Curing Cabin Fever

Cabin fever has set in and I am in need of some flowers and a green spring.  Since, I can’t have that and we have had 10 snow days in two months; I have been doing a bit of painting.  These are two that are finished.  I have a few others that I have been working on, but my attention span is all over the place.  Hopefully, spring will be here soon and I can start to garden again.

Old and New by Christy Berry

Old and New by Christy Berry

The purpose of the first painting was to use up the existing tubes of paint. I wanted to clear out space and purchase new paint.  I don’t like to waist any paint so I thought why not take the last couple of squeezes and create a painting using those colors.  The paint was purchased over 18 years or so ago.  It’s been awhile but the paint still worked; however, it was a little thick.  I also then added other colors on top because I now ran out of those colors.  I used a 20” by20” canvas with acrylic paint.

Yellow Flower by Christy Berry

Yellow Flower by Christy Berry

The second painting was using a type of vellum paper, acrylic, and sharpie.  I have been experimenting with this type of paper. Up until this point I have only used watercolor and sharpie.  I like the look of the acrylic.  The vellum reduces my use of highly saturated colors.  I’m indifferent at this point to if I like it or not.  It might grow on me.

Please enjoy.


Christy Berry

Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers in Bloom

Georgia O'Keeffe Lesson Plan on Prezi

This just in…. Spring has arrived and we are ready to plant our artistic flowers.

In the spring, I usually have my students create Georgia O’Keeffe style flowers.  Click here to visit the whole lesson plan on my Prezi.  I have taught this lesson to all grade levels from kindergarten to 12thgrade.  This is a very successful lesson plan at any grade level.  I adjust the materials and the method in which I approach each grade level.

Image from Grace Dow Library

Image from Grace Dow Library

For my kindergarten through second grade students I read the story My Name is Georgia by Jeanette Winter.

Image from

We also look at 100 flowers by Georgia O’Keeffe.  When we look at the book I have the students use thumbs up and thumbs down method of communicating what they are thinking.  I do this because the students become so excited that it spills over into over joyful noise.

Since there are a hundred flowers I usually do the following:

  • Have students give student thumbs up if they like the picture or thumbs down if they don’t like it.  A sideways thumb if they have no opinion.   Occasionally ask students why they think their particular way.
  • Have students name the different lines that they see a flower.
  • Have students name the different colors that they see in a flower.
  • Have students give thumbs up if the flower touches all four sides of the page.
  • Have the students give thumbs up if the flower shows emphasis.
  • For my older students we look at the images, but I also explain her use of color and value and emphasis that she made her flowers big.

Afterwards, I demonstrate how to look at flower and the edges.  I usually use oil pastels with my younger students (If I am feeling brave I take out paint for 25 kindergarten students).  I have no para that assists in the classroom so we use wet paper towels to wash our hands over the trash can.  I also explain that today is a no hug day until their hands are clean.  I also have them practice itching their nose with the back of their hand.  The video below is a video on how to paint a flower.

After students create their flower I have them write an artist statement which includes a title, their name, and a paragraph about their flower.  See the example below

Yellow Flower by Christy Berry

Yellow Flower

By Mrs. Berry

While walking through the Dow Gardens I saw this particular flower with the sunlight behind it.  I took a quick photo to paint it later.  I waited a couple of weeks and thought about how big I wanted to paint it.  I finally decided on a 18 x 24 inch painting.  I printed off the photograph and then started to work.  My daughter also painted a mini version while I painted the larger one.  I spent around two hours every night for five nights working in the basement on it.  The photograph and the painting are a little different; however, I wanted my artistic flare.  I finished the painting with my signature and hung it on the wall.

Please enjoy my lesson and may your garden bloom!

-Mrs. Berry

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