The Wisdom of Georgia O’Keeffe

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“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing–and keeping the unknown always beyond you.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing that I wanted to do.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“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

 

“I think it’s so foolish for people to want to be happy. Happy is so momentary–you’re happy for an instant and then you start thinking again. Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“I can’t live where I want to, I can’t go where I want to go, 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.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“To create one’s own world takes courage.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“I decided to accept as true my own thinking.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“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

 

“It’s not enough to be nice in life. You’ve got to have nerve.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“I often painted fragments of things because it seemed to make my statement as well as or better than the whole could.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“Someone else’s vision will never be as good as your own vision of your self. Live and die with it ’cause in the end it’s all you have. Lose it and you lose yourself and everything else. I should have listened to myself.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“The unexplainable thing in nature that makes me feel the world is big fat beyond my understanding – to understand maybe by trying to put it into form. To find the feeling of infinity on the horizon line or just over the next hill.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe, Some Memories of Drawings

 

“Anyone with any degree of mental toughness ought to be able to exist without the things they like most for a few months at least.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“You paint from your subject, not what you see…I rarely paint anything I don’t know very well. It was surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or tree cannot make a good painting just because it is a hill or a tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they say something. For me that is the very basis of painting. The abstraction is often the most definite form for the intangible thing in myself that I can only clarify in paint.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“I do not like the idea of happyness — it is too momentary — I would say that I was always busy and interested in something — interest has more meaning to me than the idea of happyness.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

 

“It is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things.”

― Georgia O’Keeffe

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