Flying Woman Artwork Activity Guide

This activity was developed for adults and children while in the galleries or at home. Download and print this activity guide for easy reference.


Oil painting of a woman floating in water with her arms outstretched by Katherine Bradford

Katherine Bradford. Woman in Water, 1999. Oil on canvas. 68 x 80 in. Collection of the artist. © Katherine Bradford


Look closely at this artwork. What’s going on in this picture? What do you see that makes you say that?

Artist Katherine Bradford says she feels at home in the water—she was a competitive swimmer in high school and college. Where do you feel most at home?

She says painting can be like swimming, the more you practice, the more you improve. What’s something that you’re good at? Can you remember what it was like the first time you tried this? How did you get better?


Think about a place where you feel at home and write a poem about it, finishing the sentences below. 

When I am ________ (where you feel at home) 

I see... 

I see... 

I see... 

I feel... 

I feel... 

I feel... 

Oil painting of a figure in a super hero outfit flying upwards in a spiral against a black background
Katherine Bradford. Super Flyer, 2013. Oil on canvas. 48 x 36 in. Erica J. Hickey. © Katherine Bradford. Image courtesy Wes Magner
Oil painting of a figure in a superhero outfit floating limply in the air with a dark sky beyond with colorful stars or planets in it and a red path below
Katherine Bradford. Superman Responds, Night, 2013. Oil on canvas. 48 x 36 in. Private collection. © Katherine Bradford. Image courtesy Julia Featheringill Photography


Look closely at both artworks. What’s going in these pictures?

What is the same about these? What parts are different?

Do you think that it’s the same person in both paintings? Why or why not?

How do you think each figure is feeling? What do you see that makes you say that?

Can you think of a time when you’ve felt the same way as one of these figures? What happened that made you feel that way?


Both artworks are painted by artist Katherine Bradford. She likes to put figures in her pictures that show emotions through body language.

Brainstorm some feelings or emotions. Choose a few different feelings and have someone strike a pose that expresses each feeling. Look closely and draw them the way their body is posed.