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!
- Posted in: A-Z Challenge 2017 ♦ Extraordinary Women ♦ Liz Brownlee ♦ Poems ♦ Reaching the Stars ♦ Reaching the Stars Poems
- Tagged: American Artist, Extraordinary Women, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee, Michaela Morgan, Poems about extraordinary women and girls, poetry, Poppies, Reaching the Stars
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 =
Jemima on Ornithology
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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.