Paper Poppies!

Georgia O’Keeffe was born in 1887 on a farm in Wisconsin. From the age of 12, she knew she wanted to be an artist. In her career, she went on to become one of the first female artists recognized by the New York City art scene.  

Some of Georgia’s most famous paintings are of flowers. Georgia once said, “Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small it takes time – we haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.” In order to help people see flowers the way she saw them, Georgia painted them very large. 

In the MFA Collection, we have three paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, including one of her paintings of a poppy flower. Georgia created only seven paintings of poppies and was interested in their bright red color. Her husband and fellow artist Alfred Stieglitz referred to this painting as “that wild red painting.” 

Try making your own paper poppies at home! Like Georgia O’Keeffe, spend some time looking closely at paintings and photographs of poppies, and then follow the steps below to create your paper garden. Use #MFAfromHome to share your creations with us online! 


  • Paper plates or sheets of white paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Paint, markers, or other coloring supplies


  1. Use a pencil to sketch your poppy on your paper plate or sheet. Then, use scissors to cut out the shape you drew.
  2. Use paint, markers, or other coloring supplies to color your poppy.
  3. Extension: While you wait for your poppies to dry, take some time to look closely at the flowers around your home, neighborhood, or in images online. If you have one available, use a magnifying glass to help you notice small details. Sketch the flowers you find and write down five things you see when looking closely at them. Then, research and try to identify the flower species you studied.

Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887-1986), Poppy, 1927, Oil on canvas, Gift of Charles C. and Margaret Stevenson Henderson in memory of Jeanne Crawford Henderson


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