O'Keeffe loved to reduce elements from reality down to abstract forms and we see the same again here as she takes a local landscape and reduces it to just a few strokes of pencil. Charcoal and pencil would be her preferred mediums for sketching, and she was particularly involved in this art form in the earlier parts of her career. Having achieved early respect for her talents as a draughtsman, she would then move onto oils in which her expressive nature could find new avenues of freedom. Despite that progression, she continued to rely on charcoal as a means to try out new ideas and prepare for some of the more significant oil paintings that followed in the years to come. This process is entirely normal, and has been the case for centuries, with even the most academic of artists being taught drawing long before they would be introduced to the mediums of painting and sculpture, with Jacques Louis David, Jean-Leon Gerome and Albrecht Durer being good examples of that.
You will discover a large number of untitled drawings from the career of Georgia O'Keeffe. Most have had their titles appended with a rough explanation of the content, or a reference to a later painting in order to make it easier for us all to differentiate between the different charcoal and pencil drawings. There remains a strong interest in O'Keeffe's career, right across the board, and so even her study drawings can achieve substantial sums at auction. This particular artwork, Untitled (Grey Wash Forms), achieved a sale price of $18,750 in 2009 at an auction in Christie's. This was actually over the upper limit of the original valuation and her work continues to attract interest buyers as more and more focus is afforded to female artists within the US and Europe. In the listing for it's sale, Untitled (Grey Wash Forms) is described as having been in the ownership of Baroness Marcella Korff whose death prompted this sale.
The final completed oil painting now resides in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and is of fairly similar dimensions. Although it was her early drawings that helped the artist to achieve her early success, it is her paintings that hold the most value today. Some of her most famous paintings have received some extraordinary purchase prices, running into the many millions of dollars. She has therefore received some of the highest prices by any female artist though is rightly regarded as simply an exceptional modern artist, without her gender really needing to be mentioned. She was a strong character who also did just ask that her work be judged on its own merits, and her own identity be left out of discussions.