A young friend posted on Facebook earlier this week, “Girls, would you rather be pretty, or sexy?” I was surprised to see that the majority chose pretty. But, then again…sexuality is a confusing issue when constantly confronted in the media with the dilemma of pretty vs. slutty (masquerading as sexy). Stepping fully into our womanhood, and owning it, is a tall order. It’s more than a way of dress, or of acting. Sexy is an “inside job.” It’s a state of being. Maya Angelou knew that. I am very grateful for the example of strong, passionate womanhood she offered to us! Maya Angelou 1928-2014 Phenomenal Woman.
Why, yes, our last names both start with an O’K. And we are both born in November, one week apart. And I have been to both her home in Abiquiu, N.M. and to Ghost Ranch, the subject of many of her paintings. I love this part of the country. With it’s red dirt, eroded canyons, and pinon trees, it’s the real Wild West of my childhood dreams. A place I could could have grown up to be a cowgirl!
What got her on an endless loop in my mind is that I heard a young woman refer to her as “Georgia O’Keeffe, you know, the artist who paints va-jay-jays.” Seriously? I had to laugh, I have never heard her referred to that way before.
You paint a few lousy flowers that reveal the similarity…and you’re branded for life!
But, she did. And they do. And at least you remember her name. Now, take a look at her life, her loves, where she came from, and what she walked away from in order to become the artist she did. You will realize her magic. She brought out the amazing detail and sensuality of common objects: a flower, a bone, a skull against the sky…even the barren desert. And with some of her flowers, yes, she rendered them much larger-than-life, voluptuous, and unapologetically sexy. Exactly the way she lived her own life.
If you are not familiar with her work, just Google her name + images, and be prepared for a visual feast. Turns out that I am passionate about Georgia O’Keeffe. I only wish I could have met her!