Fish Scarf with Honeydew


Still life painting of a green honeydew in a pink bowl surrounded by a yellow scarf covered with a red and blue print, a set of keys, a blue pitcher and blue flowers in the background, with a purple backdrop.

Janet Fish
b. 1938 Boston, MA; lives and works in New York, NY and Middletown Springs, VT 
Scarf with Honeydew, 1985
Oil on canvas
38 x 38 in
Acquired in 1997
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert V. Krikorian
© Janet Fish/Licensed by ARS, New York


Language Arts

Grade Range





Museum trip


Index cards

About the Artist

Janet Fish grew up in Bermuda surrounded by art - the paintings of her grandfather, American Impressionist painter Clark Voorhees, and the sculpture artwork of her mother, Florence Whistler Fish. With this artistic influence in Fish’s life, it is not surprising she became one of America’s most prominent still-life painters.

While Fish comes from a strong artistic lineage, she is a studied artist having received her BA from Smith College and her MFA from Yale University. During her time in college, Fish was taught the principles of modern and abstract art, specifically Abstract Expressionism. She ultimately rejected that style and formulated her realistic signature style which focuses on capturing light using everyday objects. In looking at Scarf with Honeydew, you can see her interest also includes a masterful use of color.

Fish rarely works from photographs. Instead she creates a scene and makes adjustments as she progresses to accommodate her end vision. Fish’s motto, “Painting is an act of gesture and color” has propelled her throughout the years. You can see her thought brought to life in Scarf with Honeydew with her dramatic use of color and visible brushstrokes.

Learning Goal

To use adjectives to describe the still life painting Scarf with Honeydew by Janet Fish.

I Can Statement

I can use adjectives to describe the still life painting Scarf with Honeydew by Janet Fish.


Adjective, noun, scarf, setting, canvas, honeydew


  • Define adjectives: an adjective is a word that describes a noun or a pronoun.
  • Review nouns and pronouns.
  • Give a few examples of adjectives and elicit a few more from the class.
  • Introduce/review and discuss the vocabulary.
  • Record the following elicited adjectives on index cards:
  • texture (smooth, rough, thick, soft, or hard).
  • moods evoked by the painting (happy, sad, serious, angry, calm, or none at all.).
  • shapes (ovals, rectangles, organic or geometric).
  • lines   (straight, curvy, or diagonal). 
  • background (colorful, blank, busy).
  • setting (park, beach, backyard).
  • colors (bright, dull, warm or cool).
  • Have the students classify the adjectives on the index cards into categories.


Use five adjectives to describe yourself.


Write five sentences describing family members or friends.      

Florida Standards

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades K-5

  • Vocabulary: VA.1.C.3.1 / VA.2.C.3.1 / VA.3.C.3.1 / VA.4.C.3.1
  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: 
  • VA.1.S.1.4 / VA.2.S.1.4 / VA.3.S.1.4 / VA.4.S.1.4 / VA.5.S.1.4
  • Adjectives: LAFS.K1.L.3.5 / LAFS.2.L.3.6 / LAFS.3.L.1.1 / LAFS.4.L.1.1
  • Nouns: LAFS.K.L.1.1 / LAFS.1.L.1.1 / LAFS.2.L.1.1 / LAFS.3.L.1.1 / LAFS.4.L.1.1

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades 6-8

  • Vocabulary: VA.68.C.3.1
  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: VA.68.S.1.4
  • Nouns: LAFS.68.L.1.1

Florida Language Arts Standards Grades 9-12

  • Use Accurate Vocabulary to Communicate Ideas about Art: VA.912.S.1.4
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