Georgia O'keeffe, Georgia O'keeffe's Life And Description Of Two Of Her Paintings.

1371 words - 5 pages

Georgia O'Keeffe was an American painter, famous for the purity and brightness of her still-life compositions. O'Keeffe was the second of seven children and was born on November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Education was important in the O'Keeffe family; and as such, all of the children were well educated. O'Keeffe had a preference toward art at a very young age. She does not recall what prompted her to art only that she knew she wanted to be an artist. By age 16, O'Keeffe had received five years of art training at various schools. She also studied art at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League of New York. Despite winning the League's William Merritt Chase still-life prize for her oil painting Untitled (Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot), O'Keeffe was dissatisfied with her paintings. She worked as a teacher in Amarillo, Texas from 1912-1914. During the summers, O'Keeffe worked as an assistant to Alon Bement of Teachers College, Columbia University. Here she met Arthur Wesley Dow who introduced her to the idea that art is the expression of the artist's personal ideas and feelings or simply fill a space in a beautiful way. She liked this new way of thinking. She had finally realized that all of her work was influenced by someone else. She stated, "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..." (Ellen par 13). At age 27, she started over. She began with charcoal sketches. After she had done everything she could possibly think of with charcoal, she moved to paints. This was a rebirth for O'Keeffe, a new woman and artist had emerged. Recalling this period, she wrote: "I grew up pretty much as everybody else grows up and one day seven years ago found myself saying to myself--I can't live where I want to--I can't go where I want to--I can't even say what I want to. School and things that painters have taught me even keep me from painting as I want to. I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to when I painted as that seemed to be the only thing I could do that didn't concern anybody but myself--that was nobody's business but my own. So these paintings and drawings happened and many other things with color and shapes that I couldn't say in any other way--things that I had no words for" (Nicholson 51). She had finally let her inner voice out. This was the beginning of her career. Actually, her break came when she sent some charcoal drawings to her longtime friend Anita, who intern showed them to Alfred Stieglitz. He was to exclaim, "At last, a woman on paper!" He told Anita the drawings were the "purest, finest, sincerest things that had entered 291 in a long while" (Ellen par 14). This moment set up O'Keeffe's entire life and career.Georgia O'Keeffe was well renowned for her images of gigantic flowers, city-scapes and distinctive desert...

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