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Petunia No 2

Petunia No 2

Petunia No 2

From 1918 to 1934, O’Keeffe and her husband, famed American photographer Alfred Stieglitz, spent parts of the years on Stieglitz’s family estate on Lake George, a 36-acre property that served as a rural refuge for the artistic duo. During this decade and a half, O’Keeffe is reported to have created over 200 paintings, 55 of which are on view at Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George. From botanical portraits to abstract landscapes, the works give a glimpse into the summers and falls O’Keeffe spent in northern New York. Her familiar petunia paintings sit next to her sprawling mountain scenes, pieces that at first glance seem to represent purely enthusiastic feelings toward Lake George Village. But a deeper delve into the collection presents tangled tree-scapes and swirling, kaleidoscopic imagery that evokes the tenser moments of the couples’ stay in the Adirondacks. They were, of course... [https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/05/modern-nature-georgia-oke_n_4044942.html]

Petunia

via GIPHY

O’Keeffe began working in oils in late 1918, and Petunia, No. 2 was her first large-scale flower painting. And it is large-scale, measuring 76.2cm by 91.44cm. At the time, O’Keeffe is recorded as saying “nobody really sees a flower – really – it is so small – we haven’t time – and to see takes time… 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 time to look at it.” It is displayed today at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the town where she lived and worked, and which inspired much of her art, for many years. Incidentally, some of O’Keeffe’s flowers may appear a tad… suggestive. O’Keeffe herself always maintained that this was unintentional. In other words, if you see anything other than flowers you have a dirty mind. Georgia O’Keeffe was captured by the nature of her garden on her lover's estate around lake George around the 1920s. She planted flowers, that had been grown there, her first large-scale painting was of blue and purple petunias. O'Keeffe wanted to focus on the colors, hues, and textures that she personally interprets from the flower. By magnifying the petunia, she tried to create the essence of the flower and its value into nature, to make people stop observe what we often overlook.

Tweedie traveled though Argentina and introduced new plants to Europe, which included the original wild petunia. Eventually, the petunia made its way to the United States where the hybrid petunia as we know today was developed. The first hybridization of petunias was done by a Mrs. Thomas Gould of California in the late 1800's. Mrs. Thomas Gould had established the first large flowered forms in the California Giant strains and where they are still in cultivation as late as 1980.The Petunia's origin is from South America, belonging to the nightshade family, the petunia is closely related with tobacco, tomatoes, potatoes and chili peppers! In Ancient times, the Mayan and Incas had thought that the petunia would chase away the underworlds monsters and spirits, they also felt that the petunia would only thrive in a place with positive energy. (Source: thebotanisthistorian.myportfolio.com)

 

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