Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Ridiculous

Other than a short but satisfying photoshoot for a very small work, last weekend held little to do with quilting. But during a visit to the Art Institute of Chicago, among many, many masterpieces, we happened upon Sky above Clouds IV, painted by Georgia O'Keefe when she was 77 years old. This painting is one in a series based on her experiences as an airplane passenger during the 1950s.


Georgia herself said about the painting, "I painted a painting eight feet high and twenty-four feet wide—it kept me working every minute from six a.m. till eight or nine at night as I had to be finished before it was cold—I worked in the garage and it had no heat—Such a size is of course ridiculous but I had it in my head as something I wanted to do for a couple of years so I finally got at it and had a fine time—and there it is—Not my best and not my worst."

I have had a similar sentiment about my own work now and then - not my best, not my worst, but I just had to do it. I love those pieces as much, I think, as I do my "bests." The strength of the compulsion surrounding those works seems to be an invisible element - something you or I alone can sense in our own work. And something about that adds to their overall beauty in a way that cannot be explained. I find something really profound about that, inexplicable as it may be.

10 comments:

  1. That is why art is wonderful! It gives you the creator an emotion that keeps moving. And then a viewer comes along who picks up on that emotion to keep the emotion moving, this is such a great post! If you're ever in Santa Fe you should visit the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. My favorite part was the sketches she did that you rarely hear about as her paintings receive so much attention.

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  2. I love this post. You always bring such thoughtfulness into your posts and give something to mull over. Thanks!

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  3. Very good post. I love reading what you have to say. It always invokes thoughts that I need to ponder.

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  4. Thank you for Your wonderful words.

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  5. thank you for sharing this ~ it reaffirms my recent thoughts that every quilt does not have to be a masterpiece, my thoughts are now, just create, because I want to! (not that I produce masterpieces, but sometimes I strive for too much perfection)

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  6. Beautifully that you wrote! Also I have several of these works, which are not beautiful in the classic sense of the word, but I had to sew them and very very much like them. Thank you for this post and greetings from Poland

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  7. Truly the basis of creating...thanks for sharing the painting - 8x24- WOW and your thoughts.

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  8. I find I need trips to art galleries and museums in order to gain perspective on my creations, as well as to take a much-needed break from my own work. I love your post, and the idea of sometimes you just have to make the work, just because, even if it is not a home run. Thank you for this insight!

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  9. I shared this post with a very dear friend and we both find the object lesson from Georgia O'Keefe and yourself heartening. not all we do is considered the best, but the enjoyment of the accomplishment is a reward of its own. Kathy mc

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  10. Yes! I totally agree, Debbie.

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