INFLUENCES: Georgia Okeeffe - Why Has This Artist Impacted So Many People?


Well, that's a very good question, isn't it?

Speaking, from my own experience, Georgia has had a big impact on my work in different ways. Initially, I was attracted to her bold compositions and colour not to mention her unusual rendering of many subjects and when I look at my own work now, I see that influence lingering, for example, in the way I have chosen to explore the peony flower, from underneath. Even my latest painting of a completely different subject is still looking through, under and beneath the object I am painting. It took me a long time though, to recognise her influence in the way that I choose subject matter now.

Shimmering Strength

I believe that as artists we are like sponges, we go around sucking up things that Delight us and then in the mix of our own creative process those things are squeeze back out into our own interpretation of whatever it is we have chosen to paint.


Something else that really caught my imagination, respect, awe and wonder about this artist, is the way in which she deliberately chose to be an artist. She never had children and was very independent, particularly for a woman during the times in which she lived. I love the way she would go off to the desert for months at a time to follow her creative calling. Something I have never managed to do.... I envy the courage it took in doing these things. She truly lived her art and developed a very clear way of expressing her vision. I cannot compare myself to her anyway as I would come up incredibly lacking, rather I choose to look at what she did accomplish, to be an inspiration to me. She showed me not only what is possible but also what is achievable.




I think one of the lessons that can be garnered from her life is her great determination. It was not all easy for her, like anyone else she had setbacks and stormy relationships. Like many of us as a creator, she battled with doubt much of her life as well. I believe that for women in particular she is so iconic because she rose above the strictures of her day and became a living legend. This is something that even a lot of the male painters of the day didn't manage to achieve. She, therefore, stands out like a beacon, calling us to dig deep into our own creative resources, not only in terms of choosing what to paint but also in terms of marketing ourselves and sharing our gift with the world.



Her legacy demands that we be courageous, and dig deep in our own art practices. Be not afraid of what others will think, do or say about where our work takes us. Be an artist on the cutting edge, unafraid to share your vision with the world, as she did.


So in finishing I will follow my own advice and post a painting I did a couple of years ago now, which was painted very intuitively and which I have hesitated to share very widely for fear of what others might think, do or say about it. Be brave - you never know where that might lead you............


Pure Joy

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