November 15, 1887-March 6, 1986

November 15, 1887-March 6, 1986

I was immediately a fan of Georgia O'keefe when I saw this magnificent red poppy.

I was immediately a fan of Georgia O’keefe when I saw this magnificent red poppy.

Georgia O’Keefe, a 20th century American painter was inspired by flowers-and she loved the vibrancy of the red poppy.  One of the most innovative and important artists of the 20th century-she explored architectural forms and landscapes as well.   In 1925 she produced her first large scale flower painting- a theme and style she would explore throughout her career.

Cow's Skull with Calico Roses, 1931

Cow’s Skull with Calico Roses, 1931

Although, our parents were avid gardeners-producing most of the food we enjoyed at the table-it wasn’t until life got a little easier that they grew for pleasure and planted flowers.  And did they ever-rows and rows of dahlias, irises and poppies.  Neighbors would stop by the fence to tell them how much they enjoyed the garden.  Maybe that is when I fell in love with poppies-brilliant red petals with black centers, and a seed head just begging to be given a shake and self-seed the ground for next year.  No wonder then, when I saw my first Georgia O’Keeffe print, Red Poppy, I was hooked.

Petunias-O'Keefe's first large scale flower painting-1924

Petunias-O’Keefe’s first large scale flower painting-1924

As her popularity grew, she found an escape from the pressure she felt artistically and socially-she found solitude in New Mexico.  Her annual visits to the dessert produced the uniquely O’Keefe paintings of skulls and bones.