Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Abiquiu (Georgia O'Keefe's home and studio

Georgia O'Keefe

I just returned from a long weekend in Santa Fe with my two closest friends from Kansas.  The forest fires in the area prevented us from exploring a couple of areas we had hoped to see but there is so much to do in the area we were not at a loss for activities.  The fires were in full force, so we were exposed to a great deal of smoke when we drove north of Santa Fe.
Our first evening was spent at the wonderful Ten Thousand Waves Japanese Spa.  I had been to this place many times because my sister lived in the area for a number of years, but I hadn't been here since the mid-90s so much had changed.  This is a fantastic place to spend time and I recommend it if you are ever in the area.  Their hours are not as late as they used to be.  The best thing ever is to get an open air jacuzzi or soaking tub after dark.  The stars are amazing.
The next morning we set off for Abiquiu, one of Georgia O'Keefe's residences and studios.  Her other residence, Ghost Ranch, is not open to the public.  I was so excited about the opportunity to see this place! We were not allowed to take photos during the tour, but we explored the surrounding area later and took a zillion photos.  One can understand what captivated Ms. O'Keefe about the area:  beautiful sky, amazing rock formations which cast equally stunning shadows, the colorful strata of the earth and rock.  It was an exquisite moment that I will cherish.
The living room in her Abiquiu home (photo file)

In addition to collecting bones she found on her land, she collected a large number of rocks.
Her many rocks are seen throughout her house and on the property.

This was O'Keefe's favorite vista

the same rock formation as the painting, seen from a different perspective.

A YouTube video of Ms. O'Keefe discussing her love of New Mexico is worth viewing.  I love what she had to say about collecting and painting bones.  I have the same affinity for them.  
Georgia's painting of her door at the Abiquiu home.  Many wonder why she calls it a door when it looks like a window.  The lower portion of the painting under the square black door is the cast shadow at the edge of the building and her step stone walkway.  I stood in that doorway during the tour to get out of the sun.


  1. Thanks for this post, Leslie. I love and miss the Southwest desert and especially love Georgia O'Keeffe's work and northern New Mexico. Is it going to inspire some quilts soon?

  2. Sherrie, one can only hope! I love the Southwest so much and I don't spend as much time there as I did when my sister was living there. The desert colors are very inspiring, aren't they?

  3. I've never been to Santa Fe. Sounds like a must do. Lovely!!

  4. Phyllis, you and Ron would love it. The area has a stark beauty that is very appealing. It is a place I love very much. My sister lived out there for many years.

  5. I thank you for this posting. Georgia is one of my shero's.
    When i eas in the area, her home wasn't open yet. A must see. Did
    You 'feel' her energy or ?

  6. Because I love the area so much and have always felt the colors of land and sky were so unique there, I have long understood the attraction Ms. O'Keefe had for it. I felt honored to walk through her house, see her kitchen(!) and look at the same vistas she saw on a daily basis. The house has been kept just as she left it. The interior is very minimalist, the exception being the kitchen, which was very organized and more colorful than the rest of the house. I love her pragmatism and absolute fearlessness.

  7. I was also in Santa Fe recently. We went to the Georgia O'Keefe museum, which has a great exhibit about different artists and their relationship to photography. But your tour of her home sounded absolutely wonderful! I am envious.

  8. Cindy, I am envious that you got to see the exhibition in the museum, which I wanted to see but did not have enough time to get there. I understand it was wonderful. I guess we both need to go back soon!


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