Georgia O’Keeffe

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  • “I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
  • “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”
  • “Filling a space in a beautiful way – that is what art means to me.”
  • “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”
  • “The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.”
  • “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”
  • “I think it’s so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary–you’re happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”
  • “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.”
  • “If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.”
  • “I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.”
  • “Someone else’s vision will never be as good as your own vision of your self. Live and die with it ’cause in the end it’s all you have. Lose it and you lose yourself and everything else. I should have listened to myself.”
  • “Fill a space in a beautiful way.”
  • “Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”
  • “I decided to start anew-to strip away what I had been taught, to accept as true my own thinking. This was one of the best times of my life. There was no one around to look at what I was doing, no one interested, no one to say anything about it one way or another. I was alone and singularly free, working into my own, unknown-no one to satisfy but myself. I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any color until it was impossible to do what I wanted to do in black and white. I believe it was June before I needed blue.”
  • “Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest.”
  • “Imagination makes you see all sorts of things.”
  • “A week ago it was the mountains I thought the most wonderful, and today it’s the plains. I guess it’s the feeling of bigness in both that carries me away.”
  • “It’s not enough to be nice in life. You’ve got to have nerve.”
  • “I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”
  • “Nothing is less real than realism. Details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things.”
  • “To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”
  • “So I said to myself-I’ll paint what I see-what the flower is to me but I’ll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking the time to look at it-I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.”
  • “When I think of death, I only regret that I will not be able to see this beautiful country anymore unless the Indians are right and my spirit will walk here after I’m gone.”
  • “When people read erotic symbols into my painting, they’re really thinking about their own affairs.”
  • “I don’t see why we ever think of what others think of what we do – no matter who they are. Isn’t it enough just to express yourself?”

This post was last modified on August 31, 2019 11:55 pm

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