Those of you who follow OTR Book Club know that I have just completed reading Portrait of an Artist: A Biography of Georgia O’Keeffe by Laurie Lisle. Georgia O’Keeffe is considered to be one of America’s most original and brilliant painters. Born in 1887, she lived to the grand age of 98 and left a legacy that continues to inspire new generations of artists.
I do not consider myself an artist, but I am grateful to those who share their creative genius with the world at large. I chose this biography for several reasons, the primary being to gain a greater understanding of how an artist thinks, feels, and acts as they follow their artistic journey. I was curious about how a woman, who lived at the turn of the 20th century, was defined within a circle that was dominated by a male perspective. Simone de Beauvior once said, “One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius; and the feminine situation has up to the present rendered this becoming practically impossible.” While most women of her age were focused on the everyday tasks of home and child-rearing, Georgia O’Keeffe chose her art above all. And then there is the matter of time. Does creative energy wane or does it ignite with the passage of years? Are there periods of doubt, insight, transformation, and renewal?
I have finished the biography, yet I want to review my notes and thoughts in future posts. Georgia O’Keeffe’s commitment to her vision, her art and her life has given me a new perspective on art and courage.
“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”