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Portrait of the Artist
Georgia O'Keeffe

Nancy N. Miller
OverviewProcedure for teachersStudent Resources and Materials
Grade Level
Time Alloment
 2 to 3 class periods


Georgia O'Keeffe has been referred to as one of the great American modern artists. This lesson takes the students briefly through some biographical information on O'Keeffe and the development of her unique style via selections of an autobiographical video and Web activity. Each student will also learn some basic manipulations of digitized images via the Adobe PhotoShop application. Finally, the individual students will use a digital camera or scanned images from a regular camera and the PhotoShop application to create a landscape of their own which reflects the important shapes or objects in their everyday life.

Learning Activities

Students will be able to:
  • Explain the development of the modern art movement in the United States via the life of Georgia O'Keeffe
  • Electronically alter digital images through the use of Adobe PhotoShop software
  • Create personal works of electronic art
  • Write a reflective summary of their use of style, composition, color, and shape about their finished electronic art project


New York Standards for Art

Students will be able to:
  • Create art works in which they use and evaluate different kinds of mediums, subjects, themes, symbols, metaphors, and images
  • Demonstrate an increasing level of competence in using the elements and principles of art to create art works for public exhibition
  • Reflect on their developing work to determine the effectiveness of selected mediums and techniques for conveying meaning and adjust their decision accordingly
  • Use the computer and visual media to express their ideas and demonstrate a variety of approaches to artistic creation
  • Create art works that reflect a variety of cultural influences
  • Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.

Media Components


American Masters: Georgia O'Keeffe

Web sites:

Spirit of American Art and Music
This site has a short biographical essay on O'Keeffe complete with some questions for students to answer as an additional assignment.

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Index Page
This page will connect to sites with biographical information as well as to exhibitions of O'Keeffe's works.

Encarta O'Keeffe Biography Page
This site has an Encarta biographical entry for Georgia O'Keeffe.

O'Keeffe on O'Keeffe
This site contains a great quote on O'Keeffe's use of artifacts in her work with four images for viewing.

Chronological listing of O'Keeffe Works
This index page lists the title, year, and links to major works of Georgia O'Keeffe over the span of her career.

Arts Cyclopedia – Georgia O'Keeffe
This index page lists a few quotes of O'Keeffe and all of the major museums that post her work on the Web. Just click on the museum name and the link will take you to the selections listed for that museum. Museum site content will vary from pictures and titles to descriptive essays along with with the work.

Abstract Art – Grandmothers and Influences
This page shows one of O'Keeffe's later abstracts with a short descriptive essay.

Illustrated Biography of Georgia O'Keeffe
This site provides a comprehensive biography with illustrations of representative stages in her career as an artist.

Vocabulary for Art
Vocabulary for Art includes a short biographical essay on O'Keeffe along with brief explanations of the terms abstract, modern/modernism, and cropping.

Ellen's Place – Georgia O'Keeffe
This is a great biographical site. Just click on the appropriate line to see the three-part biography and pictures associated with each.


Per pair of students: Atlas with a physical map of the U.S. Per class:

  • 4 overhead acetates or heavy-duty plastic wrap
  • 1 dry-erase marker
  • 1 roll of masking tape
  • 1 scanner (if standard cameras are to be used)
  • 1 color printer for publication of finished student work
Per student or pair of students:
  • Access to the Internet via computer
  • Use of Adobe PhotoShop 5.5 or newer
  • Access to a digital camera
Per student or pair of students:
  • Internet Activity sheet
  • 1 floppy disk to store images
  • 1 sheet of regular and high gloss paper for printing final projects