“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Long Life Rich with Colors
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) was a major figure in American art. She painted the flowers, animal bones, and landscapes for several decades, and these images became her signature.
She has a very individual style of painting and own artistic vision, synthesized modern European abstraction and the subjects of American tradition.
Her style, changes and evolves during her career, was based on finding the essential, abstract forms in the subjects of her observation, and magnificent since for color, shape, and light.
It is interesting that subjects of her interest, landscapes, flowers, and bones were explored in series, or, in a series of series. She tested the pictorial possibilities of subjects in a sequence of three or four pictures produced in a one or over several years, or decades, and her work resulted with one subject in a dozen variations of pictures.
Here work after 30s, became richer with colors, forms, and themes inspired of her visits to New Mexico, what have influenced to her later work . She was painting until the 1970s, even when she almost complete loss of eyesight and ill health, remained true to the spirit of her art. She died in 1986, in Santa Fe at the age of 98.
We will keep our attention in this text on 3 topics from her work, flowers, bones and landscapes.
“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” – Georgia O’Keeffe
O’Keeffe’s flower paintings have often been called erotic, because of her passion for the transcendent. Bur her flowers are not only symbols of female sexuality, because her art has aspiration for the vivid and more universal sensation of a joyful.
“I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.” -Georgia O’Keeffe
Her interest in the scale of transcendence is really impressive In her paintings where she plays with their forms and sizes of bones using the various colors, what gives her original signature and way of seeing, but she takes serious chances with color, sometimes upsetting conventions of visual harmony in order to startle the eye into new kinds of seeing an meaning or “her bones often seem strangely alive, the flowers of the desert“.
“All the earth colors of the painter’s palette are out there in the many miles of badlands…” – Georgia O’Keeffe
Her subjective impressions were interpreted in frequently colored paintings and represented important events on her artist’s personal and professional life. Subjects were taken from life and related specifically to the places where she had been. Her work is really imposing with value and with number, over the thousand paintings, and thousand drawings and watercolors on paper, and a few sculptures, have been documented in a catalogue in 1999, and many others which is very interesting, are unrecorded because she destroyed them.
“I find that I have painted my life – things happening in my life – without knowing.” – Georgia O’Keeffe