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Georgia O'Keeffe

The curling, flaring petal of a jack-in-the-pulpit blossom wrapping around a vertical, elongated core nearly fills this vertical painting. The flower rises from a narrow base and is veined with white against dark, maroon red. It unfurls to reveal the deep maroon stamen within. Spring-green leaves span the lower edge of the composition, beneath the flower, and billow around the blossom, across the top of the painting. A soft blue and white background recalls clouds in a bright sky.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. 3, 1930, oil on canvas, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Bequest of Georgia O'Keeffe, 1987.58.2

Georgia O’Keeffe is famous for her large paintings of flowers, shells, and bones. In this work, O’Keeffe makes the flower larger than it is in real life, making us notice its unique color and design. This painting is part of a series. In each painting of the series, O’Keeffe zooms in closer to the center of the flower, making it harder to recognize as a flower.


What colors do you see? Name and describe them.

Find colors, lines, and shapes that repeat throughout the painting.

Compare this painting to another one in the series. How is it the same? How is it different?

Which is your favorite painting in the series? Why?

What are some reasons why an artist might make a painting of a flower?

What are some other art supplies you could use to make a series of flower paintings?



Lola Plants a Garden (Spanish language version: Lola planta un jardín)

by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw

Lola learns all about gardening and then, with her family, plants her own garden and waits patiently for flowers to grow.


Through Georgia’s Eyes

by Rachel Rodríguez and Julie Paschkis

This book offers the biography of O'Keeffe and her lifelong interest in he wonders of nature.

MAKE: Zoom in on a flower

You will need:

  • Fresh flowers or a potted (flowering) plant
  • Pencil
  • Paintbrushes
  • Watercolor paints
  • Watercolor paper
  • Sponge or paper towel
  • Cup or container of water

First, take time to look closely at a single flower. Notice its colors and patterns, the shapes of its petals, and all of its parts. Try to zoom in and get a bug’s-eye view of the flower!

Next, use a pencil to draw the shape of the flower. Make your drawing fill the watercolor paper, maybe even going off the edges, so that the flower looks larger-than-life.

Use watercolor paints to fill in your flower drawing. For large areas of color, such as petals and leaves, first wet the paper with a damp sponge or paper towel, then brush on the watercolor so it spreads. Let the paint and paper dry before adding patterns and details.


  • damp
  • pattern
  • pulpit
  • series
  • watercolor

Register for the Art Tales pre-K school tour

Send images of your students' projects that follow these activities - email [email protected]