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
A recent visit to the Phillips Collection museum in Washington DC to see the Georgia O'Keeffe Abstractions exhibit left me newly inspired and exhilarated. Featuring more than 100 Watercolor and Oil paintings, this gorgeous exhibit focuses on O'Keeffe's lesser known Abstract works...beautiful gems, delicate and serene.
I have seen O'Keeffe's work up close before...notably her most famous, and easily recognizable paintings of animal skulls, seashells and sensual flowers. However many times I stood before those famous works, as lovely as they were, never was I moved to silence. I viewed the art and certainly enjoyed the simplicity of the way in which she seemed to so effortlessly capture objects, but that's where it ended for me. I never had a "Gustav Klimt Moment" as I like to call it....a moment where, when viewing a piece of art, all else falls away, leaving just me and the painting alone in the room...my own breath and heartbeat, the only sounds I hear. That is, until I saw the Abstractions exhibit.
This collection of paintings is so gentle, sensual, evocative, erotic and dreamy. Her color palettes go from soft and serene to joltingly energetic. Her lines are exquisite and each piece evokes feeling, emotion, sensitivity and thought. There is an honest integrity in O'Keeffe's work. A genuineness and a purity of soul that comes through so strongly in those brushstrokes. In the end, her abstract paintings ultimately feel like an abstracted portrait of a woman who simply wanted to paint what she felt inside. And I can't help but relate so deeply to that part of her.
And so, with that clarity of thought filling me, validating me, empowering me... I pick up my paintbrush, turn up the music and simply, paint....