Spring flowers in the O’Keeffe tradition

Spring 2019

Okanogan second grade students welcomed spring to the Okanogan Valley by painting flowers in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe, working with Methow Arts teaching artist Bruce Morrison.

Morrison introduced students to the work of internationally-known artist Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), whose signature paintings include abstractions of flowers, landscapes, and other natural elements as well as architecture of the southwest and New York City. He then guided them through the process of painting their own flowers, using oil pastel crayons and watercolor paint as a medium and freshly-picked spring flowers as inspiration.

Morrison encourages students to get close to the flowers–which he picked before the painting sessions– and examine their shapes. “Don’t just draw a cartoon version of a generic flower,” he says, mimicking the shape of a daisy with his hands. “Look at the petals, look at the way they attach to the stem. Is there one large bloom or many small blooms on a stalk?”

The paintings are displayed at Virginia Grainger Elementary School through Grandparents’ Day, and then will be taken home by the proud young artists.

This residency was brought to students by Methow Arts’ Okanogan Region Arts Education Partnership.  The partnership serves more than 5,200 students and 370 teachers across Okanogan County with arts programs in classrooms in the Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Bridgeport, Pateros, and Methow School Districts, and in the Paschal Sherman Indian School.  Methow Arts’ sponsors made this residency possible: Okanogan-Omak Rotary, Okanogan Kiwanis, Greg & Mary Hamilton, Icicle Fund, Robert B. McMillen Foundation, the Community Foundation of North Central WA, the Okanogan School District, and ArtsWA. Thank you!