If you know anything about Georgia O'Keeffe, you won’t be surprised that the location of her namesake museum is in Santa Fe, New Mexico. While O’Keeffe established herself as an artist in New York City, her deepest inspirations are found in the high deserts of New Mexico. The museum also maintains her two homes and studios in northern New Mexico. Something you may be surprised to learn though: you can buy a Jenni Earle Bandana in the museum’s shop.
The high desert of New Mexico dictated the content of O’Keeffe’s paintings, but it was the colors of the desert that deeply inspired her. The Jenni Earle team admires O’Keeffe for many reasons (that I’ll get to shortly!) but color is a binding thread that ties our bandanas to the painter known as the Mother of American Modernism.
In an interview from 1974 O’Keeffe talks about the colors that infused her paintings,“In the evening, with the sun at your back, that high, sage-covered plain looks like an ocean. The color up there—the blue-green of the sage, and the mountains, and the wild flowers—is a different kind of color from anything I’d ever seen…”
Each Jenni Earle bandana is a distinct color: our original ‘be brave’ is river blue, ‘explore more’ is desert orange, and one version of ‘roam free’ is a lichen green. These colors are meant to support the mantra in each corner. Color sparks a feeling, and an association with experience, and emotion. When Jenni designs a new bandana she chooses a color with intention.
In a letter to a friend, O’Keeffe wrote,“I climbed way up on a pale-green hill and in the evening light—the sun under clouds—the color effect was very strange—standing high on a pale-green hill where I could look all round at the red, yellow, purple formations—miles all around—the color all intensified by the pale grey-green I was standing on.”
As O’Keeffe tells it, it was a sunrise that got her into painting again. She studied formally in Chicago, but she left the Art Institute due to illness. The teachers she encountered afterwards were dedicated to traditional European styles of painting that were founded on replicating reality, rather than abstraction or experimentation. So, O’Keeffe stopped painting. Until she saw that sunrise. From then on her paintings, no matter how abstract, were rooted in landscape.
What a perfect point of inspiration: a sunrise. The event symbolizes rebirth and renewal; a chance to begin again. That sense of hope you feel when the sun crests the horizon and you realize there is an entirely new day ahead of you—that is what our bandanas are meant to bring into your life. We create talismans that forge a stronger connection to your bravery, authenticity and sense of adventure.