Georgia O'Keeffe found the flow of time and color in music inspiring to her work as a painter. Black Birds, Red Hills is inspired by six paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. Each painting explores the flow of time and color on her beloved red hills of New Mexico. In each painting O'Keeffe reveals perspective, beauty and meaning through the magnification of objects, specifically the horizon line, the black rock and the black bird. Movement one three and four reflect the "V shape" of the hills just outside O’Keeffe’s window. She describes this shape as the arms of two great hills, which reach out to the sky and hold it, suggesting to me an abstract cradle. In movement II, I liken the music to O’Keeffe’s image of the black rocks. O'Keeffe found these rocks on her walks to the Glen Canyon dam. She became fascinated with the effect of time on the rocks, noting that time has turned them into objects which are precious to look at and hold. Finally, to paint the black birds which lived in the hills near her, O'Keeffe covered the red hills with snow and focussed on the bird as a metaphor for time, always there and always moving away. 

"Black Birds, Red Hills" Inspiration

The paintings listed below are found in "Georgia O’Keeffe," a book first published by The Viking Press, New York, NY in 1976.

All works are in the O’Keeffe Collection unless otherwise specified. All copies need to be obtained through them.

Movement I #1 Pedernal and Red Hills, 1936 Oil on canvas Private collection 

Movement II #2 Black Rock with Blue Sky and White Clouds, 1972 Oil on canvas

Movement III #3 Red and Orange Hills, 1938 Oil on canvas Collection of Judge and Mrs. Oliver Seth #4 Red hills and Sky, 1945 Oil on Canvas Private Collection

Movement IV #5 A Black Bird with Snow-Covered Red Hills, 1946 Oil on Canvas Collection of Susan and David Workman #6 Black Bird Series (In the Patio IX), 1950 Oil on Canvas