Color Quotes by Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 – March 6, 1986) was an American artist best known for her enlarged flowers, New York skyscrapers, and New Mexico landscapes. Georgia O'Keeffe quotes show how strongly she felt about color.

O'Keeffe, recognized as the "Mother of American modernism," abandoned the idea of pursuing a career as an artist, claiming that she could never distinguish herself as an artist within the mimetic tradition that had formed her basis art training. However, when she was introduced to the innovative ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow encouraging artists to express themselves using line, color, and shading harmoniously, she was inspired to paint again.

O'Keeffe was introduced to Alfred Stieglitz by Anita Pollitzer. Stieglitz told Pollitzer that O'Keeffe's drawings were the "purest, finest, sincerest things that had entered his 291 Gallery in a long while", and that he would like to show them.

Stieglitz and O'Keeffe corresponded frequently beginning in 1916, and, in June 1918, she accepted his invitation to move to New York to devote all of her time to her work. The two were deeply in love, and, shortly after her arrival, they began living together. They married in 1924.

O'Keeffe came to know the many early American modernists who were part of Stieglitz's circle of artists. Soon after, she began working primarily in oil, a shift away from working mostly in watercolor. By the mid-1920s, O'Keeffe began making large-scale paintings of natural forms close to, as if seen through a magnifying lens. In the 1920s, O'Keeffe began to work more representationally.

On November 20, 2014, O'Keeffe's 1932 painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 sold for $44,405,000, more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist. (excerpt from Wikipedia)

Georgia O'Keeffe Quotes About Color

The meaning of a word — to me — is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.  - Georgia O'Keeffe #color #quotes

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Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know the flower is painted large to convey my experience with the flower – and what is my experience if it is not the color?

The feeling that a person gives me that I cannot say in words comes in colors and shapes.

I know I can not paint a flower. I can not paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning but maybe in terms of paint color I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time.

There’s something about black. You feel hidden away in it. - Georgia O'Keeffe #color #quotes

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All the earth colors of the painter’s palette are out there in the many miles of badlands. The light Naples yellow through the ochres – orange and red and purple earth – even the soft earth greens.

The meaning of a word — to me — is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words.

Feature Image Credit: Georgia O'Keeffe [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Kate Smith
Kate Smith is an optimistic, expressive, artist, designer, writer and color fanatic. With her warm and witty style, Kate teaches you to clearly see, understand and be inspired by color. Then she guides you step-by-step to develop your own unique color sense-ability and achieve results you never dreamed possible.