Friday, November 21, 2014


Yesterday morning in Sotheby’s New York auction of American Art,

Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic flower painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 sold for a remarkable $44,405,000 – more than three times the previous world auction record for any female artist.

DH and I visited Santa Fe last summer and saw several of O’Keefee’s paintings there. However, we didn’t stop by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; mostly because I honestly don’t care that much for her work. Even now I think the price is a bit much, although it pleases me that a lady artist’s work is finally selling in the same price range as, say, Norman Rockwell who’s painting, Saying Grace, sold for 46 million last year.

I do admire O’Keefee’s skill in making a common plant like Jimson Weed, aka loco weed, look so amazing.

Locoweed or hells bells--For centuries has been used as a herbal medicine to relieve asthma symptoms and as an analgesic during surgery or bonesetting. It is also powerful hallucinogen and deliriant, which is used spiritually for the intense visions it produces.

While we were exploring New Mexico we spent a few days in Taos. I loved the colors of the landscape and the skies. I’m jealous of the many artists who make that area their home.

Taos Mountain is the big landmark there.

O’Keeffe painted Taos Mountain during her second summer in New Mexico. In this painting as in others, O’Keeffe kept the integrity of the landscape but she rounded its contours, compacted its space, and intensified its colors with a palette of greens and soft violets.

After her second season in the Southwest, she wrote to a friend, “The Mountain calls one and the desert—and the sagebrush—the country seems to call one in a way that one has to answer it.”

She is so right. My answer is this painting I’ve named, Pinto. I made it using reference photos taken during an evening drive we took through the countryside just south and west of town. The sunset turned the shadows to purples which contrasted so nicely with the apricot orange and ochers of the hills.

And the sky. New Mexico skies can have stunning gigantic clouds which take on the hues of the landscape. They become even more amazing at sunset.

And I couldn’t resist adding some grazing ponies to finish up my composition.

Georgia O’ Keefee died in 1986. Maybe after I’m dead for a couple of decades my work will sell for a few dollars more.

This painting and more are for sale here.


Anonymous said...

You never know.

fishducky said...

Many things are worth a try--but not THAT!!

Alica said...

I don't know much about the monetary value of art, but I love your watercolors! :)

Leenie said...

Fishducky: I don't expect to check out for another thirty years so buying my stuff with hopes for a big return would most likely be a long-range investment. ;D

Buttons Thoughts said...

Oh your incredible work is so worth that. Don't rush to the big bucks if you have to be dead. I would miss you:):) Hug B:):) I LOVE LOVE Pinto.

Joanne Noragon said...

Remember, she had some serious backing in Stiegleiff. I do like her work.

Val said...

Gotta love the Pinto.

Carla said...

I never understood how GO'K became so famous. She has some interesting work, but it doesn't appeal to me.
As Buttons said---"don't rush to the big buck if you have to be dead...." We like you and your beautiful work alive and well!

Terry and Linda said...

I love your work!


Geo. said...

You have such a remarkable skill.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, Leenie. Your artistry never ceases to amaze me. Love that Pinto painting.

esbboston said...

I think jimson weed blooms are great, we have several in our neighborhood on purpose as decorative plants on purpose.