O’Keefe Clay Flower Bowls

Teaching Art

Georgina O’Keefe was one of the most influential female artists of the 20th century. From her bold beautiful flowers to her desolate depictions of the desert, she captured her surroundings as she perceived them…as vaginas.

Some art teachers may shy away from using O’Keefe’s work as inspiration because of what her flowers ‘may’ represent but personally, I think her work is a good example of how the human body relates to nature and visa versa.

So, for the Upper Primary lesson this month students gleamed inspiration from O’Keefe’s floral paintings and created clay flower bowls. After selecting the flower they wanted to create in clay, students had to draw their chosen flower in detail.

Students then had to break their drawing down into sections which aided them in shaping the clay into the bowl which acted as a mould. I used paper clay which does not need to be fired. Also, because of the fibres in the clay, joined pieces were more secure and small pieces stayed attached.

After a week’s worth of drying time, students began painting their flowers, trying to make them look as realistic as possible. Using pictures and images to guide them, students started painting petals and the outside of the flower and then finishing with the details in the centre. We used acrylic paint as it gives the flowers a slight sheen. You could probably spray a clear varnish on as well to give them even more of a shine.

The finished flowers looked beautiful on display and not a one looked like a lady flower. So have no fear, fellow art teachers! Go forth and paint your flowers bold and bright!

2 thoughts on “O’Keefe Clay Flower Bowls

  1. I love these! We’ve just been doing clay tiles with flowers on them with our grade 4’s but this looks like a good idea to try.

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