High-Road-Artist Blog

Georgia O’Keeffe’s White Place

Written on 06/18/2019
Jeane George Weigel

I did not set out seeking Georgia as so many seem to do. I just went on a hike with friends. It didn't occur to me until days later that we were in Georgia O'Keeffe's White Place.

I did not set out seeking Georgia as so many seem to do.

Kim and I were invited on a hike with our friends who had a special place they wanted to share with us.

So we headed out toward Abiquiu, the New Mexico village where Georgia O’Keeffe lived…

… and ended up at the Dar Al Islam Education Center.

They own the land we were about to walk, allowing the public daylight access.

And so we entered into another world…

… a spiritual space…

… majestic…

… alive…

… magical…

And it didn’t occur to me until days later that I was walking in Georgia O’Keeffe’s “White Place.”

The White Place in the Sun, Georgia O’Keeffe

I started researching and found her paintings…

The White Place in Shadow, Georgia O’Keeffe
Plaza Blanca, The White Place, Georgia O’Keeffe
Photo: Todd Webb

… and evidence of her walking this same land…

Photo: Todd Webb

… experiencing this same earth a lifetime before me.

I’m actually glad I didn’t know about Georgia while I was appreciating Plaza Blanca myself…

… so I could just experience the awesome beauty of this enchanted spot…

… without her mythical presence overshadowing my own sensibilities.

We wandered…

… and climbed a bit…

… and I even made it up into a little slot canyon…

… where Mikey serenaded us…

… on his penny whistle. Just imagine, for a moment, the peace of that.

A little shady oasis presented itself at just the right moment…

… as did Mamacita’s pizza.

Nothing like a New York style pizza on the edge of the desert when you’re starving…

… followed by ice cream cones…

… and lavender tea at the Purple Adobe Lavender Farm…

… which is for sale, by the way…

… to anyone with $1,750,000. I would buy it in a minute!

Oh, to be rich, which is not the path of most artists…

Photo: Tony Vaccaro

I’ve recently started reading a book titled, The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose.

Subject: Georgia O’Keeffe in her garden, Abiquiu, New Mexico. 1966 Photographer- John Loengard Merlin-1141158

In it she says that, “Art will wake you up. Art will break your heart. There will be glorious days. If you want eternity you must be fearless.” 

Photo: Todd Webb

And that it’s unfortunate life is so short because it takes the artist, “… so long even to understand the job ahead.”

Photo: Ansel Adams

But that the goal is always the same she says, “… to do something worthwhile before you die.”

She opens the book with a quote by Stella Adler that reads, “Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one.”

Those of us who have dedicated our lives to making art feel that in our bones.

It is why we continue.

Plaza Blanca y Lavender, Jeane George Weigel

Here’s my first painting of Plaza Blanca, done before I’d realized it was Georgia’s place.

Georgia’s studio

Love to you all,

Jeane