Between 1929 and 1949, Georgia O'Keeffe spent part of nearly every year commuting from New York City to work on her paintings in New Mexico. Georgia continued to commute until, at the age of 63, she moved to New Mexico where her beloved Ghost Ranch became her primary
residence. She purchased the property from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1945, after attempting to buy it for 10 years. The house in Abiquiu became her primary residence in 1951.
While living in New York, she often talked about her fondness for Ghost Ranch and Northern New Mexico, as in 1943, when she explained in an interview: "Such a beautiful, untouched lonely feeling place, such a fine part of what I call the 'Faraway'. It is a place I have painted before . . . even now I must do it again.”
Georgia O'Keeffe’s home and studio (Ghost Ranch) is a site significant for its architecture. She collected rocks and bones from the desert floor and made them and the distinctive architectural and landscape forms of the area subjects in her work.
Georgia O'Keeffe became increasingly frail in her late 90s. She moved to Santa Fe in 1984, where she died on March 6, 1986, at the age of 98. In accordance with her wishes, she was cremated and her ashes were scattered to the wind at the top of the Pedernal Mountain, over her beloved "Faraway".
I adapted my composition for this painting from a black-and-white photograph of one wing of the main house at Ghost Ranch. In the original photograph Georgia O’Keeffe is shown climbing down the ladder, which is leaning
against the portal. Rather than include her image, I have chosen to let her “spirit” be part of this painting. I have also interpreted the infusion of “energies” everywhere she might have looked – from the
larger-than-life Violet, whose “petals” surround the Coyote Moon, illuminating
the starry night time sky; to the vibrant Mountain Asters and “saffron-colored”
Chamisa, which bejewel the High Desert terrain.
My next painting is my homage to Georgia O’Keeffe titled “Reluctant
Godmother.” It is the 4th of my paintings of the icons of Santa Fe for The Santa Fauve Collection.