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Evening Star No. II is one from a series of eight known paintings that Georgia O’Keeffe created while living in Canyon, Texas. Although she lived there only a short time, the landscape of West Texas inspired her work and impacted the development of the young artist’s style. In a letter to a fellow artist, O’Keeffe wrote of her struggle to capture the landscape’s mellow-looking dry grass and the quiet grandeur of the region. She felt a real fascination with the spirit of the place, and worked hard to capture the spirit of the American West.

The dry plains offered O’Keeffe brilliant, colorful sunrises and sunsets, which inspired her to experiment with the psychic effects of color. She was also an avid stargazer, so it is not surprising that her work would eventually feature the radiance of the evening star rising above the earth’s horizon. These small, elegant paintings were made without the aid of an initial drawing; rather, the paint was applied directly to the paper, and skillfully controlled by the artist’s steady hand. The pure, saturated colors capture a powerful, if fleeting moment on the western horizon.