Georgia o’ Keeffe’s Blackbird over Sleeping Bear Dunes

oil on wood, 24 x 18 in

This painting depicts a freely painted motif of the Sleeping Bear Dunes, 460 ft above sea level, looking west over Lake Michigan with a famous blackbird.

This blackbird motif has been in my mind’s eye for a few decades ever since I saw it painted by Georgia o’Keeffe.

Here, turned horizontally, the bird flies  North with the glow of the dunes underneath its wings.

A quote attributed to Picasso jokes: “good artists copy, great artists steal”.

Using oil, Van Gogh painted ‘First Steps’

based on a pastel and charcoal drawing by Millet.

According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Van Gogh “considered his copies “translations” akin to a musician’s interpretation of a composer’s work. ”



8 thoughts on “Georgia o’ Keeffe’s Blackbird over Sleeping Bear Dunes”

  1. Absolutely wonderful, I I so love this post. Oftimes I feel as though I’m in the Museum of Birgit, where not only beautiful paintings abide in quiet mediations, but beautiful and revelatory art quotes spring forth that utterly inspire.

  2. This is an interesting blend of michigan water and desert energy. Both important and vast…. Thank you Birgit.

    1. In my mind’s eye, I had merged two of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings: her Blackbird with “It was Blue and Green,” a painting of a mountain lake. I was surprised to realize at some later time that they were two separate paintings. Perhaps I associate the blackbird with water since, during the summer months, I had often hiked from Taos Ski Valley up to the alpine mountain lake, Williams Lake. Thus, my experience of New Mexico was less of the desert energy and more about water in its alpine lakes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.