-on-dry: By blotting your brush dry and applying it to dry paper you can get interesting textures, hard edges or really saturated colors. Intensity: Created with Dry-on-dry method
Assignment By Monday December 3rd you will need to find two color images of flowers or something in nature, such as a leaf. –The images must be a close up with details –The images may come from personal photographs, magazines or newspapers –The images MUST be school appropriate –If you do not have them by Monday you will loose 5 points a day off your final project
Assignment: Step #1: Fine two color images of flowers or something in nature, such as a leaf. Remember to be school appropriate! Due Monday Step #2: We will choose one of the two images to work with. In your sketchbooks make four thumbnail sketches focusing in on the core of the image. The goal is to simplify shapes to create an abstract image of the flowers. Due Wednesday Step #3: Grid the image and the final piece of paper. Remember to use shadow lines (light lines) that will not show through the paint. Due Friday Step #4: Select your color pallet and begin painting.
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