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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Being Inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe and Nature

Time seems to get away from me.  We do so much each week that sometimes I forget to write about something until I see the pictures on my computer.
A couple weeks ago when all the trees and flower bushes were in bloom we went for a nature walk and gathered a bunch of their blossoms.

We found a wonderful assortment of Dogwood Tree flowers, Japanese Maple leaves, Forsythia, Quince, and Crabapple tree blossoms.
They made for a beautiful arrangement on the table.

When it was art time we looked at the flowers and I told the children what kind of flower they were, and each child collected the ones they wanted to observe for our drawings that day.

After they picked their flowers, I took out my book on Georgia O'Keeffe and showed  the children her paintings of flowers.  Many of the flowers the children liked, while some they found to be scary.  When I asked why, one of the little girls said "the colors,"  They were a deep blue and black, sort of stormy colors, so I could see her point.  We ended up talking about how colors can make us feel certain things; as well as pictures.

I love the way they are looking at the book in this picture.  I forget what happened, I think we were seeing different kinds of faces in the flowers, but something was obviously entertaining us all.

After looking at and talking about the book, the children went right to work.
For months we have been doing observational drawings, and the children are truly focused and engaged during this time.  We often have wonderful results, but really the point I always emphasize to the children is the process of looking closely at something and observing what is there.  I often ask them what shapes do they see, what color, what are some things they didn't notice before, how many petals or leaves, and then of course, do you think you can draw those things?

The children drew their pictures with pen, and then painted them with watercolor.  Next time I think I would chose one or the other because many of the fine details they drew were filled in with the paint.  Although the images may have been covered up, I know they enjoyed the process.