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Georgia O'Keeffe: Her life, her work

An example prezi for the Artist Investigation presentations in Drawing and Painting class at Kaohsiung American School.

Aimee Zvinakis

on 14 March 2011

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Transcript of Georgia O'Keeffe: Her life, her work


born in 1897 in Wisconsin
the second of 7 children
her artistic talents were recognized from a young age and she was encouraged by her teachers to pursue art
Georgia O'Keeffe
Her life and her work she attended the Art Institute of Chicago for college
for a few years after, she worked as an elementary art teacher in Texas
Georgia became a TA for an art professor at the U of Va.
she began to paint abstractly, focusing of forms and contrast of colors and/or light and dark moved back to Texas to work at A&M U.
had her first solo show in NYC
she met Alfred Stiglitz, a famous photographer, who was captured by her watercolor paintings and charcoal drawings Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stiglitz fell in love and he left his wife to marry her in 1924.
they lived in NYC and she met other American Modernist artists who were moving away from realism and exploring more abstract concepts of visual art. Georgia began painting with oil paint on large size canvases
her large paintings were like microscopic views of natural forms in the late 1920's, Georgia began painting city scenes from NYC
she also began painting her soon to become famous close-up flowers
the first set of flower paintings sold for 25,000 USD (1920's)
she was already one of America's most important artists She took a trip to Hawaii for a job from the Dole Co. and painted scenes of Hawaii for 9 weeks. Why is Georgia O'Keeffe famous?

She was one of America's most reknowned artists of the 1920's-1960's
She created a style unique in blending abstraction with representation
She is known best for her paintings of flowers, desert landscapes and animal bones
She was one of the few American artists whose popularity and influence reached Europe
She is one the the first female artists to reach this level of fame
"O'Keeffe is truly magnificent . . . she a purer form of myself."-Alfred Steiglitz She began to feel the need for inspiration and go someplace new
Georgia and a friend headed to Taos, New Mexico
She immediately felt a kinship with the open desert landscape O'Keeffe purchased a small rundown adobe house and spent at least half a year there, painting.
She would return to NYC to hold art shows and spend time with her husband. From 1929-1949, she spent most of her time in New Mexico She became quite self-sustainable, growing her own food and even learning to make her own oil paint pigments out of certain rock in the desert.
Georgia also grew flowers and continued with her signature flower paintings. She took long walks in the desert and prefered to paint by observation in the outdoors.
She collected animal bones and began to paint them. Her husband, Alfred died in 1946
Georgia permanently moved out to New Mexico afterwards Georgia traveled overseas and a series of cloud paintings came out of her views from the airplanes.
Georgia O'Keeffe's work has always given me a strong emotional response. I feel calm when I stare into her paintings. It is this calm response and peace that I felt that immediately drew me to learn more about her work. I think this peaceful feeling is created by her smooth tonal transitions of dark to light colors.

The compositional makeup of all her paintings is simple and strong, meaning that simplified organic shapes and lines break up the space of her paintings. I think this simplicity of composition allows me as the viewer to fully experience the harmony of her color combinations and to appreciate these beautiful and simplistic natural forms.

Her paintings have a strong sense of light that comes out of them, like they are glowing. This is created by her subtle transtions of color and the smooth application of the paint on the canvas. Many of her paintings also show a strong sense of space, with a little or a lot of sky showing us a scene from the outdoors.

Besides her paintings of NYC in her early art career, she paints inspired from the New Mexico landscape and the objects that are common within that landscape, like cotton trees and bones. I also love that her style is one mixed of representation and abstraction. I think she has married these 2 art styles, that are typically polar opposites, perfectly. She shows us nature but in her individual point of view. In 1971, her eyesight began to fail her and she began only working in pencil and watercolors.
She painted weeks before her death at age 98.
Her ashes were scattered from the top of one of her favorite desert mountains. Art analysis Steps:

1. Description

2. Analysis

3. Interpretation

4. Judgement "I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty."

"It was all so far away - there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased."
"I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for."
My Response to Georgia O'Keeffe's work "Sun-bleached bones were most wonderful against the blue - that blue that will always be there as it is now after all man's destruction is finished."
"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."
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