Don't worry darlings, the public library can save your soul. Or at least it can enlighten you, as it did me, on the wonderful life, work, and legacy, of this incredible woman. Pick up this PBS worthy documentary or something similar to find your eyes wide open, just like the inviting petals of her sexy flower studies...
Most likely O'Keeffe has been on my mind lately because of the recent adventures of my friends Adam and Alicia Rico of Bows and Arrows Florals in Dallas, TX. Known for their distinctive style and ability to be always one step ahead, Bows and Arrows are currently hosting educational floral workshops in culturally rich locales such as Ghost Ranch. (O'Keefee's dude ranch in the high desert of New Mexico)
Look at this woman! The lust for life in that grin, the grip of his belt loop, that ready pose, the possibility of a thrilling ride just ahead...this photograph is everything.
To me, Georgia seems unshakable, and strong, like the rock faces of her beloved desert. Portraits portray her smiling and outside, spending her days in the sun as she pleases. Or, they capture her pensive, powerful and feminine, mysteriously embodying the muse and the creator to the camera's derisive eye. To be honest, it is overwhelming to compare your existence to someone who seems so....well, full. Some days I feel that artists are just people that have learned to channel their emotions into the medium of their choice. Individuals contextually sharing their stories, showing their world view through their mastery and play. Artists like O'Keeffe seem to live and breathe their art through every action of their day. Barn with snow, 1934, oil on canvas, O'Keeffe created after a stay in a mental ward for psycho-neurosis. In the Kultur documentary mentioned above, this work is said to represent her own hibernation. It is as if she and the barn were lying in wake for the coming spring, they are both waiting for the snow to melt.
Winter in Seattle has come once again making me feel connected to this barn in a way I can only describe as collaborative. I want to rub elbows with this barn, bear hug this barn, and put wool socks with hand warmers in this barn's boots. For it, I would sacrifice my Seattle staple (my mustard yellow beanie) so that this barn can keep the wind out of it's ears and the rain off its roof.
How is your life an extension of the art that you hope to create? This week can you become less reactionary and more intentional with how you channel your emotions?
I encourage you to learn more about Georgia O'Keeffe and in doing so you may find that you see yourself and the world in a whole new way.
Breathe, design, heal.
Whitney R. White stays inspired by her love of historical spaces, nature, beeswax candles, hand-made objects, comedy, coffee and visual storytelling. She is a connector, brand ambassador, reiki practitioner, inspiration sparker, and new mamma! She lives with her husband and son in the San Juan Islands. She used to teach floral design classes, yoga, and one day she'll dabble in clay.