Georgia O’Keefe, Music and Time Moving On

Today I was challenged to free write for 15 minutes and I was to come up with the stimulus.  I tend to get particularly inspired by song lyrics and the song I had been listening to was Radiohead’s ‘Thinking of You’ and had researched potential song meanings, with varied results as with those ambiguous songs.  The person completing the challenge with me wasn’t familiar with the song, so, sticking to Radiohead I chose ‘Creep’ as our starting point.  My writing streamed elements of thoughts I had when I first started listening to the song as a teen.  Music as that power of preserving the memory of a feeling so well.  I felt I could write faster than I could think and the pressure to keep writing and think of something interesting to say made me fall back on already formulated thoughts which I adjusted in accordance with the prompt.

This same day I had attended the Georgia O’Keefe exhibition at the Tate Modern.  O’Keefe being the main artist I studied at school.  One thing I remember learning about her paintings were how big her impressions of flowers were.  It encouraged me to use bigger and bigger canvases.  The inspiration of her brushwork and colour schemes developed a style in me, which seeps into my work 10 years later.  One of the glories I found in the exhibition was the stand alone nature of her works.  As fascinating as the curatorial commentary was there was so much less conceptual guess work than so many artists.  The pieces were aesthetically delightful and appealed on a visual level, feeding the theoretical gently.  Her interest in synaesthesia, (the stimulation of one sense by another) led me to revisit some graphic scores I had used to inspire a painting.


Nobody sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t the time – and to see takes time… 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 time to look at it.

10400938_45404182288_1271_nTenYears ago I produced these two copies of a Georgia O’Keefe still life, one in pastel, one in paint.

I began to contemplate how much had changed in the past decade and more specifically what had changed?  This led to the question: what would I have wanted to have changed? What role do the senses have in what I experience and what is filtered by the mind?


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