My favorite artist, Andrew Wyeth, died. I’ve loved his work since I first attended art school. He was the artist that inspired me.
Wyeth was the subject of much controversy. Critics often dismissed him as a self-absorbed sentimentalist – more commercial illustrator than artist. The media indulged their tabloid tendencies by exploiting his Helga paintings. Dealers promoted his work because it was immensely profitable to do so. But Andrew Wyeth had a huge audience of people who admired his work.
I never met Wyeth. I attended his shows at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Currier Gallery in Manchester, New Hampshire. I made pilgrimages to the Brandywine Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and the Olson farm in Cushing, Maine. I own several books that chronicle his work.
To me, Andrew Wyeth was one of the most accomplished painters of modern times.
As an aspiring artist, I find his drawing skills and mastery of the dry-brush tempera medium are unmatched. As an experienced graphic designer, I admire the masterful subtlty of his compositions. As a person who has also struggled with depression, I relate to the somber beauty of his paintings.
But the ultimate value of art is how well it communicates with you. Whether it reaches out and draws you in. Whether it touches your soul. Andrew Wyeth’s work does all three for me.
These are a few of my favorite Wyeth paintings. If you click on the images, you can see them larger.
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