Georgia O'Keeffe Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1454 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keefe's "Lake George Autumn" and "Church Steeple"

Georgia O'Keefe's artwork has always been of great interest to journalists, critics and scholars who follow famous and talented people. But her many paintings and drawings - from New Mexico, New York City, and Lake George in the Adirondacks - are her truly lasting treasures, not what people say about them. O'Keefe's many paintings and drawings have stirred the emotions and spirits of millions of people who know little or nothing about art. And the exquisiteness, originality, and timeless beauty of her paintings will endure for as long as there are people to see them.

Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant," she stated (Peters, 2001, 18). "It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest."

LAKE GEORGE AUTUMN: One of those works she has done that is of interest is "Lake George Autumn."

It is painting, two-dimensional, oil on canvas. It is a fine art, not an applied art. It was meant as a visual experience to be enjoyed and to be inspired by. It was not meant to provide color or design to any utilitarian item such as a coffee cup or plate. This is a public work that O'Keeffe intended to be shared by the public. Although she was a very private person and many of her works are to this date not available for the public to see, this was a public piece.

It was done in 1925, in the Adirondacks. It is an abstract view of Lake George, near the home of her husband, Alfred Stieglitz.

SUBJECT MATTER: O'Keeffe concentrated on the natural world in the vast majority of her paintings and drawings. From the starkness of the New Mexico desert, to the bold bright colors of flowers, to the Adirondacks, she loved to bring the natural world onto her canvas.

CONTENT: The content of the painting is a view of Lake George, New York, and abstract view, during the season of autumn. The browns and yellows - various shades of both colors - mixed with some greens reflects the seasonal change in color in the upstate New York area.

The lake is several shades of blue, and dark blue, and some gray and black. This scene is probably one that O'Keeffe could walk to quite easily from Stieglitz' property; perhaps it was on his property. She enjoyed the years spent with Stieglitz, a renowned photographer, in New York State, but it is well-known that she preferred her life in New Mexico.

The flow of the "Lake George, Autumn" is to the right. The lake probably has wind blowing its surface to the right; and there appears to be a natural flow of the water and the color to the right. The trees are guiding the eye to the right. There is an island on the left side of the lake and the trees on that parcel of land are dark green, suggesting different species of trees from what is on the shore.

The contrasts - O'Keefe did a lot of work in contrasting colors - is on the right side of the painting. The darks shadows of the hills against blue sky suggest perhaps a cloud is blocking the sun from that area. or, there has been a recent burn in that area. The lake contrasting against golden trees makes a stunning visual explosion for the eye.

The cloud above the distant Adirondacks is like a long white sausage, with some undulation, parallel to the horizon of the mountains. There is a swatch of blue sky high at the top of the painting.

SOCIOLPOLITICAL content is not apparent in this painting, but there are certainly sociopolitical aspects to her life and to her art, and they will be reviewed later in this paper.

WHAT WAS O'KEEFFE TRYING to COMMUNICATE in this painting? In March 1924, O'Keeffe and her husband, Stieglitz shared an exhibit at the Anderson Galleries in New York City. She had fifty-one paintings and he had sixty-one photographs at that exhibit. This was a collaboration of romance and of art; O'Keeffe was said to have been inspired by Stieglitz's powerful photographic portraits, and she was, in turn, a kind of creative muse for his work. Many of her paintings show in that (and many other) exhibit… [END OF PREVIEW]

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