It is clear that O'Keeffe was fascinated with the world around her, and she collected objects whose particular qualities - color, shape, texture - symbolized for her the meaning of a spe-cific place or experience. She often selected objects from her collections of feathers, rocks, shells, and bones for her paintings, and by isolating them from any environmental reference transformed simple and seemingly nondescript objects into centralized, monumental forms. In speaking of shells, she wrote:
I have picked up shells along the coast of Maine - farther south, in the Bermudas and Bahamas I found conch shells along the pure sandy beaches. . Each shell was a beautiful world in itself.