The Flower Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe

The Flower Paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O’Keeffe was a modern-day fine artist of flower oil paintings born in Wisconsin in 1887. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago in 1905-1906 and at the Art Students League, New York (1907–1908). During her art career, she became one of America’s distinguished female artists. O’Keeffe revolutionized modern art with her paintings of nature. Many consider her the “Mother of American Modernism.”

O’Keeffe’s favorite subject to paint was the flower. She seemed to like the calla lily, poppy, canna, iris, petunia, and jimson weed the most when it came to flowers. O’Keeffe frequently painted flora in large-format paintings with enlarged close-up views of flower blossoms. This close-up perspective gave the viewer a sense of looking at the blossom under magnification. Georgia O’Keeffe chose this approach because she believed no one really looks at flowers. Her large-format paintings would require the viewer to take a real look at flowers.

During her lifetime, Georgia O’Keeffe painted many flower paintings. Some of her more well-known floral masterpieces include “Black Iris,” “Blue Morning Glories,” “Jimson Weed,” “Oriental Poppies,” and “Red Canna.”

Flower Paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe

Some of her most loved flower paintings include:

Black Iris (1926)
black iris flower painting by georgia o'keeffeO’Keeffe’s famous irises were an important preoccupation for many years; she favored the black iris, which she could only find at particular New York florists for about two weeks each spring. The flower’s enlargements and abstractions have frequently been interpreted in gynecological terms. O’Keeffe, on the other hand, rejects the idea that her flowers are sexual metaphors, believing that this is something that is generated by the observer, who assigns his own connections to the works, not hers.

Blue Morning Glories (1935)
blue morning glories painting by georgia o'keeffeThis oil painting features a close-up of blue morning glory flowers and is one of the most popular paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe. The colors are brilliantly used, giving the painting a vibrant and bright appearance. This picture is an example of O’Keeffe’s Precisionism style, which he was well-known for. The flower portrayed has been enlarged in size, and the colors utilized used are even more enchanting.

Jimson Weed (1936)
jimson weed flower painting by georgia o'keeffeThis oil painting depicts a large blossom of jimson weed, or datura, and is part of a series of paintings O’Keeffe did of this plant. She was immensely fond of jimson weed, and ignoring its toxicity; she allowed it to flourish around her patio. O’Keeffe paid tribute to the bloom in this painting, originally entitled Miracle Flower.

Oriental Poppies (1928)
oriental poppies by georgia o'keeffeThis painting depicts two giant poppy flowers. The original painting measures 30″ x 40″ and is an explosion of brilliant colors on a vast canvas, creating a mesmerizing effect. The petals were painted in dazzling reds and oranges, with a deep purple center and inner contours. There is no background to this painting that artfully draws focus onto the flowers.

Red Canna (1924)
red canna by georgia o'keeffeThis painting depicts a red canna flower. O’Keeffe composed it using abstract patterns derived from nature and defined using restrained brushwork. The vivid and bright colors that were so beautifully chosen evoke an energetic and natural vitality while uniquely complementing each other. One of the main features that make this painting fabulous is the intense red and orange hues subtly changing into pearly whites.

The flower paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe are a favorite of Teresa Bernard. If you enjoyed these floral paintings, you would want to check out more fine art paintings in this genre of art. See Flower Oil Paintings by Teresa Bernard.

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The Flower Paintings of Vincent van Gogh

The Flower Paintings of Vincent van Gogh
Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

Vincent van Gogh was a Dutch-born impressionist and post-impressionist artist. In his lifetime Van Gogh painted a lot of paintings. Among these were still lifes depicting flowers. Van Gogh loved nature, and flowers offered him the opportunity to portray nature at its best. He often used ordinary flowers that grew in the countryside near his home as subject matter for many of his flower oil paintings.

Some of this floral art is considered among his most famous masterpieces. For example, his sunflower series is perhaps the most famous of all his works. The flowers he chose to paint were put into floral arrangements standing in vases and flowers laying down on the ground. He also loved to paint flowers in their natural habitat, the countryside, and gardens. From van Gogh’s depiction of sunflowers, irises, roses, poppies, cornflowers, myositis, and chrysanthemums, he brought life and emotion to his work, putting his unique perspective on it.

Today Van Gogh is loved for his passion which is indicative of his work. His sunflower painting is one of the most loved of his flower oil paintings. Other favorite flower paintings by van Gogh are of irises.

Flower Paintings by Vincent van Gogh

Some of his most loved flower paintings  include:

sun flower paintings by van GoghSunflowers, 1888, oil on canvas
One in a series of sunflower oil paintings by Vincent van Gogh. The series show sunflowers in all stages of life, from full bloom to withering. The paintings were considered innovative for their use of the yellow spectrum, partly because newly invented pigments made new colors possible.

iris by Vincent van gogh Irises, 1889, oil on canvas
This is one of many paintings of irises. Irises were painted while Van Gogh was living at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Each one of Van Gogh’s irises is unique. He carefully studied their movements and shapes to create various curved silhouettes bounded by wavy, twisting, and curling lines. The cropped composition, divided into broad areas of vivid color with monumental irises overflowing its borders, was probably influenced by the decorative patterning of Japanese woodblock prints.

almond blossom flower paintingAlmond Blossom, 1890, oil on canvas
This painting of delicate almond blossom against a clear blue sky is from a group of several paintings of blossoming almond trees. Van Gogh painted this to celebrate the birth of his nephew and namesake, son of his brother Theo and sister-in-law Jo. He chose the branches of an almond tree – a variety that blossoms as early as February in the south of France, where it announces the coming spring. The subject, the bold outlines, and the positioning of the tree in the picture plane are borrowed from Japanese printmaking.

still life with red poppies and daisiesStill Life: Red Poppies and Daisies, 1889, oil on canvas
Between the years 1886 and 1890, Vincent van Gogh completed seven different paintings featuring poppy flowers. Van Gogh did not have money to pay models, so still-life painting became more practical.

vase with pink roses van goghStill Life: Vase with Pink Roses, 1890, oil on canvas
Van Gogh painted this particular painting shortly before his release from the Saint-Rémy asylum. As the end of his stay in Saint-Rémy and the days ahead in Auvers-Sur-Oise neared, Van Gogh conveyed his optimism and enthusiasm by painting flowers. The painting reflects the optimism Van Gogh felt about his future, both in his choice of flowers as a subject and the colors used.

Vist the Vincent van Gogh Museum to learn more about other works of art by this artist.

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Yellow Rose of Texas

A close-up of a yellow rose blossom in a painting.

yellow rose painting
Yellow Rose of Texas © Copyright 2008 – Present

SOLD: This painting has been sold to a private collector in Texas.

About this Yellow Rose Painting

Title: Yellow Rose of Texas
18″ w x 18″ h
Support: Gallery wrap stretched canvas
Description: A painting featuring the close-up of the center of a yellow rose blossom. This flower composition is the center of the rose enlarged by zooming in and really focusing on the flower blossom or petals.

This painting will not need a frame because it is composed on a gallery wrap stretched canvas, which means the painted image extends around the edges of the canvas. Hand-painted and signed by fine artist Teresa Bernard.

Artist Comments

I love all flowers, especially roses. I did this close-up oil painting of a yellow rose shortly after moving back home to Texas when my husband Robert retired from the military after 24 years of serving in the U.S. Navy. An old folk song kept coming to mind called “Yellow Rose of Texas,” so I knew I just had to do an oil painting of a yellow rose. I decided to do a close-up composition because of a fellow artist whose paintings I admire.

Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings, I wanted to use the same treatment as she when I painted my series of flowers. Ms. O’Keeffe likes to paint her flowers enlarged by zooming in and focusing on the flower blossom or petals in many of her paintings. I admire much of her floral art and accomplishments as an American female artist.

To my knowledge, O’Keeffe never did paintings of roses. Instead, her favorite flower to paint seems to have been the Jimson Weed since she painted quite a few of those flowers during her lifetime. I’ve painted several roses, a sunflower, and a magnolia blossom using this enlarged flower technique. I’m optimistic there will be more flower paintings like this one in the future.

For more information on Georgia O’Keeffe and her flower paintings.

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“It is really beautiful. I love the delicate edges. I asked the Lord to give me inspiration as I have not painted in some time. Thank you for sharing.” — JaneDoe1976, Cowboys, rodeos, horses & Cowgirls., Gab

“Your style reminds me a little of Georgia O’Keeffe. Lovely.” — Mrs. Honey, Rural Life, Gab

“Lovely and your website is a joy.” — CowsAndFlowers, Cowboys, rodeos, horses & Cowgirls., Gab

“Oh. I really love the softness of the petals. I really love the colours too. they remind me of sweetness and the gentleness of touch. Lovely work!” — Felis_Gwyneviere, Artists Promoting Artists, Gab

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Tyler Red Rose

A tightly cropped composition depicting the center of a red rose in a painting.

red rose painting
Tyler Red Rose © Copyright 2006 – Present

Sold: This red rose painting has been sold to an art collector living in Texas.

Customer Feedback

The painting arrived. It’s beautiful! — C. Mace, Eastland TX

About this Red Rose Painting

Title: Tyler Red Rose
16″ w x 12″ h
Support: Traditional-Style Stretched canvas
Description: A close-up representation of the center of a bright red rose.  It is titled “Tyler Rose” because Tyler, TX is the rose capital of the world. This art composition comes with an official Certificate of Authentication that has been hand-signed by the artist.

Artist Comments

In 2006 my husband Robert retired from the US Navy, and we returned home to Texas after being away for over 20 years. Of all the places we could have chosen to live, we decided to settle in the East Texas region. East Texas is a lovely place to call home because of its lush green vegetation, vast rose gardens, Texas Longhorn cattle ranches, hay growers, working farms, rodeos, and the many small country towns and communities. In this setting, we chose to build our little ranch approximately 20 miles west of Tyler.

Tyler, Texas is known as the “Rose Capital of the U.S.A.” because this area alone produces over 20% of the nation’s roses. This city also has the nation’s largest municipal rose garden, is home to the Tyler Rose Museum, and hosts the Texas Rose Festival every year in October. The festival draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city each year.

When we first moved here, I was inspired to paint this rose painting because we were surrounded by many beautiful roses. Roses are my favorite flower! Their delicate beauty and fragrant scent appeal to me. And red roses are my favorite. They have such a vibrant color.

Roses come in so many different varieties of color and are widely recognized as a symbol of love, sympathy, or sorrow, depending on the rose’s color. For example, a red rose symbolizes love, yellow of friendship, orange of enthusiasm, white purity, and pink joy.

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