Wyeth on Another Planet

John Jacobsen
Saturday, January 17, 2009

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Earlier post Detox southpole

Later post CHC southpole

Seeing as he died a few days ago, I just want to write a line or two to honor Andrew Wyeth. I spent much of my vacation a few weeks ago soaking in his Kuerner’s drawings.

Several years going I have fetched the South Pole copy of The Helga Pictures from the library there and kept it handy to remind me about drawing and the Real World. Mom sent me a copy of the book the year I worked at CERN outside Geneva, Switzerland. At the time I was trying to better my figure drawing and enjoying what passed for a rural lifestyle housesitting at a friend’s farm house. The book was a perfect companion.

A lot of critics hated Wyeth. He was the kind of artist that you admired in secret (I remember a figurative painting teacher of mine admitting with a chuckle that he liked him). I don’t quite understand why he got so famous. I kind of wish he hadn’t, that I had discovered him on my own to keep in my private collection of relatively unknown artist-muse-mentors, the way you keep a certain fishing or bird watching spot to yourself.

His finished tempera paintings were nice and some of them certainly very iconic (hence his fame, I guess), but it was his looser drawings and watercolors that I fell in love with. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to draw like that, like Wyeth dosed to the gills with Thomas Pynchon, Andrei Tarkovski or Ridley Scott — Wyeth on another planet….

Earlier post Detox southpole

Later post CHC southpole

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