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Georgia O'Keeffe

"I know I am unreasonable about people but there are so many wonderful people whom I can't take the time to know."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Anita Pollitzer, "That's Georgia," Saturday Review (1950)

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"I like an empty wall because I can imagine what I like on it."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Anita Pollitzer, "That's Georgia," Saturday Review (1950)

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"I hate flowers -- I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in The New York Herald Tribune (1954)

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"I don't very much enjoy looking at paintings in general. I know too much about them. I take them apart."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Alexander Fried, "An Artist of Her Own School," San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle (1971)

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"The meaning of a word -- to me -- is not as exact as the meaning of a color. Colors and shapes make a more definite statement than words."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"My first memory is of the brightness of light -- light all around."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"...even if I could put down accurately the thing that I saw and enjoyed, it would not give the observer the kind of feeling it gave me. I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at -- not copy it."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"I have painted portraits that to me are almost photographic. I remember hesitating to show the paintings, they looked so real to me. But they have passed into the world as abstractions -- no one seeing what they are."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"... 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 -- I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"... I ... found myself saying to myself -- I can't live where I want to -- I can't go where I want to -- I can't do what I want to -- I can't even say what I want to. ... I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to and say what I wanted to when I painted as that seemed to be the only thing I could do that didn't concern anybody but myself ..."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"...to create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"... we would see a long line of cattle like black lace against the sunset sky."

Georgia O'Keeffe, Georgia O'Keeffe (1976)

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"Happiness goes like the wind, but what is interesting stays."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Eleanor Munro, Originals: American Women Artists (1979)

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"God told me if I painted that mountain enough, I could have it."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Laurie Lisle, Portrait of an Artist (1980)

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"I see no reason for painting anything that can be put into any other form as well."

Georgia O'Keeffe, 1930, in Laurie Lisle, Portrait of an Artist (1980)

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"Nothing is less real than realism -- details are confusing. It is only by selection, by elimination, by emphasis, that we get at the real meaning of things."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Laurie Lisle, Portrait of an Artist (1980)

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"The days one works are the best days."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Lisa Mintz Messinger, Georgia O'Keeffe (1984)

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"... in a way -- nobody sees a flower -- really -- it is so small -- we haven't time -- and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

Georgia O'Keeffe, "Horizons of a Pioneer," in Life (1968)

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"War is killing the individual in it unless he has learned livingness -- if he had it he wouldn't be a good soldier."

Georgia O'Keeffe, 1917, in Jack Cowart and Juan Hamilton, eds., Georgia O'Keeffe: Art and Letters (1987)

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"I feel there is something unexplored about women that only a woman can explore."

Georgia O'Keeffe, 1925, in Jack Cowart and Juan Hamilton, eds., Georgia O'Keeffe: Art and Letters (1987)

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"That nervous energy that makes people like you and I want and go after everything in the world -- bump our heads on all the hard walls and scratch our hands on all the briars -- but it makes living great -- doesn't it -- I'm glad I want everything in the world -- good and bad -- bitter and sweet -- I want it all and a lot of it too --"

Georgia O'Keeffe, letter to Anita Pollitzer (1915), in Clive Giboire, ed., Lovingly, Georgia (1990)

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"...I believe an artist is the last person in the world who can afford to be affected."

Georgia O'Keeffe, letter to Anita Pollitzer (1915), in Clive Giboire, ed., Lovingly, Georgia (1990)

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"It always seems to me that so few people live -- they just seem to exist and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't live always -- til we die physically ..."

Georgia O'Keeffe, letter to Anita Pollitzer (1915), in Clive Giboire, ed., Lovingly, Georgia (1990)

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"... his letters ... have been like fine cold water when you are terribly thirsty ..."

Georgia O'Keeffe, letter to Anita Pollitzer (1916), in Clive Giboire, ed., Lovingly, Georgia (1990)

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"I don't know what Art is but I know some things it isn't when I see them."

Georgia O'Keeffe, letter to Anita Pollitzer (1917), in Clive Giboire, ed., Lovingly, Georgia (1990)

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"Art is a wicked thing. It is what we are."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Benita Eisler, O'Keeffe and Stieglitz: An American Romance (1992)

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"I found things I could say with color and shapes that I couldn't say in any other way ... things I had no words for."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Shirley Glubok, Painting: Great Lives (1994)

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"A flower touches everyone's heart."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Shirley Glubok, Painting: Great Lives (1994)

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"I realized that were I to paint flowers small, no one would look at them because I was unknown. So I thought I'll make them big, like the huge buildings going up. People will be startled; they'll have to look at them -- and they did."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Eric Maisel, Fearless Creating (1995)

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"The morning is the best time, there are no people around. My pleasant disposition likes the world with nobody in it."

Georgia O'Keeffe, "Horizons of a Pioneer," in Life (1968)

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"Since I cannot sing, I paint."

Georgia O'Keeffe, "Austere Stripper," in Time (1946)

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"Filling a space in a beautiful way -- that is what art means to me."

Georgia O'Keeffe, in Art News (1997)

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"When I began to paint flowers, I was sure nobody would pay attention. So I thought, I'll make them big and they'll pay attention ..."

Georgia O'Keeffe, "Horizons of a Pioneer," in Life (1968)

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Georgia O'Keeffe, U.S. artist
(1887 - 1986)

Full name: Georgia Totto O’Keeffe.