Georgia O'Keeffe quotes

  • Filling a space in a beautiful way - that is what art means to me.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Beautiful #Art #Mean

  • Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Life #Beautiful #Art

  • I've been absolutely terrified every moment of my life - and I've never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspirational #Life #Courage

  • I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way - things I had no words for.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspiring #Art #Flower

  • 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

    #Thinking #Things In Life #People

  • The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I'm one of the best painters.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Funny #Women #Thinking

  • When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspirational #Nature #Flower

  • 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

    #Inspirational #Friendship #Time

  • I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Flower #Paint

  • 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

    #Self #Should Have #Vision

  • Imagination makes you see all sorts of things.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Imagination

  • If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for a moment.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Nature #Flower #Garden

  • I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Criticism #Flattery #Drains

  • Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Things In Life #Important #Life Happiness

  • To create one's world in any of the arts takes courage.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspirational #Courage #Art

  • Fill a space in a beautiful way.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Beautiful #Art #Space

  • It's not enough to be nice in life. You've got to have nerve.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Nice #Nerves #Being Nice

  • God told me if I painted that mountain enough, I could have it.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Artist #Mountain #Painting

  • I decided to start anew-to strip away what I had been taught, to accept as true my own thinking. This was one of the best times of my life. There was no one around to look at what I was doing, no one interested, no one to say anything about it one way or another. I was alone and singularly free, working into my own, unknown-no one to satisfy but myself. I began with charcoal and paper and decided not to use any color until it was impossible to do what I wanted to do in black and white. I believe it was June before I needed blue.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Believe #Black And White

  • A week ago it was the mountains I thought the most wonderful, and today it's the plains. I guess it's the feeling of bigness in both that carries me away.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Feelings #Mountain #Today

  • 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

    #Real #Confusing #Details

  • 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

    #Life #Travel #Attitude

  • Happiness goes like the wind, but what is interesting stays.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Happiness #Wind #Interesting

  • 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

    #Color #Shapes #Definite

  • I decided to accept as true my own thinking.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Thinking #Accepting #My Own

  • My painting is what I have to give back to the world for what the world gives to me.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Giving #World #Giving Back

  • I don't see why we ever think of what others think of what we do – no matter who they are. Isn't it enough just to express yourself?
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Thinking #Matter #Enough

  • I've been afraid every single day of my life, but I've gone ahead and done it anyway.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Life #Gone #Done

  • I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only a woman can explore.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Women #Flower #Georgia

  • So 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 the time to look at it-I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Flower #Looks

  • 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

    #Stupid #Want #Fool

  • I want real things ... music that makes holes in the sky.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Real #Sky #Want

  • To make your unknown known - that's the important thing.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Important #Crafts #Important Things

  • When people read erotic symbols into my painting, they're really thinking about their own affairs.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Thinking #People #Erotic

  • Making your unknown known is the important thing - and keeping the unknown always beyond you - catching - crystalizing your simpler clearer vision of life - only to see it turn stale compared to what you vaguely feel ahead - that you must always keep working to grasp.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Vision #Important #Catching

  • You are one of my nicest thoughts.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #

  • Since I cannot sing, I paint.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Artist #Paint

  • The painting is like a thread that runs through all the reasons for all the other things that make one's life.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Running #Painting #Reason

  • The morning is the best time, there are no people around. My pleasant disposition likes the world with nobody in it.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Morning #People #Solitude

  • Artists and religionists are never far apart, they go to the sources of revelation for what they choose to experience and what they report is the degree of their experiences. Intellect wishes to arrange — intuition wishes to accept.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Artist #Intuition #Wish

  • 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

    #People #Reason Why #Dies

  • Dearest - my body is simply crazy with wanting you - If you don't come tomorrow - I don't see how I can wait for you - I wonder if your body wants mine the way mine wants yours - the kisses - the hotness - the wetness - all melting together - the being held so tight that it hurts - the strangle and the struggle.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Hurt #Crazy #Struggle

  • When I think of death, I only regret that I will not be able to see this beautiful country anymore unless the Indians are right and my spirit will walk here after I'm gone.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Beautiful #Country #Regret

  • I'm frightened all the time. But I never let it stop me. Never!
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Frightened

  • In the evening I go up in the desert and spend hours watching the sun go down, just enjoying it, and every day I go out and watch it again. I draw some and there is a little painting and so the days go by.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Watches #Desert #Littles

  • Sun-bleached bones were most wonderful against the blue - that blue that will always be there as it is now after all man's destruction is finished.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Men #Blue #Sun

  • Before I put brush to canvas, I question, 'Is this mine? ...Is it influenced by some idea which I have acquired from some man? ...I am trying with all my skill to do a painting that is all of women, as well as all of me.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Men #Skills #Ideas

  • I hate flowers - I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Hate #Flower

  • The days you work are the best days.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspirational #Art #Flower

  • A flower is relatively small... Still in a way-nobody sees a flower-so I said to myself-I'll paint it big.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Flower #Way #Paint

  • I like an empty wall because I can imagine what I like on it.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Wall #Imagination #Imagine

  • My first memory is of the brightness of light — light all around.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Quilts #Memories #Light

  • A flower touches everyone's heart.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Nature #Flower #Heart

  • 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

    #Sweet #Wall #Ambition

  • I long ago came to the conclusion that even if I could put down accurately the thing 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

    #Art #Long Ago #Giving

  • You get whatever accomplishment you are willing to declare.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspirational #Dream #Motivation

  • One works because I suppose it is the most interesting thing one knows to do. The days one works are the best days. On the other days one is hurrying through the other things one imagines one has to do to keep one's life going.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Interesting #Imagine #Knows

  • I get out my work and have a show for myself before I have it publicly. I make up my own mind about it-how good or bad or indifferent it is. After that, the critics can write what they please. I have already settled it for myself so flattery and criticism go down the same drain and I am quite free.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Writing #Mind #Criticism

  • My center does not come from my mind - it feels in me like a plot of warm moist well tilled earth with the sun shining hot on it... It seems I would rather feel starkly empty than let any thing be planted that cannot be tended to the fullest possibility of its growth.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Shining #Growth #Mind

  • Color is one of the great things in the world that makes life worth living to me and as I have come to think of painting it is my efforts to create an equivalent with paint color for the world, life as I see it.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Thinking #Color #Effort

  • I do not like the idea of happiness - 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 happiness.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Happiness #Ideas #Busy

  • It seems to me very important to the idea of democracy to the country and to the world eventually that all men and women stand equal under the sky.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Country #Men #Sky

  • The simple fact of yourself... there it is... just you... no excitement about it... a very simple fact... the only thing you have... keep it as clear as you can.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Simple #Ego #Facts

  • 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

    #Art #Flower #Fragments

  • I wish people were all trees and I think I could enjoy them then.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Thinking #People #Tree

  • I realized that I had things in my head not like what I had been taught - not like what I had seen - shapes and ideas so familiar to me that it hadn't occurred to me to put them down. I decided to stop painting, to put away everything I had done, and to start to say the things that were my own.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Ideas #Shapes #Taught

  • The bones seem to cut sharply to the center of something that is keenly alive on the desert even tho' it is vast and empty and untouchable... and knows no kindness with all its beauty.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Beauty #Kindness #Cutting

  • One day a hummingbird flew in-- It fluttered against the window til I got it down where I could reach it with an open umbrella-- --When I had it in my hand it was so small I couldn't believe I had it--but I could feel the intense life--so intense and so tiny-- ...You were like the humming bird to me... And I am rather inclined to feel that you and I know the best part of one another without spending much time together-- --It is not that I fear the knowing-- It is that I am at this moment willing to let you be what you are to me--it is beautiful and pure and very intensely alive.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Beautiful #Believe #Hands

  • I look at my work and make up my mind about it. After that, neither flattery nor criticism matters to me.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Writing #Mind #Criticism

  • I like to convey the idea that art is important in everyday life.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Ideas #Everyday

  • The clean clear colours were in my head. But one day as I looked at the brown burned wood of the Shanty, I thought 'I can paint one of those dismal-coloured paintings like the men. I think just for fun I will try - all low-toned and dreary with the tree besides the door.' In my next show, 'The Shanty' went up. The men seemed to approve of it. They seemed to think that maybe I was beginning to paint. That was my only low-toned dismal-coloured painting.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Fun #Men #Thinking

  • Art is a wicked thing. It is what we are.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Wicked #Wicked Things

  • When I found the beautiful white bones in the desert I picked them up and took them home too...I have used these things to say what is to me the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Beautiful #Home #White

  • I have lived on a razors edge. So what if you fall off. I'd rather be doing something I wanted to do. I'd walk it again.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Inspirational #Fall #Creativity

  • There is something so perfect about the mountains and the lake and the trees... sometimes I want to tear it all to pieces.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Lakes #Perfect #Tree

  • I know I can not paint a flower, I can not paint the sun on the desert on a bright summer morning but maybe in terms of paint colour I can convey to you my experience of the flower or the experience that makes the flower of significance to me at that particular time.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Summer #Morning #Flower

  • I know now that most people are so closely concerned with themselves that they are not aware of their own individuality, I can see myself, and it has helped me to say what I want to say in paint.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Flower #People

  • 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

    #Flower #Artist #People

  • If one could only reproduce nature, and always with less beauty than the original, why paint at all?
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Paint #Originals #Ifs

  • 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 tree. It is lines and colors put together so that they may say something.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Color #Tree

  • I have a single track mind. I work on an idea for a long time. It's like getting acquainted with a person, and I don't get acquainted easily.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Ideas #Long #Track

  • I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at - not copy it.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #Flower #Copies

  • 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

    #Understanding #Feelings #Trying

  • I always have a curious sort of feeling about some of my things - I hate to show them - I am perfectly inconsistent about it - I am afraid people won't understand - and I hope they won't - and am afraid they will.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Hate #People #Feelings

  • One can't paint New York as it is, but rather as it is felt.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Art #New York #Flower

  • School and things that painters have taught me even keep me from painting as I want to. I decided I was a very stupid fool not to be 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. I found that I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn't say in any other way things that I had no words for.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Stupid #School #Shapes

  • I'd been taught to paint like other people, and I thought, what's the use? I couldn't do any better than they, or even as well. I was just adding to the brushpile. So I quit.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #People #Use #Taught

  • My first memory is of the brightness of light ... light all around. I was sitting among pillows on a quilt on the ground ... very large white pillows.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Quilts #Memories #White

  • I decided to start anew, to strip away what I had been taught.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Letting Go #Flower #Learning

  • Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Mean #Expression #Voice

  • Singing has always seemed to me the most perfect means of expression. It is so spontaneous. And after singing, I think the violin. Since I cannot sing, I paint.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Flower #Mean #Thinking

  • You write about my flower as if I think and see what you think and see of the flower - and I don't.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Flower #Writing #Thinking

  • Marks on paper are free - free speech - press - pictures all go together I suppose.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Flower #Freedom Of Speech #Together

  • I often lay on that bench looking up into the tree, past the trunk and up into the branches. It was particularly fine at night with the stars above the tree.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Stars #Flower #Past

  • Now and then when I get an idea for a picture, I think, how ordinary. Why paint that old rock? Why not go for a walk instead? But then I realise that to someone else it may not seem so ordinary.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Thinking #Rocks #Ideas

  • He wanted head and hands and arms on a pillow - in many different positions. I was asked to move my hands in many different ways - also my head - and I had to turn this way and that. There were nudes that might have been of several different people - sitting - standing - even standing upon the radiator against the window - that was difficult - radiators don't intend you to stand on top of them. (On being photographed by Alfred Stieglitz)
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Moving #Hands #People

  • It was all so far away - there was quiet and an untouched feel to the country and I could work as I pleased.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Country #Flower #Quiet

  • Whether the flower or the color is the focus I do not know. I do know the flower is painted large to convey my experience with the flower - and what is my experience if it is not the color?
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Flower #Color #Focus

  • His letters ... have been like fine cold water when you are terribly thirsty.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Water #Letters #Cold

  • I decided I was a very stupid fool not to at least paint as I wanted to.
    -- Georgia O'Keeffe

    #Stupid #Fool #Paint