Georgia Contemplates Tea and Autumnal Quietude

Daily Draw March 7th, 2012

While re-reading one of my books on Georgia O’Keeffe, they kept mentioning Georgia’s devotion to The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura, written in English in 1906 and still in-print today.

GOK was not into expensive possessions and material splendour, and I think this book was a big influence on her in that regard. It was certainly a big influence on her regarding flowers, as there is a whole chapter about flowers in the book.

You can download it from Project Gutenberg but I have trouble with my eyes reading online, so I ordered a very inexpensive paperback Dover reprint edition for $4. My Dad sends me a bit of money in February for savings, but I like to take a bit out to buy uplifting books.

And to go with that today I shall draw yet another card from the Georgia O’Keeffe Oracle.

Lake George, Autumn; 1927
Oil on canvas
17 x 32 inches

The colours on the card are not quite accurate (the danger of home inkjet printers) because the original has more blue in the water and deep red in the hills. It’s more rugged, not as soft looking as this. However, this is the card as I have it.

Georgia O’Keefe really liked Lake George, but her husband’s family was a large one and there were always people around, which she found overwhelming. She liked to stay later in the autumn to paint, I think in part because she got more quiet time and privacy with less people around, and she was then able to concentrate and allow the season to inspire her.

It was around this time that she and Stieglitz started to have serious marital problems. What strikes me is that amid all that and the familial interference, she persevered at Lake George. That says a lot about her need for land and the natural world to create and feel peace. Eventually she found the land of New Mexico, but she really investigated and drew and painted every aspect of Lake George before that.

I was feeling off yesterday because of something I ate. I was a little off-colour like this card! I seem to have a greater sensitivity to food these days, and need my quiet teas and plain food to feel my best. I am also reminded of my own need for nature and how it can dispel the discomfort and upset of life.


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