Above: A view of Pedernal, with Abiquiú Lake in the foreground. The photo earned an honorable mention in the landscape category of the recent New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest.

January/ February 1973
It was in 1917 that Georgia O’Keeffe first saw New Mexico—on a three-day detour through Santa Fe with a younger sister. “From then on I was always on my way back,” she says now, with that fleeting, knowing smile.

In 1946, O’Keeffe became a permanent resident of Abiquiú. She became a part of the small community, yet apart from it.

There, as at Ghost Ranch, she lives a life that is, like her paintings and herself, deceptively simple, elegantly austere. New Mexicans can watch for a recognizable motif that recurs in painting after painting—a mesa-topped mountain, familiar to anyone who lives in northern New Mexico as Pedernal. O’Keeffe calls it merely “my mountain.”