Flower and skulls and donuts, oh my! Georgia O’Keeffe was our featured artist of the day and we had a marvelous time learning all about this iconic artist. From her humble beginnings on a farm in Wisconsin, to her love affair with the Southwest, Georgia O’Keeffe provided a multitude of fun information and inspiring pieces for the students to devour. One of the facts that the children really responded to was that Georgia loved the spaces between things – the small windows into the world that surrounded her. She used these spaces in her artwork, particularly in her skull pieces, sometimes painting the sky and the clouds through the eyehole of a skull. Further evidence of her love of spaces? She always ate her donuts all the way around, until all that was left was the hole. I love this aspect of her artistic being – that she so adored and respected the quiet moments in between and used those spaces as a keyhole into something beautiful.
Some more fun facts about Georgia?
- Georgia O’Keeffe was born in 1887 in Wisconsin. She grew up on a farm where she helped her family by cooking, sewing and growing vegetables.
- When she was five, she went to school in a one-room schoolhouse and took art lessons after school. She always knew she wanted to be an artist.
- Georgia traveled to and from her art classes in a horse and buggy!
- She went to art school in New York City and Chicago, but it was only after that, when she was teaching art lessons herself, that she began to create her own style.
- A photographer named Alfred Stieglitz took some of O’Keeffe’s paintings and showed them to a gallery owner (without telling her!). This began O’Keeffe’s long career as an artist. Plus, she married Stieglitz!
- O’Keeffe and Stieglitz lived out in the country and O’Keeffe used the barn as her art studio. She loved to paint the things she saw in nature.
- When O’Keeffe moved to New Mexico, she began painting pictures of the desert and the wonderful things she found there – beautiful flowers and even animal bones
Today, after talking at length about the wonderful life of Georgia O’Keeffe, we looked at a variety of her most famous (and some of my favorite) works. Here are a few examples that the children really took to: