JUAN HAMILTON (Georgia O'Keeffe's personal assistant): How come you've never felt guilty?
GEORGIA O'KEEFFE: I feel guilty?
HAMILTON: No, I said, how come you've never felt guilty?
O'KEEFFE: About working?
HAMILTON: About anything.
O'KEEFFE: I'm not given to thinking about being guilty.
ANDY WARHOL: Why did you ask that?
HAMILTON: Georgia is one of the few people that I have known that does what she wants to do, and she doesn't think about how it affects other people or doesn't affect other people.
WARHOL: But she doesn't hurt anybody.
HAMILTON: Oh, no. I didn't mean it in that way. Feeling guilty, people hurt themselves. I don't think they hurt other people.
O'KEEFFE: I have lived up there at the end of the world [in New Mexico] by myself a long time. You walk around with your thing out in the field and nobody cares. It's nice . . .
WARHOL: What made you go out to New Mexico?
O'KEEFFE: A friend of mine took me there. He looked at me and said, "Well, you've traveled over a good deal of this country. But, you haven't seen the best part of it yet. I'll take you up and show you the most beautiful part of this country." That was Charles Collier. So we drove there . . . When I got to New Mexico, that was mine. As soon as I saw it, that was my country. I'd never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly.
HAMILTON: Everybody thinks that you don't really like people, and that you like to be alone. Is it true?
O'KEEFFE: I get on pretty well with my own company. Juan moved into my world and little by little he got into things. He knows more about my affairs than I do.
O'KEEFFE: Well, that's all right. You're not very crooked . . .
HAMILTON: Georgia, tell Andy about how you got your mountain. Remember when somebody was interviewing you, and you said, "That's my mountain." And they said, "What do you mean that's your mountain?" You said, "God told me if I painted it enough he'd give it to me." Isn't that true?
O'KEEFFE: And I'm STILL working on it . . .
This is an excerpt from an interview that took place in New York in 1983, three years before her death at age 99.
Photos: Ghost Ranch, NM, May 30, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.