Inspiration from a Master

rust-red-hills 1

Rust Red Hills, Georgia O’Keefe

A New Day, A New Artist,  A New Art Medium

This week in Art Club at Lowman Hill the third graders were introduced to the finer art of watercolor.  This art medium takes a lighter approach and finer motor skills which the students have been working up to all year.

The Master Artist we looked at was Georgia O’Keefe.  Specifically, we looked at her Southwest landscapes in watercolor.We talked about the visual differences in the mountain peaks of that part of the United States contrasted with our own flat-topped Flint Hills in Kansas created long ago by the inland sea.


blue okeefe

Taos Mountain, New Mexico by O’Keefe


Group discussion included how to create a unified composition using a color scheme, patterning and visual space.  We  talked about how different colors make us feel and how this relates to warm and cool colors.  One student pointed out that summer is red…red hot!


First Step – drawing with pencil

Patterning and visual space was related to photographs of the Flint Hills as well as landscapes by O’Keefe.  They examined the use of overlapping lines to develop a foreground, middleground and background giving the illusion of receding space.  Repeated colors and shapes provide a sense of movement and unity.


Second step - Draw over lines with black crayon for resist

Second step – Draw over lines with black crayon for resist

Begin painting (perspective learned earlier this year)

Begin painting (perspective learned earlier this year)

Working with Art Club throughout this year has been amazing.  The students are so eager and willing to learn and experience the world through art. They have developed confidence, problem-solving skills and creativity. They now love to talk about their artworks in front of the group.  I am grateful to be part of this outreach program and excited to make a difference in the lives of young people.

Wet-on-wet technique

Wet-on-wet technique

paint 3

Great use of color. Definitely a Modernist influence like O’Keefe but more Rothko!

Betsy is the associate curator and museum educator at the Sabatini Gallery. She has an MFA from the University of Missouri with a major in Fibers. Betsy has taught art classes at UMKC, Kansas City Art Institute and Washburn University. As an artist, her work is sculptural fibers and focuses on ecological concerns such as the preservation of Kansas prairies in the Flint Hills.

One thought on “Inspiration from a Master

  1. I love this so much. I love being able to see what the kids are making. Such a great program!

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