25 In 2nd grade/ 3rd grade/ Fall/ Georgia O'Keeffe/ Nature

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake George NY Landscapes

 Lake George O Keeffe2-002
Long before O’Keeffe took up permanent residency in the desert, her life included a period in upstate New York on Lake George, the glacial Adirondack lake near here where she spent a series of summers. She created a series of paintings while staying with Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer, art promoter and her future husband, whose family kept a small estate there.
Stieglitz’s family once had some 40 acres of property, complete with gardens, pastures and a studio for O’Keeffe. She began visiting the lake in 1918, and continued going there until 1934, when her attentions began to turn to the West.
When she would visit she usually came in April and would stay sometimes as late as November. While staying with the Stieglitz family O’Keeffe would hike, row, garden and generally take it all in. 
“I wish you could see the place here,” she wrote in 1923 to the novelist Sherwood Anderson. “There is something so perfect about the mountains and the lake and the trees. Sometimes I want to tear it all to pieces — it seems so perfect — but it is really lovely.”
Taken from New York Times review of “Modern Nature” Exhibition
This project is one of my favorites. I know, I know. I say this about many but this one really struck a chord with me. The students paid great attention when we examined Georgia’s paintings and seemed to understand how nature really affected Georgia and her artwork.
After looking at her beautiful fall paintings of Lake George, my 3rd grade artists created these stunning landscapes. 
 We first dissected her landscape painting. 

They created their skies by using tints. The Lake and mountains were added next in between the sky and the lake. Students had various tempera paints of

 earth toned colors to choose from.
The last step was when students switch to a very small brush and painted the trunks of the trees.

Lake George O Keeffe

We have such a wonderful time together. They understand the process of painting and I am so proud of their masterpieces.
Interested in having the full lesson with step by step photos plus Georgia’s Fall Leaves project too?
Head over to the shop on Teachers Pay Teachers to purchase.
cover copy 2
Here is a comment from a happy Painted Paper Art customer,
“I love art lessons with art history information and projects that help the students understand the style of the artist. My students enjoyed this project and they feel like they have a connection to Georgia O’Keefe — even the K-2 students.”
Enjoy!  Laura

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  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Can I tell you how excited I am by this post? First of all, I need to say I live just 7 miles from beautiful Lake George. And I just finished reading a bio of O'Keeffe. The truth is, I was never a huge fan of her work until now. But this summer, our small (but world-class) local art museum, The Hyde Collection (http://www.hydecollection.org), sponsored the premiere of an exhibit called 'Modern Nature: Georgia O'Keeffe and Lake George, which just closed (also on display at. The same time was an exhibit of Stieglitz photos, a Lake George family album of sorts). From here the O'Keeffe exhibit goes next to the O'Keeffe Museum, and then to San Francisco, and then I believe it returns permanently to Santa Fe. It is a spectacular exhibit, rich and vibrant. And so many of these paintings have not widely been seen. I have totally altered my view of O'Keeffe's work, and this lesson is a perfect complement. I will be sending the link to the gal who is now in my former job. I subbed for her last week while she took some kids on a field trip to see this marvelous exhibit, just a few days before it closed, and this might be a lesson idea she'll want to use. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 5:22 am

    Great Lesson! I grew up in Upstate New York and now I live in New Mexico. I love the landscape in both places. I can't wait to show this to my students. Thanks.

  • Reply
    Elisa Santambrogio
    September 21, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Wow! I'll do it with my students. I'm an italian art teacher. my blog is http://elisasantambrogio3.blogspot.it/
    thank to share 😉

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thanks Phyl! I was so excited to write this post because I think the projects turned out so beautiful for these newly 3rd graders and I knew you would like them being from those neck of the woods! 🙂 When I was in Santa Fe this summer, we traveled all around to see where Georgia would stop and paint. I have a book that maps out and tells various stories about her visit at the locations too, quite fun! But when I went to the Georgia O'keeffe Museum, I purchased many items and many were from the Lake George area! 🙂 The middle school teacher and I are presenting this unit at our Conference so we have been busy researching and creating various projects for our presentation.

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 10:52 am


  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Thank you for the kind words I am going to check out your blog! 🙂

  • Reply
    Hope Hunter Knight
    September 21, 2013 at 11:36 am

    So beautiful – landscape painting is my fave and I need to do more of it. Great work here.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Impey
    September 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Wow, I love this! I honestly know very little about O'Keeffe…but I feel like I can connect to her more now that I know she lived in NY at one time! I'm definitely going to pin this…it would make an awesome depth project for my 3rd graders! I'm doing my birch trees with them right now, but maybe next year I can interchange the fall birch trees with this project instead! LOVE it!

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks! Yes, we talked about the background not having as much detail as the foreground. They totally understood that something so far away you would not see the trunks of the trees or any details just colors. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristin Bolster
    September 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Wowza those are absolutely stunning … I can feel the crisp fall air!! I lived in Burlington VT for 4 years which has similar climate to Lake George. Gorgeous. Completely dining room worthy IMO 🙂
    ~ Kristin

  • Reply
    September 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait to do this lesson! thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Christie - Fine Lines
    September 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I've never tried having the kids paint the sky and water first and then add the land in between — will have to give that a try. This makes me want to hop on a plane and visit the “fall leaves”!!

  • Reply
    Charmaine Boggs
    September 22, 2013 at 12:02 am

    Stunning work! Such vibrant colors! I usually focus on O'Keeffe's large florals, but this is a great project for any age student. Thank you for sharing it!

  • Reply
    September 22, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Amazing !! Can't wait to try this 🙂

  • Reply
    Mr. E
    September 23, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Loved it…Pinned it…Stealing it!! ha ha This looks like areas in TN(where I live & teach)…and OHIO(where I grew up)!!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    Thanks! Steal away that is why we blog isn't it? 🙂

  • Reply
    September 23, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    Did your class complete this in one or two classes? Thank you!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    2 classes, the first class artist inspiration then painting tint and shade sky-water and the second class trees mountains. 2- 40 minute classes.

  • Reply
    Ruth Lee
    October 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    These are so so so beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing, I really want to try this out. I'm still in the process of making a new blog, but when I do I will definitely link this back to you.

  • Reply
    Ruth Lee
    October 9, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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    Ruth Lee
    October 16, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    I'm currently doing this lesson as well as the Sky Above Clouds lesson and I linked it to your blog. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    =) Megan
    October 20, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    My two year old had a great time coloring giant O'Keeffe flowers and I just learned that a local museum will be having an exhibition of her Lake George paintings. We're the next stop on the tour Phyl mentioned and I can't wait to take my little one to see. This will be a great project to do before we head to the museum, thanks for posting!

  • Reply
    Pam Skojec
    October 22, 2013 at 12:46 am

    Beautiful! Just like the Upstate NY area where I grew up! The students can really get a feel for foreground, middle ground, and background with this one! Thanks!

  • Reply
    Mrs. Erb
    October 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Wow! These are stunning!
    I may have to borrow this lesson. I've also pinned it on pinterest!

  • Reply
    Linda's Art Ed Experience
    September 2, 2015 at 1:24 am

    These are really beautiful! Very inspiring! It is just what we need to get in the mood for fall!

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