Get Inspired by Karen Kitchel

Karen Kitchel, American Grasslands: Prairie, Pasture, Crop, and Lawn, 1999, oil on wood, twelve panels, each 12 x 12 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Mr. and Mrs. Norman Wiatt Acquisition Fund, 2000

Learn more about Karen Kitchel

This activity is inspired by the work of Karen Kitchel whose attention to the environment and everyday landscapes encourages careful looking at the nature around us.

Go outside and observe the colors, patterns and textures you find in your local environment. Then, create your own artistic display.

Follow the steps as described below and then submit a photograph of your final work. We'll be sharing a selection of submissions in the weeks to come.


  • Digital camera (or phone)
  • Sketchbook (optional)
  • 4 (or more) sheets of paper of identical size
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils, and/or paint
  • Pins, tape, glue, magnets, or staples to display your work

Step 1

Go take a walk! Observe and explore your surroundings, looking for interesting textures, colors and other patterns in the natural environment.

Step 2

Document your walk by photographing (or sketching) anything that catches your eye. Zoom-in and focus on small details to take close-up shots of your findings. (Tip: you may need to enable the “Macro” function on your phone or camera.).

Step 3

Upon returning home, review the photographs from your walk and select 4 (or more) of your favorite images to recreate using crayons, markers, colored pencils, and/or paint.

Step 4

For each image you select, draw your impression of the patterns and textures you see and add color using your preferred medium; use a separate piece of paper for each image.

Step 5

Arrange your art in a grid pattern and display it on your wall. You can also use magnets to display this on your refrigerator or other magnetic surfaces.

Step 6

Submit a photograph of your final work. We'll be sharing a selection of submissions in the weeks to come!