An exhibit featuring Georgia O’Keeffe paintings just opened at the Tacoma Art Museum.  Her paintings, which focus on some of her New Mexico still lifes,  are juxtaposed with those from Pacific Northwest artists.  This exhibit has travelled here from Indianapolis and the Tacoma Art Museum is the only West coast venue for this show.  So it is well worth a day trip to check it  out.


Georgia O’Keeffe (1887−1986), Yellow Cactus, 1929. Oil on canvas, 30 × 42 inches. Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. Patsy Lacy Griffith Collection, Bequest of Patsy Lacy Griffith. 1998.217. (O’Keeffe 675) © 2015 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy International Arts ®.

I like this article in which the Indianapolis Museum of Art talks about still life painting:

Rarely do we think of still life painting as depictions of a specific area, which is why Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life is such a unique and important exhibition.”

I am very fond of Georgia O’Keeffe’s art, and I was particularly pleased with this new exhibit which featured several of her paintings that I had never before seen in person or reproduced in books such as a cockscomb and a wooden virgin.  Here are some of the other new (to me) paintings:


Georgia O’Keeffe (1887−1986), Mule’s Skull with Pink Poinsettia, 1936. Oil on canvas, 401⁄8 × 30 inches. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Gift of The Burnett Foundation. 1997.06.014. (O’Keeffe 876) © 2015 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy International Arts ®.


Georgia O’Keeffe (1887−1986), Deer Horns, 1938. Oil on canvas, 36 × 16 inches. Collection of Louis Bacon. (O’Keeffe 941) Photography by Christie’s Images. © 2015 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy International Arts 

You can read more about this exhibit from this article in the Los Angeles Times.

While you are at the Tacoma Art Museum, be sure to wander through its new addition, which houses “Art of the American West: the Haub Family Collection.”  It includes another new (to me) O’Keeffe painting, Pinons with Cedar, 1956.

Pinons with Cedar, 1956

Pinons with Cedar, 1956

 Georgia O’Keeffe (American, 1887 ‑ 1986)
Piñons with Cedar, 1956

Oil on canvas
30 × 26 inches
Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub, 2014.6.91
© 2014 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York




“Color is a power which directly influences the soul.”
— Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art

Moon snail shell on red

Moon snail shell on red

"White Shell with Red" by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1938

“White Shell with Red” by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1938

“Color is the place where our brain and the universe meet.”
— Paul Klee

The paintings for this post were my attempts to play with color.  O’Keeffe’s “White Shell with Red” is an inspiration.  My amateur attempts fell far short of my aspirations for this challenge.

Moon Snail Shell # 89, watercolor sketch with red

Moon Snail Shell # 89, watercolor sketch with red

Moon Snail Shell # 90, watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 90, watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 91, watercolor sketch with blue -- the best of this lot, I think

Moon Snail Shell # 91, watercolor sketch with blue — the best of this lot, I think

Moon Snail Shell # 92, watercolor sketch

Moon Snail Shell # 92, watercolor sketch

Morning Glory

August 27, 2011

“A morning glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.”
— Walt Whitman

Blue morning glory at the Center for Urban Horticulture

Blue morning glory, Center for Urban Horticulture

I saw these shockingly brilliant blue morning glories in a pot at the Center for Urban Horticulture.  I see that Georgia O’Keeffe couldn’t resist them either.  Here are two of her paintings of blue morning glories:

Blue Morning Glories by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1938

Ram's Head, Blue Morning Glory by Georgia O'Keeffe, 1938

And here are my watercolor sketches:

Watercolor sketch of blue morning glories

Another watercolor sketch of blue morning glories

Still Life with Peaches

August 23, 2011

Still life with Peach

I was inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe to attempt to paint a still life with peaches.  Here’s her magnificent painting:

Peaches and Glass, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1927

And here’s my watercolor sketch:

Peaches and Jug

Watercolor sketch of peaches and jug

Flower Photographer

May 6, 2010

“Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”
     — Edward Weston

Pale yellow iris

I never set out to be a flower photographer, but when I review my body of work from the past year, I realize that nearly one-third of my photographs are of flowers.  This was an unconscious choice on my part.  I set out to record my life through the four seasons of a year, and given the lushness of the Seattle landscape, my eye was naturally drawn to the ever-changing newest blooms.

I think my photographer’s eye has been influenced by Georgia O’Keeffe, one of my favorite painters whose work includes many, many close-up paintings of flowers.  I’ve savored many books about her art over the years, have visited her home in Abiquiu (which is now a museum), and have been to a couple of exhibits of her work.  It’s very possible that what I love about her flower paintings is what I try to capture in my photos.  I am drawn to the curving lines, patterns, and colors within a flower.  The abstractions please me.

Flowers are also ideal models.  It’s easy to secure their cooperation.  They pose so gracefully.  And they don’t require model releases.

I haven’t yet tired of taking flower photos.  I’m curious to see how this year’s photos will differ from last year’s.  I expect you’ll be seeing more of them in this blog.

One flower photographer whom I discovered last year, Jonathan Singer, now has a beautiful book out of his flower photographs.  It’s called Botanica Magnifica.  It was interesting to me to see that he did not always photograph the “perfect” bloom; you can see blemishes and tiny brown spots on some of the flowers.  Here is an example of his work from the book:

Jonathan Singer's Iris "Jean Marie" from Botanica Magnifica

White Camellia

March 14, 2010

White camellia

A neighbor's camellia bush in bloom

Cascading petals of a white camellia

“It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.”
     — William Carlos Williams

The red camellia bush by our front door is in full bloom, but I really love these white camellias on a neighbor’s bush.  Georgia O’Keeffe must have been captivated by them, too, for she drew one early in her career.

Georgia O'Keeffe's White Camellia, 1938

Stamp featuring Georgis O'Keeffe's Red Poppy

Stamp featuring Georgia O'Keeffe's Red Poppy

Red Poppies in Morning Light

Red Poppies in Morning Light

Red Poppy

Red Poppy

I am captivated by poppies this year.