March Greetings! Join me in the studio for my visit with Georgia O'Keeffe ....... "Filling a space in a beautiful way - that is what art means to me

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March Greetings!

Join me in the studio for my visit with Georgia O'Keeffe .......

"Filling a space in a beautiful way - that is what art means to me."

~ Georgia O'Keeffe

VisitingOKeeffe-WhiteFloweronRedEarth XLG

"A Visit with O'Keeffe - White Flower on Red Earth" - 26w" x 26h" -oil on canvas - by Mercedes (click image for more information)

My Recent Visit with Georgia O'Keeffe

How did I come to visit Georgia?

One snowed in Oregon day (where we recently moved - for a while at least!) I was itching to get painting after just finishing another piece. In the corner of my studio sat a lonely blank canvas that I had stretched long ago and put aside. It had moved with me to the Oregon studio! As can happen to an artist, I had planned something very specific for that canvas and had gotten “called” to another project before starting.

Wanting to get painting quickly without the usual hours of thought, research and sketching, I decided to do something I had always wanted to do. With my mini Georgia O’Keeffe calendar open on my drawing table, I decided to “visit” O’Keeffe and paint my version of her image “White Flower on Red Earth” which was the piece my tiny calendar was open to.

I have always loved the simplistic lines and the masterful blending of colors in O’Keeffe’s paintings. For those of you most familiar with my work, you know that one of my specialties is floral imagery. I enjoy being able to say that my work has been mentioned in the same breath of Georgia O’Keeffe frequently. Of course it is because of the flowers!! (My favorite “official” spot to be mentioned with Georgia was Smart Collector magazine some time ago!)

Above is a picture of my finished painting using that lonely canvas! It is 26"w x 26"h. The original work by O'Keeffe is 30”w x 26”h. Mine is actually about the same when you see that I painted around the edges of the piece with a Gallery Wrapped canvas.

VistingO Keeffe intheStudio sideview2 17 17

What is a Gallery Wrapped Canvas?

With a Gallery Wrap, the canvas is stretched in such a way as to have no staples or nails on the sides and it is usually stretched over a stretcher bar that is thicker in depth.

A gallery wrapped canvas can be painted like I have done, continuing the image around the edges, or, the side edges can be painted or taped with a solid color like black or white. The piece will then look finished and have the option to be hung without a frame. For information about this painting - including purchase information - click HERE


Is an Artist Influenced by Where They Live? And... Can you See It In Their Work?

That is a question that came to my mind as I was reflecting on Georgia. I thought I would comment on this with my own experience and insights since my "Visit with O'Keeffe".

Wine Country - Change of Seasons XLG

"Wine Country - Change of Seasons" - 14"w x 11"h - oil on panel - by Mercedes (click image for more information)

My thoughts - I recently finished the painting in the picture above, “Wine Country – Change of Seasons”. This was painted with me newly relocated to Oregon and living in the the middle of very rural wine country. Impatient (once again) to get painting, and finding myself without the usual resource materials prepared and researched that I enjoy surrounding myself with when working on a piece, I began this painting.

From my current studio, I have beautiful views of a couple of vineyards in the distance. It was a total highlight, that came and went all too quickly, to see the changing of the leaves on the distant vines and on other grapevines in the surrounding area. The beautiful colors were so unexpectedly fleeting for a ’'newbie’ to this rapid change in seasons that I never got any really great photos.

I love to surround myself with inspirational reference photos of what I am painting. What I did have on hand were some fantastic vineyard shots with colors changing on the vines from a past trip to Argentina where my husband was involved with the development of a large vineyard property. So in the case of the small painting above, I was most definitely inspired by where I was and, in this case, I made the scene up and painted it. Click HERE for information, including purchase information about this painting.

Remembered for her famous floral images but also very much for her Southwest inspired steer sculls and simplistic Southwest landscape scenes, O'Keeffe is a prime example of painting images inspired by where she was spending her time. Beginning early in her career Georgia would spend bits of time in the Southwest each year until she finally lived there full time later in life.

With the majority of my own work from the floral images to the landscapes, including my animal works, I can say that they most certainly do reflect where I was spending my time and / or what was going on with my life. Even the Still Life images I have painted from time to time, most would show tropical fruits I love from my time living in Hawaii or something from sunny California.


WHAT IF.... You Were an Artist Who Painted.....

Would what you want what you paint to reflect parts of your life – or would your subjects be unrelated to you?
Would you want to paint the beauty of the world along with beautiful colors and the bright and cheerful to bring more of THAT into the world?
OR -
Would you paint the dark and moody to provoke thought or reflect a difficult time you were having and make a statement in that way?
Would you paint realistically if you could, or would you purposely paint only an abstract interpretation?

Mercedes at easel-cropped

If you share Georgia's sentiment and have a wall space that you would like to fill in a "beautiful way" – I am here to talk art at any time!


Gail / Mercedes!

cell: 760-420-6618

Website Links to Featured Paintings:
"A Visit with O'Keeffe - White Flower on Red Earth"
"Wine Country - Change of Seasons"

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If you missed my FIRST NEWSLETTER last month and would like to check it out, here is a link: What COLOR BRINGS more Luck, Love & Power + ‘Masterwork' Completed