No wonder people kept asking Lynn Dimond Mobley if she was Georgia O’Keeffe’s daughter — or even Georgia O’Keeffe.
As she aged, Mobley, a visual artist in her own right, developed the same wizened face, questioning eyes and wry smile O’Keeffe was known for.
The Santa Fe resident died earlier this month after a battle against cancer, her daughter, Tracy Mobley-Martinez, said. Mobley was 82.
Born June 22, 1939, in Portland, Ore., Lynn Dimond moved with her family to Lafayette, Ind., a few years later, where she was raised. She may have fostered her love of water there, as she enjoyed cavorting in the gulleys and waterways near her home, said her sister, Eleanor Haines.
Haines said her sister probably fell in love with the water for the same reason “why anybody from the Midwest loves the water — because you don’t get to see much of it.”
She said her sister developed a yen for horseback riding and drawing and painting at a young age, and took art classes since childhood.
Later, Mobley studied English literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder and wrote for the college newspaper, Haines said. But she wasn’t sure her sister wanted to be a writer.
“I don’t think she had any pretensions [about writing] when she was a kid,” Mobley-Martinez said of her mother. “There was no, ‘My gosh, I have to be a writer.’ ”
While at the University of Colorado, Dimond met and married Jack Mobley, whom she later divorced. The two had their only child in 1962. The family moved around the country over the years, including stops in Georgia and Florida. She lived in Florida off and on for decades.
Mobley-Martinez, editor of The New Mexican’s Pasatiempo magazine, said her mother painted on and off throughout her life, selling her acrylic paintings and pottery. Mobley had a penchant for painting beach scenes, seascapes and other subjects near and on the water. She also painted sunsets, animals and desert scapes reminiscent of New Mexico’s landscapes.
She first visited Santa Fe as a child on a road trip with relatives, Haines said. That visit encouraged a love of travel. Not surprisingly, the landlubber who rarely swam but loved painting the ocean often took sea cruise vacations.
Longtime friend Christy King, who knew Mobley in Florida, said the artist often walked the beaches and boardwalks near her home, taking photos of the ocean. Sometimes she would paint from those photos, King said. “She loved the tranquility the ocean brought her,” she said.
She described Mobley as an “independent” woman who helped her work her way through her own divorce and build her own landscaping company. “Her spirit helped me become the woman I am,” King said.
Mobley-Martinez said her mother was not a sentimental person. When Mobley-Martinez was in the fourth grade, her mother painted a portrait of her wearing an elephant shirt. Years later, Mobley-Martinez asked her mom what happened to the painting.
“I painted over it,” she said.
Besides her daughter and sister, Mobley is survived by a brother, Bob Dimond.