She found the place breathtaking as one could see the endless desert far away. While she was driving around in her ford, she took pleasure in the bones and often drew them. Her escapades in New Mexico began in 1929 when she was trying to separate herself from her husband Alfred Stieglitz's romantic affairs. When she went to New Mexico, she felt alive, and she spent days in the desert painting the scenery. The title faraway nearby came from the letters which she and the husband wrote to each other. Stieglitz would call her my faraway one or my nearby one. Her husband never went to Mexico. My faraway nearby was symbolic since it meant no matter how far away she went from Stieglitz, she was still nearby.
The painting is identified with a large skull standing over small mountains, which creates an optical illusion of an object far away nearby. The skull has bones, which are extraordinarily large. The deer skull with large bones is depicted to be hovering up-close and symbolizes how she is longing. Her husband's romantic affairs really saddened her. She was yearning to free herself and thus drew the skull which rests in the desert hilltops. A desert is a place seen to be lonely, which justified how she felt when she was all alone there. The portrait was her way of expressing her feelings of loneliness and longing in the desert.
Georgia would sometimes stay in the desert for days and months, embracing herself in its empty and lonely nature. The desert was depicted as a cruel place, and most animals died due to hunger, and only their bones could be seen. The desert was full of emptiness all around it, and that was where she found comfort. The desert became a mirror of how gloom she felt inside, trying to reconcile her husband’s infidelities. The only solace she found was in the solitude of the desert, often staying there for months trying to rediscover herself.
The artwork depicted the void that was ever present in her marriage. There is no middle ground in the artwork since the desert is displayed from far away, and the skull is majestically displayed from up-close in the picture. The painting was renowned as one of Georgia O'Keeffe's best since it depicts so many emotions in one picture.