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Georgia O'Keefe

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Ms. Georgia O’Keeffe It was during the early 1900’s when a young, inspiring artist was about to change the face of American Art. Her views on the world through her art were none other than inspiring, passionate, and full of life. Georgia O’Keeffe, one of the most famous painters of the 20th Century, showed America that women can paint just as well, if not better, than their male counterparts. She filled the eyes of America with color and the realization that art does not have to be in the form of realism, but in the way that one sees the beauty in life. Ms. Georgia O’Keeffe’s transition from Wisconsin to New York, then back to the dry lands of New Mexico made her artistic life sprout with knowledge. No woman could live up to the life Georgia O’Keeffe has lived and or show the meaning of life in a more beautiful way. Georgia O’Keeffe was born on a beautiful day in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin in the year 1887. She was the second born among her seven brothers and sisters and had strong ambitions of being an artist. O’Keeffe went to her first art school in 1905 when she was only 18 years of age. This school was the Art Institute of Chicago and couple years after that she moved on to the Art Students League of New York from 1907-1908. O’Keeffe then was then tired of the life in the fine arts and moved on to being an art teacher for various schools in Texas, Virginia, and South Carolina from 1911-1918. During her career of being a teacher, O’Keeffe started to create her very own works of art using charcoal on a canvas. These incredibly different looking abstract pieces of art began to catch the eye of none other than American photographer and gallery owner, Alfred Stieglitz. After supposedly exclaiming, "At last, a woman on paper!" he exhibited her drawings at the 291 gallery, where the works of many avant-garde European and American artists and photographers were introduced to the American public. (Messinger 1).
Georgia O’Keeffe then dropped everything and moved back to New York in 1918 to be with the astonishing Stieglitz and to begin her life as an artist. He was madly in love with her art work as well as the person she was. She was featured in twenty-two solo exhibitions of Stieglitz. Their lives together became permanent in 1924 when the artistic couple got married but it was not a fairy tale life together. Stieglitz loved the city life in New York but O’Keeffe, on the other hand, missed the beauty she had seen in the south with red desert sand and beautiful desert flowers. O’Keeffe lived off and on in New York until her husband’s death in 1946, and then she moved permanently to New Mexico a few years after. New Mexico brought a new meaning to Georgia O’Keeffe’s life by inspiring her and letting her creativity in watercolor painting flow as well as the paint itself. Her use of sun-bleached desert skulls with vibrantly colored flowers was one of her trademarks. She saw such life in the skulls and had a plentiful collection of them in her secluded home in New Mexico.
Ram's Head, White Hollyhock and Little Hills [pic] (Wikipedia 1).

Georgia O’Keeffe would spend her days in New Mexico by getting up at the brink of sunrise and paint the beauty of the land till sunset. These works of art included:
[pic] [pic] [pic]
White Trumpet Flower (Boles1) From the Lake (Art.com) Deer's Skull with Pedernal (Hammett 1).
Her paintings had some of the most vibrant colors and intricate stokes of her time and inspired the country to take a second look at the new forms of artwork being created. After being shown in the Whitney Museum of art, having an illustrated autobiography, and receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Gerald Ford and the Medal of the arts from President Ronald Regan, Georgia O’Keeffe passed away at the age of 98. Her ashes were scattered over the New Mexico landscape she had loved for more than half a century. Her rich legacy of some 900 paintings has continued to attract subsequent generations of artists and art lovers who derive inspiration from these very American images. (Messinger 1). Being an artistic person, I see a tad bit of Georgia O’Keeffe in myself. She became one with nature and really showed that beauty through her artwork. I myself love to embrace nature and enjoy every beautiful moment this earth has to give us. Her use of shading with water colors amazes me for that I am one who always has to have perfect shading in my pieces of art. With her use of abstract lines and oversized flowers, her style is definitely one that cannot be imitated. She also set the bar for women painters, showing their male counterparts that they can be just as successful as them. Ms. Georgia O’Keeffe lived through the era of abstract art and made her mark in American Art. She expressed her views of life with such passionate and lively paintings which America couldn’t help to fall in love with. Though, without the help of her long-time friend and husband Alfred Stieglitz, O’Keeffe’s paintings would have never been seen. Her realism of the sun-bleached skulls of the desert combined with her vibrantly abstract landscapes made Georgia O’Keeffe the painter we all know and love. She is an inspiration to me and to the rest of the world and will live long after her death in ’86.

Works Cited
Boles, Judy, “White Trumpet Flower.” Art in the Classroom. 12 November 2011. .
“Georgia O’Keeffe.” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Updated 7 November 2011. 12 November 2011.

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