Andrew Wyeth ( 1917 - 2009 )

Andrew Wyeth died a few weeks ago. 16th January, to be exact, so I guess this is a belated farewell.

He has been more and more on my mind since I heard the news of his passing.

In one sense, he was the ultimate rebel. The art establishment hated him, the people loved him. Andrew Wyeth didn't care about them, he kept painting what he wanted, how he wanted. He didn't paint in the fashion of the times, but in the way he knew and liked best.

I consider him to be one of the great American painters of the twentieth century, a penetrating vision and masterful ability allowing him to capture an essence of life that few artists could claim.

A few years ago I bought a book that was for sale at the school library, a bargain at only $2. It was of an artist called Andrew Wyeth, and the text was a series of fascinating interviews. I had always admired his work but never before had I been able to peruse them in so much detail, at my own leisure. Each touch of paint left me gasping, each splatter, each stroke of graphite trailing the vast space of paper.

One thing I love about Andrew Wyeth's work is the quietness, and the presence. There is this feeling of silence, and in that silence, an awareness of nature. The small things in life become the big things. A coffee cup is as moving as a mountain, a farm girl more stunning than a queen.

Thank you Andy, you were and are a great teacher. Rest in peace.