Making My Known Known

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant…! Making your own known known is the important thing. —Georgia O’Keeffe

Artists and Writers

Artists often admire writers and writers sometimes venerate artists. One artist that I appreciate is Georgia O’Keeffe. If I am not sending cards from my husband’s art collection, I choose postcards or greeting cards of her paintings to send to friends and family. My trips to New Mexico introduced me to the wide-open skies, colors, and solitude that she loved and that I first experienced through her work. When I visited Ghost Ranch the vista before my eyes revealed the reality of her choices for tone and drama. Even so, it was reading her biographies, particularly Roxana Robinson’s Georgia O’Keeffe: A Life, that led to my fascination with her artistic mind—which the French call one’s “imaginaire.”

Quotes and Ideas

Throughout my life, I have collected quotes from publications I enjoy. My note file includes several of O’Keeffe’s statements on self and creativity, such as the one quoted in my tagline above. Despite the fact that “success” was not her goal, she succeeded admirably. Her self-exploration and her desire to express her artistic vision inspired her to get up in the morning and go into her studio to paint. She disdained art critics. When she stated, “I don’t mind it being pretty,” it seemed to be a retort to them specifically. I agreed when she said, “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.”

From the Real to the Created

Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings are evidence that she did succeed in selecting subjects, did reduce her images to focus on the necessary, and did expose the stark beauty of genuine phenomena. This process allowed her to make her “known” known. Through this blog and through my creative work, I hope to select, eliminate, emphasize, and write as beautifully as she paints. My aspiration is to come to know my own known—my own “imaginaire” and communicate the significance of the individuals whose stories I write.

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