Oil on Canvas Painting by Georgia O’keeffe, Blue Sky 1941

Published: 2021-06-29 06:41:15
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Oil on Canvas painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, Blue Sky 1941 (36 1/8 x 16 1/16 in.) Response PaperRecently I stood in front of Georgia O’Keeffe’s painting of Blue Sky.  I’ve always been pulled in to her paintings of flowers.  That is the style of hers that I have always been most familiar.  Blue Sky, on display at the Worcester Art Museum caught my attention, as familiar, but different.  I have often recognized her works of enlarged flowers, bright colors, and smooth strokes of paint, or other materials. I believe this painting was completed while O’Keeffe was in New Mexico.  I believe it to be a bright visual of a sunny day on the hills and mountains.  The crisp blue color is smooth, with not a cloud in the depicted sky.  The hills have a bright whitish color that displays the idea of a bright sun casting directly on them.  The smooth shadows support this.  The splashes of a burnt sienna color, show dimension as well as life in the color of the rocks, not entirely bleached out by the bright desert sun. At this time in Georgia’s life, she began spending more time in New Mexico.  Her husband was having a very public affair.  She felt embarrassed and spent a time not even painting.  This may have been a time when she started painting again.  Georgia may have looked to the endless sky and felt helpless, or she may have felt strong.  This painting was not among her most popular, but it was followed by similar styled paintings, of New Mexican frontier.  Blue Sky is a very serene painting.  Though definitive lines create the hills with jagged edges, they are given a soft, sweeping look.  All sharp edges blend into the surrounding colors, and it’s as if there are no lines at all, except the peaks of the rock’s edges throughout the hillside of the mountain.  Blue Sky demonstrates what you may see at a glance.  If you were to walk through the hills, and gaze and the beautiful and bright blue sky, you many see this moment only briefly. Georgia captures that moment, and freezes it.  It’s as if you have to slow down in life to appreciate it, like so many things.  This painting puts it right in front of you to do this.  To stop, and take in the beauty. This painting differed from painting of the time.  Abstract Expressionism was a popular form of art of the 1940’s and often displayed bold colors, or lines.  Artist expressed themselves with a flair of lines, designs, and colors.  Sometimes geometric shapes created an intricate design of bold lines, while in others lines were definitive yet blurred.  Other paintings may have been of people or sculptures of items creating art to truly ponder on.  Georgia, at the time, had art of her own.  She took nature, and enlarged it in an unthought-of of way.  She began with the flowers, and then carried the idea to other parts of nature like hills, bones, rocks, and some other forms of landscape.  

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