Monday, January 30, 2017

"Gracious Weed"

9 x 12"
oil on panel

Georgia O'Keeffe completed only a few large-scale paintings during her lifetime - Sky above Clouds IV, which hangs prominently in the stairwell in the Art Institute of Chicago - and Jimson Weed which hangs in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  It measures approximately 8 feet wide by 7 feet tall and easily prompts visitors to say WOW when they walk into the room.  It is spectacular.

In 1936, the cosmetic giant Elizabeth Arden commissioned O'Keeffe to paint Jimson Weed to hang in the exercise room of her salon in New York.  She paid an astonishing $10,000 for the painting - in 1987 Eli Lily purchased the Arden company and acquired the painting and lent it to the Indianapolis Museum of Art and ultimately donated it to the museum in 1997.

Georgia O'Keeffe is and will always be an inspiration to women - born in 1887 on a wheat farm in Wisconsin and one of seven children.  Art appreciation was nurtured in her family, her two grandmothers and two of her sisters also painted.  She studied at the Art Students League in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago, had her first gallery show in 1916 set up by the photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz, who she married in 1924. 

O'Keeffe concentrated on her flower studies in those early years in New York, but don't miss looking up her skyscraper paintings done during this period.  She rocked the art world despite it being male-dominant.  In 1929, she visited northern New Mexico, was inspired by a whole new world of landscapes and architecture, in the following twenty years traveled back and forth to a place she most felt at home.  After Stieglitz's death in 1949, she permantly moved to New Mexico where she lived and worked until her death in 1986. 

Here are a few of my favorite O'Keeffe quotes ~

"I wish people were all trees and I think I could enjoy them then."
"It's not enough to be nice in life. You've got to have nerve."
"If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment."

Please click here for a larger view.

1 comment:

Sandra Busby said...

Your paintings are extrordinary! Absolutely beautiful and I just love the series you have going on of people viewing art in a gallery. What a great concept! One of the funniest paintings I ever saw, was of a group of Artists all standing naked at their easels, painting a fully clother model! Made me chuckle anyway! :0)