Georgia Okeeffe
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Georgia O’Keefe
Georgia O’Keefe was the American woman who painted in the ways of the abstract realist. She was famous for painting many kinds of flowers, bones, caves as well as city scapes and buildings. The most interesting issue is that she reduced all her paintings to the elemental form of her subjects. It wasn’t a replication of reality, but rather a celebration of all the forms, colors, and lines that come together in our world. One interesting aspect of her work is that many critics say that O’Keefe’s big bright flower paintings hint at a woman’s sexuality. They claim that her flowers take after vaginas. I believe this is not the case. Georgia was simply painting these flowers in their simplest, elemental form.

For starters, I looked at one of her paintings that one may say mirrored after a woman’s genitalia. It is the painting called “Jack in the Pulpit” No. IV (1930). For starters we can see the lines are vertical sloping curves. There is a straight line in the middle coming from an organic oval shape. The petals of the flower on the top form a kind of circular dome over the straight vertical line. The texture of this flower painting seems soft, and smooth-like a close up photograph of this flower.

The colors are all very cool. The flower petals are dark navy, with hints of lighter bluish green coming up through the petal folds. There is a bright white line that splits the flower in half. There also is light blue and white shading coming from the navy oval shape near the base.

The only object seen in this painting the flower itself-and we don’t even see the whole flower. It is such a close up point of view that the edges of the petals are cut off. This particular painting seems to be that of a lily.

The balance of this painting is symmetrical because the bright white line in the middle sort of cuts it in half. Each side of the painting is similar. The light areas appear in the middle and top of the painting. The focal point is clearly the dark oval shape with the white line coming out of it. It is in the center of the painting. The rhythm seems to be circular, and calming and slow. It is peaceful. It is nature. The movement is through the shape contrast between the white line, and the dark petals. Then the eyes move up to the top to see the light green and blue folds in the surrounding petals.

All the above described, one can only assume that Georgia was concerned with capturing nature in its simplest form. This painting is all about nature. Nature has natural symmetry to it; so does this painting. There is no hint of female genitalia in it, it is a flower made into art. Georgia was just trying to get in touch with the true forms, colors and textures of nature. I feel the purpose of this painting is purely appreciating nature. Georgia had no intention of making a subconscious statement about female sexuality. I look at the painting and it makes me want to touch a lily; makes me wish that

I had a real lily with me now because it seems so beautiful and calming. Flowers also symbolize peace and love. It represents harmony.
This painting is a great example of imitationism and emotionalism because we can clearly see that it is a flower, but it also brings about peaceful and calm emotions. I don’t like Georgia could do anything to improve it because it seems to perfect already. This work was a new idea at the time because art had not been about simplifying objects. It is a beautiful glance into a natural peaceful world.

Georgia O’Keefe was born in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, on November 15, 1887, where she was the second of seven children and grew up on a farm (O’Keefe Museum). She started art lessons at home, and her abilities were quickly recognized and encouraged by teachers throughout her school years (O’Keefe Museum). Georgia studied in Virginia and at the Art Institute of Chicago, and then went to the New York’s Art Students League (Heller 126). In 1908, she won the League’s William Merritt Chase still life prize for her oil painting “Untitled” (dead rabbit with copper pot) (O’Keefe Museum). She did go get her teacher’s license and earned her living as a public school art teacher in Virginia and Texas (Heller 126). By the fall of 1915, when she was teaching art at Columbia College, in Columbia South Carolina O’Keefe attempted 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 American art of that time period (O’Keefe Museum). She mailed some of these drawings to a former classmate who then showed them to the

Internationally known photographer and art impresario, Alfrid Stieglitz

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Georgia Okeeffe And Interesting Issue. (April 17, 2021). Retrieved from