Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some Paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe

Even if you don't like the subject matter or even the colors, there is just something soothing and calming about Georgia O'Keeffe's work. Sometimes, the contrarian in me tries not to like her so much because she is so popular. But then, I see one of her paintings, up close, to appreciate the way she left the light of the canvas to show through and how she got the shading and highlight just right to convey the three dimensions of the surface and I just love her all over again. The hard skull and the soft feather trade places here, with the skull portrayed in soft colors and subtle tints and tones and the turkey feather in dark crisp saturated contrasty color.
Where others might show a leaf in beautiful bright fall plumage of orange or yellow or red or at least the full green of summer, she dares to paint a dried winter leaf and makes us see the beauty of it. That sort of thing is easy for me to do, as you may have noticed by my ginkgo leaf photo a couple days ago, but sometimes I feel like kind of a freak for finding such beauty in every last stinking ugly detail of nature, and O'Keefe, well, she give me a little validation for my quirkiness!

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