Andrew Wyeth - Painter Of The People

Archives of American Art
NC Wyeth - Cowboy model studio

Andrew Wyeth who has passed away at the age of 91 was a self-taught artist. It would be proper for me, as a person who has something to do with colours and canvases, to remember the celebrated painter of our time. Andrew Wyeth started his creative journey earlier, say from the cradle. Under his father's cooperation and guidance, he started his artistic journey at a very young age.

In addition to his family's aesthetic history, Andrew Wyeth had the inviting rural landscape lying in the surround. He started with the drawing and catching the sense of romance from the Renaissance and American artist, he went on painting his watercolours.

Andrew Wyeth had booked a special corner in his heart for the poetry of Frost and Thoreau. This poetic attachment, well supported by a passion for music, equipped him for creating a near relationship with nature and romance.  

Known as the "Painter of the people" and for being a realist artist, he had earned much popularity in America and abroad. The biggest fame for Andrew Wyeth came from the Helga paintings. It's a long line of figures, keeping Helga Testorf, as a model. 

For the paintings done during the period running from 1971 to 1985, it is believed that no one knew about the process of the painting going. Neither Andrew's wife nor Helga's husband knew about Helga acting as a model for Wyeth's paintings. Everyone knew about the paintings only when all of them were unveiled and exhibited.

As most of the great master painters always have been controversial, Wyeth was not an exception. He was a controversial artist throughout his career. At his young age, It was a period of abstract paintings in America.

NEA photographer Michael Stewart

Andrew Wyeth painted mostly realistic paintings, the landscapes and portraits of Helga being the main subjects. Though he had attracted a record number of visitors to his exhibitions, he contrasted his contemporaries in style. He rarely used oil paint; he mainly used watercolour and egg tempera.

If you want to see the paintings rich with veiled abstraction and having a strong current of emotions; then the paintings by Wyeth would be good material. In his paintings loaded with symbolic contents, Andrew Wyeth had used light and shadow to illuminate the subjects on his canvases.

His death (2009) is a matter of mourning for every artist and every art-lover. May God bless his soul in Heaven. [All the images are in Public Domain, taken from Wikimedia Commons]

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