Sunday, January 18, 2009

I Heart Andrew Wyeth

My favorite artist, Andrew Wyeth died January 16th in his sleep at age 91. If you haven't heard of this artist or are not very familiar with him I suggest that you read the Wikipedia site about him or visit his official website. I fell in love with his work several years ago when I was just a young art student. I think he has remained my favorite artist for so long because I discovered him on my own. I was not lectured to about him in art history, shown examples of his work in any of my studio classes, or told how great he is or isn't by some higher art authority. In fact, I cannot even remember any of my art professors mentioning him or his work even once. I have always felt a sort of kinship with him since we share a birthday, but that is where any similarities between he and I end. I just love his work, his process, and that he lived his life exactly how he wanted to- he didn't take crap from anyone. With that in mind, enjoy a few of my favorites:
"Pennsylvania Landscape", 1941. I have this print and am just waiting for my darling husband to hang it up. It is almost impossible to really enjoy this painting without seeing it, or a print of it, large and up close. In this small picture it looks like just another landscape, but it is incredibly detailed and much more bleak that your typical landscape, but in a really beautiful, unique way. It is also painted with egg tempera, a really difficult, precise medium that has almost died out.
Above is "Ides of March", not sure about the year. If you know me at all you'll know that I included this because it's a painting of a dog. Like the image above, seeing it small on a computer screen does it absolutely no justice.

"Winter", 1946. This is one of Wyeth's first egg tempera paintings outside of the bright, splashy watercolor style he started his career with. Bleak, haunting, and you have to love the boy's shadow- brilliant.

I couldn't pay real tribute to Mr. Wyeth without including a painting from the "Helga Series". The above painting is titled "Letting Her Hair Down", 1972. Andrew Wyeth painted Helga Testorf in secret for 14 years before showing the extensive collection of drawings and paintings to his wife, and then the world. Sorry Ian, I don't care if you have an art degree, no making art of naked women behind my back.

Farewell, Mr. Wyeth. I'll be enjoying your work and spreading the word about your brilliance whenever I can.

Editor's Note, Cara posted this message without realizing she was signed in as me. So despite saying posted by Ian this was posted by Cara.


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  3. Cara, I'm sorry for your loss...