Our artist this term has been Georgia O’Keeffe. I borrowed the book Georgia O’Keeffe (Library of American Art Series) from our library. It is an oversized volume with plenty of full color art for daily picture studies.
Our artist study methods have remained the same, year after year. Sprite studies a work of art for a minute or two and then without looking at it, narrates it verbally back. Sometimes she sketches in in broad strokes on scratch paper as she explains. Other times we discuss certain aspects in detail or delve into the background of the artist or the painting. But the norm is a quick three to five minute pause for art.
Over the years, Sprite has taken many art classes, but now at 12 her drawing abilities are blossoming rapidly. She has a wonderful art teacher and a generous grandma who has contributed some quality art pencils. (Thanks, Mom!) Because she is so motivated to sketch, our O’Keeffe study was punctuated with lots of drawing sessions.
O’Keeffe’s paintings of flowers, of course, led us to study a flower in detail. We grabbed the only thing blooming in the yard — a daffodil.
She sketched apples and leaves, both in the style of O’Keeffe.
To be honest, I don’t plan out these sketching activities. They just happen. Sometimes I suggest a sketch, and others times Sprite thinks of it. (I don’t force Sprite to draw if she is not inspired. ) I have learned that artist study is something that flows nicely out of our daily picture studies without much advance preparation. And our schedule is loose enough that we can take an extra thirty minutes here and there to do some sketching. Often I read our history lessons out loud while she draws.
Although I cannot focus on words when I paint or draw, Sprite seems to have no problem with it at all. Her brain is wired very differently from mine! In fact, she seems to comprehend better when she is sculpting or drawing.
Of course, part of our O’Keeffe study included notebooking pages about her life and style of art. Find these printables at The Notebooking Fairy:
Sprite’s narrations are based on what she observed herself, what we read in The Annotated Mona Lisa, and an excellent YouTube video.
Additional Resources for O’Keeffe
Paint a Close-Up with Georgia O’Keefe a magnifying glass
Practical Pages Sketches in the style of Georgia O’Keefe
Abstract Flowers Simple flower drawing activity.
Using an Artist for Inspiration Art for Homeschool blog shares a great reproduction activity.
Georgia O’Keefe Notebooking Page A black and white image of the artist with lines to write on.