About 16 years ago I lived for six months about an hour and a half from Georgia OKeeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu, but I never visited there.
Today Jon and I visited both Ghost Ranch and O’Keeffe’s home and studio in Abiquiu. At Ghost Ranch, O’Keeffe was present in the landscape she painted so many times. Her home there isn’t open to the public. It’s mostly a retreat center for hiking and workshops.
I made our reservations to take a tour at O’Keeffe’s Abiquiu home and studio the day after we got our plane tickets. That was 7 months ago. I wasn’t going to miss it this time.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house, but I was able to get a few pictures outside, which include some of the iconic doorways and ladders, the adobe walls that she painted as much as the landscape.
My breath caught and I felt my eyes tear up as we stepped into O’Keeffe’s studio. Although it was no longer set up as a studio, she had stopped painting by the time she left the house for Santa Fe when she was in her late 90’s, the space itself was so beautiful with its spare white walls and giants windows giving the feeling of being inside and outside at the same time.
And from photo’s I’ve seen and things I’ve read, I could imagine her there, painting those large minimal abstracts that she painted later in life.
The whole house itself was like one of her paintings. Just the right amount of everything, placed just so in each room. Including her closet still with some of her dresses, shoes and hats in it.
All purposeful and achingly beautiful.
The floors of the dining room and the room she listened to music in every night, were a combination of dirt, four and water. I wondered what it must be like to be so close to the earth in your own home.
I was inspired to say the least.
Jon and I will travel back to Abiquiu in the next few days to visit “The White Place” a landscape of white rocks that O’Keeffe painted again and again.