lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

O is for Georgia O’Keeffe, Artist, #AtoZ Challenge 2017

Today there is another blog from guest blogger,  Jan Dean!

Blue and Green Music by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1921


Georgia O’Keeffe was born in 1887  and died in 1986.

Georgia O’Keeffe was an important and influential American painter.  Although most of her work portrays landscape, bones, shells and stones, she is best known for her flower paintings.  She was the first person to paint flowers much larger than life; she wanted people to be stopped in their tracks by the beauty that she saw in the flowers and painting them big was the way she chose to do it.  Hers was a very original vision.

She spent most of her life in the deserts of New Mexico, immersing herself in the natural world which she wanted to paint. When she grew old she lost her sight and instead of painting she made sculpture.  She once said:

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.



she paints the many-petalled poppy


lush lava red and layered

it’s black heart soft            enveloping as soot

I stand outside the frame

and know that I could fall

into its flame

though petals seem like orange silk

they burn              it is a furnace of a flower


this is how she sees the poppy

fierce and beautiful

and so she paints the blaze of it

not as a red dot in a safe green space

but an inferno roaring wild across the canvas


a forest fire which cannot be put out



the poppies scream


this is who we are

we are unlocked now

and never going back

into the place where you ignored us


© Jan Dean



If you’d like to read about more extraordinary women, why not buy the book Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, by me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan – link below, press on book!



Article Title

Georgia O’Keeffe

Author Editors

Website Name

The website


Access Date

March 31, 2017


A&E Television Networks

Last Updated

August 26, 2016


  1. I really like her paintings and found them so full of colours and thought. I love that she went to sculpture after her vision failed. I wish my mom could have done the same. Your poem really seem to capture her and her artwork


    • Hi, Birgit, not my poem! Jan Dean’s – and it does! Jan Dean =


  2. Great post!
    Jemima on Ornithology


  3. Thea O'Brian

    Oh my! And she lived such a long life too! 99 years old. I can’t imagine. Most people don’t get to do what they really want in life. Thanks for sharing.


    • I know. Sometimes I wish I could start al over again with what I now know and take any one of several different paths – if only we all had to do something caring, as well as something creative, as well as something that makes money! It would I am sure make politicians more aware, make artists more worldly, making all of us more thoughtful and understanding of others.



  1. she paints the many-petalled poppy | shinystuff

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