Painting With The Girls 305
October 31, 2016
Day 305 (61 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 305
October 31, 2016
Day 305 (61 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 304
October 30, 2016
Day 304 ( 62 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 303
October 29, 2016
Day 303 (63 days to go)
Georgia O'Keeffe abandoned the idea of pursuing a career as an artist in late 1908, claiming that she could never distinguish herself as an artist within the traditional art training she had been exposed to. She took a job in Chicago as an advertisement illustrator, and did not paint for four years.
In the summer of 1912, she went back to Charlottesville, where she helped her mother run a boardinghouse, while her other sisters attended school.
She attended a class at the University of Virginia Summer School as an assistant. Her teacher, Alon Bement introduced her to the innovative ideas of Arthur Wesley Dow. Dow encouraged artists to express themselves using line, color, and shading harmoniously. She was inspired to paint again and used these directions to represent nature in her charcoal drawings.
In February 1913, New York had its very first International Exhibition of Modern Art. Although the criticism was severe and most people claimed to dislike Modern Art, the show was attended by eighty-eight thousand visitors.
This exhibit was a highlight for Alfred Stieglitz who owned the only gallery in New York that exhibited Modern Art at the time. The exhibit provided hope for the future, but the economy had taken a fall in the United States and sales at his gallery dropped.
In the fall of 1913, Georgia returned to the New York Art Students League. She had borrowed money from her aunt to stay in New York and focus on her work. She rented a tiny room and attended classes. She had kept in touch with her friend Anita Pollitzer for the seven years that she had been away from New York. They became close and later Anita initiated a friendship with Stieglitz, who she would introduce later to Georgia.
As her father’s creamery business failed, Georgia returned to South Carolina for the next couple summers to work as a teacher’s assistant at Columbia College in Charlottesville. In the summer of 1914 she met her first love interest, Arthur Whittier Macmahon, who was a professor of political sciences at Columbia University. Although he was three years younger, Georgia wrote Anita that she had learned so much from him. They had become close that summer as they shared the same interests in long walks, hikes and camping at the Blue Ridge Mountains.
She corresponded with Arthur who went back to New York. Arthur visited her in South Carolina in the following year, but their relationship did not progress, as they were living far apart.
In the spring of 1915, Georgia borrowed another $200 from her aunt Jane and moved to New York to get an art teachers certificate from Columbia. She studied under Arthur Dow who had been a constant inspiration for her. She now had a teaching certificate, which she would use in 1916 to find a teaching job in Texas, where she would remain for another two years.
When she returned home late in 1915 she made some charcoal drawings and mailed them to Anita Pollitzer with the intention that they be given to Alfred Stieglitz. He was delighted with her art and said her drawings were the "purest, finest, sincerest things that had entered 291 in a long while.”
In April 1916, he exhibited ten of her drawings at 291 Gallery.
O'Keeffe knew that Stieglitz was planning to exhibit her work but he had not told her when, and she was surprised to learn that her work was on view; she confronted Stieglitz over the drawings but agreed to let them remain on exhibit.
Stieglitz organized O'Keeffe's first solo show at 291 in April 1917.
Painting With The Girls 302
October 28, 2016
Day 302 (64 days to go)
Writing With The Girls 300 WOW!!!!!!! I hit the 300th day!!!!! I am so happy!!!!!!!
October 26, 2016
Day 300 (66 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 299
October 25, 2016
Day 299 (67 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 298
October 24, 2016
Day 298 (68 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 297
October 23, 2016
Day 297 (69 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 296
October 22, 2016
Day 296 (70 days to go)
Georgia Totto O’Keeffe was born in Sun Prairie Wisconsin on November 15, 1887. She was the daughter of Irish and Hungarian parents, Francis O’Keefe and Ida Totto. The family owned hundreds of acres, which produced corn and tobacco. Georgia’s parents were known to keep up with the latest agriculture technology and education for all their children. The seven children were all educated to find working positions outside the farm. Georgia’s mother Ida was herself the educated daughter of Count Totto, a New Yorker who went to Wisconsin to seek his fortune in the dairy business. Ida was educated in music, painting and reading, and shared her knowledge with her children.
After school, all the children helped with chores. The girls helped in the garden and the boys in the barn. Their aunt Jane lived with them and helped the girls to sew and cook. She was also the source for attention to all of the children since their mother Ida was always busy with the household problems.
In 1901, Georgia was taken to Sacred Heart Academy boarding school in Madison, Wisconsin. In her autobiography, she mentions this period as when she enjoyed the silence and the simplicity of the spiritual training and even the long black dress uniforms. There she was able to continue studying art with Sister Angelique, who taught her how to draw from life and told her to always sign her work.
A year after she started school, Georgia’s father decided that they would try their luck somewhere else. He was concerned about their health after losing his mother and brothers. They sold their land and moved to Williamsburg, Virginia, where education would be more accessible. In the fall of 1903, Georgia was sent to a boarding school in Chatham, two hundred miles from Williamsburg. Now a teenager, Georgia’s teacher, Elizabeth May Willis, encouraged Georgia to pursue a career in the arts, as she recognized her talent. It was acceptable for a woman to study arts and later work as an art teacher to make a living.
Georgia barely graduated, showing no interest in other subjects. Her teacher, Willis, advised her parents to send her to the Art Institute of Chicago.
The parents did, even though their financial situation was not good. She stayed with the Totto side of the family. Her mother’s sister, Ollie, and her brother, uncle Charlie, took her in. Georgia later said that her aunt’s independence and career as a proofreader for the Milwaukee Sentinel, were a positive influence on her.
In 1905, the Art Institute was still teaching art very conservatively and followed the old European traditions of the French Academy. This was when Georgia learned how to measure and to be precise. She learned how to paint with oils according to the old ways. Her skills and execution improved very quickly and her teachers praised her skills.
Her father, still in Williamsburg, was forced to sell some land and buy a smaller house. Georgia was back home for spring break and ended up sick for four months with Typhoid fever. She was 19 years old and lost all of her hair. She became very anxious about her situation and her parents’ financial needs.
Again Ms. Willis, her former teacher, intervened. She wrote her parents asking them to have faith in their daughter’s skills as art teacher, and recommended that they send her to attend the Art Students League in New York City.
This School did not provide certification, but was known to have the best teachers.
She boarded with a fellow student nearby the school and enjoyed studying with well-known faculty of the country’s most respected teachers, such as William Merritt Chase.
He encouraged her to study Japanese prints and to do studies with watercolors.
With a class, she visited Alfred Stieglitz’s studio, 291, to attend a Rodin exhibit of nude figures. She did well in all of her classes, and when her term finished, she was given a scholarship to the art colony, Amitola, on Lake George in upstate New York. She painted outdoors and enjoyed nature.
She returned home, knowing her parents would not be able to afford anymore schooling.
Painting With The Girls 295
October 21, 2016
Day 295 (71 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 294
October 20, 2016
Day 294 (72 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 293
October 19, 2016
Day 293 (73 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 292
October 18, 2016
Day 292 (74 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 291
October 17, 2016
Day 291 (75 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 290
October 16, 2016
Day 290 ( 76 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 289
October 11, 2016
Day 289 (77 days to go)
Grandma Moses passed away on December 13, 1961. She was 101. She had no chronic illness or any sudden health issue. Her doctor said, “She just wore out”. Her mind had started to wonder and she slept for long hours.
The news of her death was broadcast on the radio and TV networks. Her obituary was published on front pages of newspapers nationwide.
In 1969, the Gallery of Modern Art in New York put the most comprehensive exhibit of her work together. A total of 141 paintings were displayed at this exhibit named, Art and Life of Grandma Moses.
Today most of her work can be found in Bennington, Vermont where her schoolhouse was moved to, and memorabilia from her time and more then 80 of her paintings can be seen.
Otto Kallir, who studied Grandma Moses’ work for years and knew her well, wrote in his book, Grandma Moses, “ Her work has been called ‘primitive’, a term generally applied to artists who have had no professional training. She shared with other so-called ‘primitives’ a naïve and almost childlike approach to her subject, not worrying whether she would be able to solve a problem with the artistic means at her disposal. However as her technical ability progressed and developed, so did her gifts as a painter, and she achieved works which far outrank what one is wont to label ‘primitive.’ It cannot be said of many artists- whether professional or self taught- that they have created a distinctive style of their own, as has Grandma Moses.”
Painting With The Girls 288
October 14, 2016
Day 288 (79 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 287
October 13, 2016
Day 287 (79 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 286
October 12, 2016
Day 286 (80 days to go)
Painting With The Girls 285
October 11, 2016
Day 285 (81 days to go)