A Long Leaf is a simple sketch by the famous American artist which still retains the holes in the paper from when it was removed from a sketchbook. It is a relaxed piece, in which she continues to focus on elements of nature. O'Keeffe liked to zoom-in on small parts, often leaving out the overall context of the wider plant and this allows our imaginations to see new shapes and forms which were actually not there in reality. Without the context, these abstract shapes can take on new meanings whilst we can also much better understand each flower, rather than merely browsing its appearance as one would normally do. She would continue to focus on leaves many times, normally finding ones lying around in her vicinity and local environment.
The drawing would eventually sell at auction for $27,500, although the buyer would likely have incurred additional fees on top. A Long Leaf was valued initially at $30,000 - $50,000, meaning that either the valuation was a little optimistic, or perhaps the business of the day was not quite as lively as it might have been. Sotheby's handled the sale itself as part of a large event titled Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Juan Hamilton: Passage in which a large number of related artworks, including many Georgia O'Keeffe drawings, were put on sale. The original entry for this lot described the piece in a fairly brief manner, underlining how relatively little was actually known about it. She produced the image in pencil and then signed the artwork on the back, before then gifting it as she would do with a number of her experimental sketches.
The artist left behind many hundreds of artworks by the end of her life, many of which remained in her possession and passed onto her estate as a result. Of all that she achieved, perhaps some of the highlights would include the likes of Jimson Weed, Black Iris III and Abstraction White Rose, with her abstract versions of flower heads being probably her most successful body of work. Her animal bones depictions were also unique and intriguing and some of her contemporary cityscapes have also been well received by the public. She initially became interested in the details found within flower heads after a teacher alerted her as to the different ways in which one can study any object and from this point onwards she would become interested in nature more generally.