Georgia O'Keefe-Skulls & Gradations

Seeing the Countryside Through an Artist's Eyes

Georgia O'Keeffe talking about her life and work

"Colors & line & shape seem for me a more definite statement than words. ”

Respond to this artist quote in your journal.



For several decades Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986) was a major figure in American art who, remarkably, maintained her independence from shifting artistic trends. She painted prolifically, and almost exclusively, the flowers, animal bones, and landscapes around her studios in Lake George, New York, and New Mexico, and these subjects became her signature images. She remained true to her own unique artistic vision and created a highly individual style of painting, which synthesized the formal language of modern European abstraction and the subjects of traditional American pictorialism.

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Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, 1931

The ragged mountain terrain with its fossilized formations, saturated color, and naked wilderness held inexhaustible fascination for O’Keeffe and was a source of inspiration for most of her artistic career.


Ram's Head with Hollyhock, 1935

How is the sky treated differently than the skull as the painting is seen here?

Blue and Green Mountain

Describe the painting in terms of :


Shape

Gradation

Color Scheme

Style of Art

Another way to describe rebellion...

Over the years, O’Keeffe became an “antiauthoritarian revolutionary,” the notoriety of her lifestyle sometimes overcoming the originality of her work. She shunned European traditions and influence and resisted all manner of paternalism. Like Piet Mondrian and Kasimir Malevich, she never signed her paintings, and like Jackson Pollock, she found Native American art as inspiring as Renaissance art. Eventually, she abandoned the New York City art scene that founded her reputation and moved west to New Mexico for a more authentic artistic experience.

Videos

Georgia
Georgia O'Keeffe Tribute, Bones In The Sky ~ Dan Fogelberg [ CC ]

As She Said it!

I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Anyone who doesn't feel the crosses simply doesn't get that country. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I believe I would rather have Stieglitz like something - anything I had done - than anyone else I know. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I don't very much enjoy looking at paintings in general. I know too much about them. I take them apart. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I hate flowers - I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

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. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality, I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I often lay on that bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above the tree. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I said to myself, 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. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

It was all so far away - there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

It was in the 1920s, when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Marks on paper are free - free speech - press - pictures all go together I suppose. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

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

One can not be an American by going about saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, like America, love America and then work. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

One can't paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression. It is so spontaneous. And after singing, I think the violin. Since I cannot sing, I paint. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

The days you work are the best days. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage. ”
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Just for Fun