When I attended art school, we spent quite a bit of time drawing and painting bones and flowers and being introduced to the work of Georgia O'Keeffe. She was and still is one of my favorite artists. I like the organic shape of all her forms, soft and rounded, and the way everything glows. This was my inspiration for the flowers I painted for several years though, unfortunately, I didn't really document much of my work early on. I often remember how I was called the flower and fabric painter in school.
Before learning about her work, I was never drawn to flowers but once I was introduced to her large scale and vibrant colour I was hooked. I was also attracted by the fact that her images weren't necessarily a perfect representation of what she was painting, but slightly abstracted. Big, bold, beautiful and bright. Because she painted flowers for decades, I was inspired to paint my chair paintings for decades, too, though not quite as many...so far.
I had the privilege of viewing her work in Vancouver during the Kahlo, Carr, O'Keeffe exhibit a number of years ago and it was a thrill to see it up close. And to learn that she often used silk flowers as her inspiration, along with the bones she gathered on her walks in New Mexico. I think I remember reading that she purchased the silk flowers that were often used on gravesides in the area. A great lesson, to gather inspiration from what surrounds and catches your attention.
Honouring the Ancestors
Great Places Plan