Artistic Inspiration Day

 March 11, 2010
Posted by Cindy

I’ve been caught up in finishing a commission piece for the past couple of weeks and I don’t want to spoil the surprise for my client by posting here, so that’s why I’ve been uncharacteristically silent about what I’ve been up to lately.

I’ve decided to take advantage of the fact that I live near a city with wonderful museums for artistic inspiration. So last weekend my husband and I spent a wonderful Saturday afternoon visiting an exhibit by one of my favorite artists, Georgia O’Keefe. The Phillips Collection in Washington DC is showing her abstract works in a fabulous setting. Georgia O’Keefe: Abstractions includes about 100 paintings and drawings from the artist’s long career, ranging from the early charcoals that initially caught the eye of Alfred Stieglitz, to the wonderfully simplified paintings of clouds and doors she completed late in life.

I didn’t take pictures at the exhibit, so my picture here is a poster that I have in my house. This painting is in the exhibit and it’s one of my favorites. I’ve been fascinated with O’Keefe since I was an art history student in college, but the work that particularly attracts me is not her famous flower paintings, but the abstract work featured in this exhibit. She is able to distill the essence of her experience with a few simple lines, shapes and dramatic use of color–exactly what I am trying to do in fiber, although I have a long way to go.

It’s exciting and inspiring to see this work up close and in person. I’ve had the opportunity recently to revisit the Matisse cutouts and the Alexander Calder sculptures at the National Gallery and to experience a dramatic exhibit of the paintings of some of the Washington Color School artists, like Morris Louis, Ellsworth Kelly and Kenneth Noland. These are the artists who speak to me. Even though I’ve seen the work before, sometimes many times, there’s always something new to learn. Take a trip to visit the work of your favorite artist and see!