Artist Georgia O’Keefe once said “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.” Her most famous works are large scale flower portraits. Georgia zoomed in on each flower and illustrated their form to help us witness the fine detail and beauty in this tiny living thing.
While observing the life of a paperwhite for a three week period of time, students documented the growth through time-lapse photography as well as observational drawing. Students looked closely and created a contour line drawing each week for three weeks in an accordion-style book and wrote about their observations.
We were careful to place the table line and jar in the same place on each page so that the viewer had context of size and growth from a baby bulb to a 2. 5 foot tall blossom (yes, we are scientists and recorded measurements too).
Enter IMAGINATION. We observed Georgia’s flower portraits and noted on her zoomed-in approach. Using our knowledge of flower petals and our imagination, we developed our own petal and created a personal flower portrait that illustrated our understanding of cropping and zooming in.
We used ink to make our drawing more defined. We work slow and practice mindfulness when using this permanent material.
We noticed how Georgia had knowledge of warm and cool color families. We choose one family to incorporate into our petal spaces and our blossom was born.
We explored mixing colors beyond the ones that Crayola manufactured for us. We were motivated to invent our own warm and cool creations. If we didn’t like a shade, we changed it. We practice perseverance.
We take pride in our creations.
The next time you spot a blossom, prove Georgia wrong and STOP and see the flower. Feel it, smell it. Savor it. Life is beautiful.