Archive for the ‘Featured Artist’ Category

Our featured artist last week we learned about and was inspired by was Georgia O’Keeffe. She was born on a farm in Wisconsin and since she was 12 years old she knew she wanted to be an artist. After going to art school and living some time in New York City, she felt called to leave the big city and spend some time in Texas and eventually New Mexico. She loved being alone and she spent many, many hours at a time painting. I especially love her flowers that she painted. She painted them big; it feels like you are looking at them through a magnifying glass. If you want to view some of her work and learn more about Georgia, you can do that at the Georgia O’Keeffe museum located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


We enjoyed reading books about Georgia and viewing her work during our Opening Ritual. The girls were given some illustration board and could choose between oil pastels or watercolors and got to work on their own “Georgia O’Keeffe flowers.” Here’s a peek at their work-in-progress.

Final Works of Art…

Bright, colorful, and each one unique! I think Georgia would be proud. 🙂

Reminder: Our last class for the Spring session is May 20th!!


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Our opening ritual–Liya choosing a special treasure and sharing a favorite snow day.

The girls were given watercolor pencils to do their art project. When using art materials for the first time, it is helpful to experiment with that material and practice using it before beginning an art project.

A work in progress. The Snowy Day inspired art.

“Snowy Day” scenes. The girls really enjoyed using the watercolor pencils. Most of the girls did 2 scenes and we will finish the project during our next session. I love Ezra Jack Keats art and I love the girl’s art as well!!

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Jan Brett, of course! Since our theme has been winter and we had focused our storytelling activities on her book, The Mitten, Jan Brett seemed like a natural choice. (Ezra Jack Keats will be our Featured Artist this coming week).

Jan Brett has illustrated so many books and they are all so fabulously detailed. We learned that it takes her one hour to draw an inch!! Some artists have special drawing journals or notebooks to practice drawing. Jan Brett practiced drawing for hours at a time when she was a little girl. I thought it would be nice if each girl had their own drawing journal with a special drawing pencil. My husband has the talent of making books, so he got the paper cut and ready and showed me how to sew a simple binding.

I brought in all of Jan Brett’s winter or Christmas books that she has illustrated and the girls each chose one to practice their Jan Brett drawings. The girls spent time browsing pictures and decided which ones they wanted to practice. They each had a 6B pencil to use, a very common lead weight type of pencil.

Just a few examples of some of the drawings in progress…

A swan from The Twelve Days of Christmas

Animals from The Hat

A moose from Annie and the Wild Animals

A candy balloon from Gingerbread Friends

And, of course, the girls love sharing and talking about their drawings.

Happy Drawing Girls! P.S. I gave the girls Jan Brett’s website and address if they want to learn more about Jan Brett or send her one of their drawings.:)

http://www.janbrett.com; Jan Brett  P.O.Box 366  Norwell, MA  02061

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The  book oooh! Matisse by Mil Niepold and Jeanyves Verdu opened our session together. A colorful book that shows snippets of shapes and asks the question What is This? The girls enjoyed guessing what the bigger picture might be. A fun way to introduce Henri Matisse and his love of color and his work with paper cut-outs. Matisse spent the majority of his artist life drawing and painting, but for our session together we focused on the latter part of his artist life where he spent a lot of time on his paper cut-outs.


The girls had an opportunity to go on a “gallery walk” and view a small portion of Matisse’s work from various art books. We came together again to learn more about Matisse and his work. I read from a book called Drawing with Scissors by Keesia Johnson and Jane O’Connor. Keesia is a young girl who wrote a report on Matisse and the book is part of the Smart about Art series. I explained the art project they would be working on as well. I found an art activity packet at the Denver Art Museum that supplied some pieces of very colorful paper as long as some shapes to be traced and cut out. I went to the art store to add some additional brightly colored paper and the girls began the hard work of tracing and cutting many colored shapes. They glued their cut-out shapes on white illustration board. The result was beautiful, colorful, and each girl had a unique Matisse-inspired art. I think Matisse would have been proud!










My own little Matisse, Asher. I brought home this project for Asher to do. I provided Asher the cut-out shapes, a combination of color and shapes from the activity pack and ones that the girls did on their own. Asher chose the color of cut-outs, where to put the shapes and even named his piece “Wetland.” I think I might have a go at this project next. 🙂


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