Monday, June 11, 2007

Georgia On My Mind

O'Keeffe, that is. She really has been on my mind. I've been trying to wrap my mind around her work - specifically her up-close perspectives on flowers and also the "flatness" of many of her most popular images. Up until this point I haven't been all that intrigued with her work. For one, it's overexposed and so one grows tired of the "flower lady." Secondly, I've always thought it rather simple and easy to mimic.

However, this month is again showing me things that I hadn't appreciated before now. It is not so easy to decide what to include in an up-close perspective - it has to be enough to make the image recognizable but also not everything so that a pleasing pattern of shapes can linger in the viewer's mind.

Her work is filled with beauty. Her flower works particularly emphasize beauty. She simplifies the whole flower and shows you a beauty that you perhaps hadn't seen before in that type of flower.

So, I take back that her work is simple and easy to mimic. In fact, I've been rather discouraged with my efforts. But I'm not quitting yet...

This rambling post can best be summed up with an O'Keeffe quote Katherine Tyrrell posted today:

"Nothing is less real than realism...details are confusing...it is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things."

It is Georgia O'Keeffe's mastery of emphasis that makes her a master.

2 comments:

Katherine said...

Rose - I've started to post about Notan and the Arthur Wesley Dow book. You'll probably find some of the links interesting

With CPs try keeping the pencil points sharp for much of the time, use a light touch and lots of layers.

Rose Welty said...

Katherine, I will keep sharpening and have another read of your various articles, lenses, etc! :-)