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Focusing on the Details with Georgia O'Keeffe
Art and the Unexpected Beauty of Nature

"Nobody sees a flower, really--it is so small--we haven't time, and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."
-Georgia O'Keeffe

People often describe the art of Georgia O'Keeffe as being somewhere between stark realism and abstract design. O'Keeffe was an artist finely attuned to the sounds and sights of the natural world. Her art dramatically expresses her wonder in life and the world.

Take inspiration from Georgia O'Keeffe's art and capture the beauty of a flower.


Photo: Dianne Fowler

Lesson: Focusing on a Flower


  • Sheets of 9x11 white drawing paper
  • Sheets of 12x24 white drawing paper
  • Pencils, colored chalk, crayons
  • Assorted sizes of rectangular paper frames
  • Fresh flowers or photos
  • Other nature items: shells, plants, bones, feathers (Optional)


  1. Gather library resources and examine O'Keeffe's paintings.

  2. Brainstorm details you notice.
    -Do her paintings create an emotion?
    -What do her colors and shapes remind you of?
    -How does she use focus in her art?

  3. Select a flower to draw.

  4. Fill an 9x11 sheet of white paper with a detailed pencil drawing of your object.

  5. Place a paper frame over an area on your completed drawing that contains interesting lines. With a pencil, outline the frame.

  6. Re-examine your flower. Find the area featured within the drawing's frame. Study the lines, shapes, and colors.

  7. Reproduce the small window of details onto a large sheet of paper with pencils and crayons.

  8. Write a description of your final artwork.
Create a pencil drawing and find a focus
Enlarge and color the focus
Science Notebooking
Showcase your art and discoveries
Photo: Travis Science Academy, Dianne Fowler


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