Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe's life and description of two of her paintings.

Essay by gazon98 October 2003

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Georgia O'Keeffe was an American painter, famous for the purity and brightness of her still-life compositions. O'Keeffe was the second of seven children and was born on November 15, 1887 in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Education was important in the O'Keeffe family; and as such, all of the children were well educated. O'Keeffe had a preference toward art at a very young age. She does not recall what prompted her to art only that she knew she wanted to be an artist. By age 16, O'Keeffe had received five years of art training at various schools. She also studied art at the school of the Art Institute of Chicago and at the Art Students League of New York. Despite winning the League's William Merritt Chase still-life prize for her oil painting Untitled (Dead Rabbit with Copper Pot), O'Keeffe was dissatisfied with her paintings. She worked as a teacher in Amarillo, Texas from 1912-1914.

During the summers, O'Keeffe worked as an assistant to Alon Bement of Teachers College, Columbia University. Here she met Arthur Wesley Dow who introduced her to the idea that art is the expression of the artist's personal ideas and feelings or simply fill a space in a beautiful way. She liked this new way of thinking. She had finally realized that all of her work was influenced by someone else. She stated, "I have things in my head that are not like what anyone has taught me...shapes and ideas so near to natural to my way of being and thinking that it hasn't occurred to me to put them down..." (Ellen par 13). At age 27, she started over. She began with charcoal sketches. After she had done everything she could possibly think of with charcoal, she moved to paints. This was a rebirth for O'Keeffe,