A Close Look at Flowers
Red Canna, c. 1923 -
Stieglitz, Alfred - Georgia O'Keeffe – 1920
Born on November 15, 1887, second of seven children, and grew up on a farm in Sun Prairie,
Received art lessons at home and earned respect and support from her teachers
1905, O'Keeffe had determined to make her way as an artist.
Untitled (Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot) - 1908 -
Studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1905 - 1906) and at the Art Students League,
In 1908, award for Untitled (Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot).
Shortly thereafter, quit making art, saying later that she had known then that she could never achieve distinction working within this tradition.
Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. IV, 1930
I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me...shapes and ideas so near to me...so natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down...
Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. VI, 1930
Renewed interest in art four years later by the ideas of influential arts educator Arthur Wesley Dow who believed that rather than copying nature, the goal of art was the expression of the artist's personal ideas and feelings and that such subject matter was best realized by using the elements of the composition; harmonious arrangements of line, mass, color, and notan (the Japanese system of lights and darks).
Her own feelings
No. 13 Special, 1916/1917, Charcoal on paper
By 1915, she put Dow's theories to the test. In an attempt to discover a personal language through which she could express her own feelings and ideas, she began a series of abstract charcoal drawings that are now recognized as being among the most innovative in all of American art of the period.
Black Iris III, 1936
As early as the mid-1920s, when O'Keeffe first began painting large-scale depictions of flowers as if seen close up, which are among her best-known pictures, she had become recognized as one of
"Nobody sees a flower,
really -- it is so small --
we haven't time, and
to see takes time,
have a friend takes time."
Jack-in-the-Pulpit No. III, 1930
Stieglitz began corresponding with O'Keeffe, who returned to
In the spring of 1918 he offered O'Keeffe financial support to paint for a year in
Those who wrote of "sex" in her flower paintings had undoubtedly not studied the flowers to know how true was her expression of them.
Yellow Calla, 1926
New Mexican influence
Iris - http://ellensplace.net/ok_iris.jpg
Shortly after her arrival in June, she and Stieglitz, who were married in 1924, fell in love and subsequently lived and worked together in New York (winter and spring) and at the Stieglitz family estate at Lake George, New York (summer and fall) until 1929, when O'Keeffe spent the first of many summers painting in New Mexico.
Chama River, Ghost Ranch, 1937 -
Three years after Stieglitz's death, O'Keeffe moved from
As seen in the paintings done by O'Keeffe rock palaces of red, orange pink, gold, and variations of browns surround this area. The colors are layered in wide bands like the layers of an exquisite dessert.
Some of her other favorite subjects to paint were the hills across from the ranch headquarters and Kitchen Mesa at the upper end of the valley.
Ghost Ranch was her respite and gave her the freedom and opportunity to paint her surroundings with the joy it gave her.
Created until 96
O'Keeffe continued to work in oil until the mid -- 1970s, when failing eyesight forced her to abandon painting. Although she continued working in pencil and watercolor until 1982, she also produced objects in clay until her health failed in 1984.
She died at the age of 99 reclusive to the end. She was quoted as saying “I find people very difficult”. - http://www.okeeffemuseum.org/background/index.html
Everyone has many associations with a flower. You put out your hand to touch it, or lean forward to smell it, or maybe touch it with your lips almost without thinking, or give it to someone to please them. But one rarely takes the time to really see a flower. I have painted what each flower is to me and I have painted it big enough so that others would see what I see.
O'Keeffe's O'Keeffes: The Artist's Collection
The Milwaukee Art Museum presented O'Keeffe's O'Keeffes: The Artist's Collection, the first exhibition to showcase the artist's works from her own collection and to explore how her management of this collection shaped her public image. An intimate portrait of Georgia O'Keeffe, the exhibition features many of the works she treasured for their beauty and significance, including works which she kept hidden from public view.
Worth checking out: Drawing Prompts - Each artist link provides an opening representative image suitable for drawing by students. Additional images and information are also provided to help students explore the vast posibilities of artistic expression.
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