Friday, November 15, 2013

Two Artists Born This Day: O'Keeffe & Thiebaud

I notice that two painters I've featured in past posts have (or had) birthdays today: 15 November - Georgia O'Keeffe and Wayne Thiebaud. They were born 33 years apart, she in 1887, he in 1920. Their styles - and from what I could glean about them - their personalities, could hardly be less similar.

The two posts:

Arty Farty Friday : Georgia O'Keeffe

Arty Farty Friday : Wayne Thiebaud -No Tortured Soul

I'll copy their natal charts and my astro notes here for easy comparison.


It's a 12 noon chart, no birth time is known. Three planets clustered in Scorpio, Moon too if born before 2PM. Venus, planet of the arts, at home in Libra, one of Venus' signs of rulership, along with with Uranus (the eccentric and revolutionary planet). O'Keeffe's style must have seemed somewhat eccentric when first encountered, certainly it was different from almost everything else on the early 20th century art scene. As Wikipedia states: "She revolutionized the tradition of flower painting". Whether some of her representations were intended to be overtly erotic or simply sensual has to be in the eye of the beholder. But how could an intense Scorpio-ness not shine through her work? She denied any intention of eroticism, yet the idea has secured itself in the public imagination. Those studying her paintings may, involuntarily, have been sensing her astrology seeping through!

She is another of that ultra-talented Pluto in Gemini generation. Neptune (creativity), in O'Keeffe's chart is close to Pluto (Scorpio's ruler), though in the last degrees of Taurus (another arty sign ruled by Venus).


Thiebaud's conjoined Sun/Mercury in Scorpio are flanked on one side (via harmonious sextile:60*)by Jupiter/Saturn in detail oriented, disciplined Virgo. On the other side, again via sextile, by Moon/Mars in business-led, common sense Capricorn. The other glyph in Capricorn is Black Moon Lilith - the Moon's apogee (farthest point from the Earth). When close to the Moon in a natal chart this could have some significance, but without knowing much about the man's personal life, it's not possible to make use of the information. He certainly doesn't appear to be lacking in a female side to his personality! Virgo was rising as he was born - reflecting his attention to detail and precise style.

As indicated in the excerpt in the original post, Thiebaud, now 92, seems to be a well balanced individual. I'd like to relate that to the balancing effect of planets in Virgo and Capricorn (both solid reliable Earth signs) on either side of his Sun/Mercury in Scorpio, a sign known to be ultra-emotional, intense - occasionally with a tendency to paranoia. These traits are sweetly (no pun intended) calmed and balanced in Thiebaud's chart.

So, two artists born 15 November, vastly different styles - choose from trays of precisely placed cakes, and neat landscapes with roads and rivers - or - erotically inspired magnifications of flowers and dream-like south-western landscapes.

O'Keeffe's extra helping of Scorpio planets, along with Pluto, Scorpio's ruler in Gemini seems to allow more of textbook Scorpio to shine through her work. Her personality, said to be "prickly" matches the legendary Scorpio sting too, I guess. While Thiebaud is described as " a happy man known for his happy paintings of cakes and pies. It turns out he also has many happy things to say about painting. For example: “I love art history” and “I was a spoiled child. I had a great life, so about the only thing I can do is to paint happy pictures.” Not that O'Keeffe's paintings aren't happy - they are, but happy in a different, arguably more Scorpionic, way. Examples of both are at the linked posts.

7 comments:

♥ Sonny ♥ said...


she looks like a "real pistol" as my Papa would say:)

He looks sweet and happy.

mike said...

I've always thought O'Keefe an original in all ways and I certainly enjoy her art...it resonates with me. Her name is often listed as Georgia Totto O'Keete...I assume Totto is her middle or nickname, as she was married only to Alfred Stieglitz. Totto is typically a boy's name, referring to one of high honor or esteem...fitting.

Thiebaud's work doesn't do "it" for me...it's OK, alright, and nice, but not nearly as expansive to my senses as O'Keefe's.

I see you've been playing with your blog header lately! I like today's. Your typical blog name doesn't show on my tab anymore...it shows the Blogger icon followed by a period.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Yes, different as night and day - almost.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Re "Totto" Wiki says:

Her mother's father, George Victor Totto, for whom Georgia O'Keeffe was named, was a Hungarian count who came to America in 1848.


I like both their work - in different ways. I cannot not like O'Keeffe's because I love love love New Mexico, her landscapes are my favourites. The flowers I can take or leave. Thiebaud's work is lighter and fun.

Re the header - I've been messing around making stuff on the computer from bits and pieces, and trying it out, yes.

The current one is all in an image, so has to eliminate Blogger's Title box as the image contains the title. I put a dot in a title box which had to be filled before the image could be accepted.

I found the same as you, that my own saved link to the blog is now just a B and a dot. Hmm. I shall investigate, maybe I can reinstate the title without it appearing on the blog.

Twilight said...

mike ~ That seems to have solved it.

mike (again) said...

Yes, your tab is eponymous with your blog now.

Off topic...we've had discussions in previous posts regarding pundits' calls to arms regarding the 1%...walking the talk...lending solutions. Here's Robert Creamer's article, "It's Economic Inequality Stupid -- What to Do About the Biggest Crisis Facing America"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/its-economic-inequality-s_b_4273787.html

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for the link. It's a good, well-meaning article but I have to agree with a commenter, Tim Akey who wrote:
None of this is ever going to happen because the only people allowed to get on the ballots are owned by, serve, or ARE members of the elite. They are writing the rules for their own benefit. The average American has no more ability to challenge the rule of the elite then did the peasants who served the Kings of old. Sadly back then there probably were, just like now, peasants who figured the King had somehow earned his exulted status. It was one of the reasons it took human kind so long to start throwing off the rule of Kings, and one of the reasons the Kings are making a comeback. Personally, when it comes to Kings, I think the French might have been onto something.

We watched "Primary Colors" on HBO last evening - had seen it before, but long ago. I think John Travolta, as Jack Stanton was a representation of Bill Clinton in his first presidential campaign? I enjoyed it a lot, much more than before, back in the UK when I had only very hazy ideas of what went on over here.

Things were probably a lot different back in the time of "Primary Colors" - then, there was room for hope.