Today is the birthday of American artist Georgia O'Keeffe, born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (1887). She studied art in college and then supported herself teaching art at various colleges, but she found that teaching left her no time for her own work, and the turpentine smell of the art classrooms made her sick. She went for months and years on end without painting anything, only to start over again and try something new.
On a trip to Taos, New Mexico, O'Keeffe fell in love with the desert. She felt that the thin, dry air helped her to see better, and she devoted the rest of her career to painting desert mountains, flowers, stones, and skulls.
Georgia O'Keeffe said: "Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things."
I did get to see the cloud painting in person in Taos one winter on a trip through that area. For some reason I just fell in love with it. I am not enamored with all her work...but there are some very beautiful images that I so enjoy. She was a multi-faceted person.
Alex Powers has a fascinating article in this most recent issue of International Artist. All kinds of eclectic essays. In one section he lists "a partial list of the quality women artists of recent times". I am shocked that Georgia O'Keefe and Judy Chicago are the only names I recognize out of about 50 names!!! Of course this is just one person's opinion. I am now in the process of looking up these other artists!