When Georgia O'Keefe Painted
What She Pleased
This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
(pub. 3.20.2012) 40 pages
A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
A uthor: Amy Novesky
and Illustrator: Yuyi Morales
C haracter: Georgia O'Keefe
O verview from the jacket flap:
"Georgia O'Keeffe was famous for painting exactly what she wanted, whether flowers or skulls. Who would ever dare to tell Georgia what to paint? The Hawaiian Pineapple Company tried. Lucky for them, Georgia fell in love with Hawaii. There she painted the beloved green islands, vibrant flowers, feathered fishhooks, and the blue, blue sea. But did she paint what the Pineapple Company wanted most of all?"
T antalizing taste:
"And Georgia painted flowers!
Bird of paradise and philodendron, foot-long heliconia and fragrant plumeria, torch ginger and silver cup, lotus and hibiscus.
She painted a nana honua that she'd picked by the side of the road. It reminded Georgia of her favorite desert flower, the jimsonweed."
and something more: I had the pleasure of seeing an advance copy of this wonderful book, Georgia in Hawaii, when my writer friend Amy Novesky read another book she wrote about an artist, Me, Frida (Frida Kahlo) at SFMOMA's Family Day last summer. It's such a thrill to now hold this exquisitely written and beautifully illustrated book.
When I recently read this book to my favorite group of second graders at Bacich School, we felt we could almost feel the soft tropical breezes infused with the fragrance of the Hawaiian flowers. Several students wanted to study the flowers illustrated by Yuyi Morales on the inside cover of the book. One girl commented that the vivid red heliconia appears in a Dr. Suess movie. When I asked the students what they learned about the famous artist, Georgia O'Keefe, a boy replied, "That she only painted what she wanted to paint."
The Author's Note quotes Georgia O'Keefe: "'If my painting is what I have to give back to the world for what the world has given to me ... these paintings are what I have to give ... for what three months in Hawaii gave to me.'" Thank you, Amy, for sharing Georgia's story with us and giving us this delightful lyrical picture book biography of a special time in the artist's life.