Regardless of their degree of abstraction, O'Keeffe's flower paintings derive directly from her experience of the blossoms. She described the source of Black Hollyhock Blue Larkspur, 1930:
"When I was at Mabel [Dodge Luhan]'s at Taos . . . there was an alfalfa field like a large green saucer. On one side of the field was a path lined w wers. . . . One day walking down the path I picked a large blackish red hollyhock and some bright dark blue larkspur that immediately went into a painting - and then another painting."