Georgia O'Keeffe originally painted this stunning landscape "From the White Place" in 1940 as an oil on canvas. It was at a time of increased interest in American Modernism and regional scenes.
O'Keeffe was introduced to New Mexico in 1929 when she was invited by art patron Mabel Dodge Luhan to visit the artist colonies. Georgia O'Keeffe was inspired by the landscape and dramatic cliff formations of soft, weathered volcanic rock in the area north of Abiquiu.
O'Keefe eventually acquired a studio in the area and could see the geological formations of Plaza Blanca (The White Place) from her windows. The striking vertical columns of rock which form a natural cleft feature in a couple of her paintings and are captured here in "From the White Place".
She observed nature very carefully. While walking in the area and she would make numerous sketches and drawings. She could already see the simplified abstract shapes of the rocks forming for her piece "From the White Place".
The artist also utilized the unusual light in the area and "nature's palette" of muted colours to create this work. O'Keeffe experimented with scale and deliberately lost much of the definition of the texture and striations on the rocks. By doing this O'Keeffe manages to create a much more dramatic abstract yet it is still recognizable as the Plaza Blanca or White Place.
Although it is still possible to visit the area and the formations which inspired "From the White Place", it is now in private ownership. Other works inspired by New Mexico's landscape and indigenous art include "Ram's Head with Hollyhock" and "The Black Place".