Color Me Happy: Quick Bite Reboot

Dear Readers – We’re kicking off Women’s History Month with an up close and personal look at the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe. Please enjoy this Quick Bite reboot of Color Me Happy, originally posted on May 1, 2020.

Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re diving headfirst into a whimsical wave of color. Series I-No. 3 (1918) by Georgia O’Keeffe features a lush, multi-colored swirl that brings to mind candy canes and lollipops. Its Willy Wonka vibe conjures up a world of pure imagination.

Color is one of the great things in the world that makes life worth living to me.
~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Fellow native cheese head, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986), was born near Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. The second of seven children, O’Keeffe grew up in a household that emphasized education. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago’s School of Art and the Art Students League in New York.

After receiving her degree, O’Keeffe bounced around the country, working as a commercial artist in Chicago for several years, and subsequently teaching art in South Carolina and Texas. Eventually, O’Keeffe returned to New York to pursue art fulltime. In 1929, she took her first trip to New Mexico and her love affair with the desolate landscape began. For the next 20 years, O’Keeffe returned every summer to paint, until she bought her own place in 1949. Over her 70-year career, O’Keeffe’s portfolio has ranged from abstract sketches to colorful blooms. If you’d like to view more of her work, click on this Georgia O’Keeffe link, courtesy of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.

O’Keeffe claimed color and form helped her express deep emotions. What do you think she was feeling when she painted Series I-No. 3? O’Keeffe created this colorful work the same year she left her teaching job and moved to New York to paint full time.

Words and I are not good friends.
~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Fun Colorful Fact:  Color has the power to affect our mood, whether we’re downtrodden and blue, red with anger or feeling pretty in pink. Color is also symbolic, but its meaning can vary among different cultures. For example, depending on where you live, the color green can be a symbol of national pride, eco-friendliness, fertility, or adultery. To learn more about the power of color in art and culture, click on this Museum Bites: Blank Canvas link.

That concludes our look at Georgia O’Keeffe and the impact of color. I’m off next week for Spring Break, but I’ll be back in two weeks with more Museum Quick Bites. Until then be safe, be kind and take care 🙂

 Cover photo by Alexandr Ivanov, courtesy of Pixabay.


Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Milwaukee Art Museum: Series I-No. 3 (1918)

Museum Bites: Blank Canvas


The Art Story: Georgia O’Keeffe

Whitney Museum of American Art: Georgia O’Keeffe

Wikimedia Commons

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