Light edges over the darkened cliffs. Through the sage a woman walks silently, a stick in her hand to ward off snaked. She scans the mists in the far-off mountains. She picks up a stone and smooths it, touches the twisted branch of a piñon tree, toes a patch of lichen. Two smoke-toned chows watch and sing, then jounce knowingly after their mistress. Another day has begun for Georgia O’Keefe.

oh it’s such a nice intro to this piece about Georgia O’Keefe, photographed in 1966 by John Loengard for LIFE Magazine. it’s a worthwhile article to read, too, with some great quotes from O’Keeffe herself (but unfortunately cut short because of a badly scanned page…) you can read the entire article here.

For the better part of three decades, this has been the ritual of one of the most distinguished pioneers of modern American art, a painter still vigorous in her 81st year. Ranging between her two homes in New Mexico, an adobe “villa” in Abiquiu and a desert ranch to the north – Georgia O’Keefe renews each day her passionate ties to the land. From these encounters has come a steady outpouring of paintings, many of them now classics in U.S. museums. Whether emphatically realistic or starkly abstract, fantasies of nature or landscapes of the mind, these works distill not only her experience but something of her strong, adventurous spirit. Here, in photographs, LIFE explores the visual words of Georgia O’Keeffe and records, in her own words, her thoughts on the interlocking of her life and art.

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