Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) was an American abstract painter born in Wisconsin. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Student's League in New York, and Colombia Teacher's College in New York. She was an art teacher before she became a full time artist. She was a leader in the development of the American Modernism Movement. O'Keeffe painted still lifes, massive flowers, the New York at Night series, southwestern landscapes and stark bones found in the desert. In 1939, she was selected as one of the twelve most outstanding women of the past fifty years by the New York World's Fair Committee. Her painting, Sunset-Long Island, was chosen to represent New York in an exhibition of the art of the United States at the World's Fair. In 1985, O'Keeffe was granted the Medal of Arts by President Ronald Reagan.
In this lesson, students will be painting flowers or skulls in the style of O'Keefe. This can be accomplished quite easily by following these simple steps.
1. Find a picture of a flower or skull that you would like to paint. I usually find my samples on the internet.
2. Draw the flower or skull on your paper with a pencil. Draw it so large that it runs off the page. There should not be any empty background. The flower or skull should take up all of the paper.
3. Using paint, color the picture. Quite often, O'Keefe's paintings have either a warm or a cool feel. This can be accomplished by either using all warm colors (red, orange, and yellow), or all cool colors (blue, purple, and green.)
This picture below is being painted with cool colors.
This student has printed out pictures of flowers to use as a reference.