Andrew Wyeth, American Icon

I put a lot of things into my work which are very personal to me. So how can the public feel these things? I think most people get to my work through the back door. They’re attracted by the realism and they sense the emotion and the abstraction — and eventually, I hope, they get their own powerful emotion.” - Andrew Wyeth

I read about the passing of Andrew Wyeth in the New York Times this morning. In addition to the well written obituary , there's an article about the continuing debate over the quality of his art, For Wyeth Both Praise and Doubt. Both pieces are worth the read; just follow the links if you have the time.

Earlier today I thought I'd write a bit about growing up in Maine where it seemed there were Wyeth prints in almost every home by 1970s. How his art, so popular when I was a kid, was considered bourgeois by teachers & students during my 1 year of art school in the late 80s.

I grew up viewing his work in prints & books, as well as original paintings at the Farnsworth & Portland museums and other places. My mom also took us on trips to Monhegan Island, where I learned more about the 3 generations of famous Wyeths. Monhegan is also the place where I first harbored the idea of Artist as Professional. I remember thinking how cool it would be to live away from the rest of the world & be left alone to simply create...

Hmm..I'm rambling....There was a lot I thought I wanted to say...but I can't quite put it together now that I'm here....

I think the great weakness in most of my work is subject matter. There’s too much of it.”
-Andrew Wyeth

What I took away from Wyeth's paintings over the years was the light, the ambiance. Also, the idea that art didn't have to be pretty. That it could have a quite power. And it wasn't until reading of his death today that I even realized the extent of his influence on my pencil pushing...


  1. I always liked Andrew Wyeth's work. The article you linked was very interesting...I didn't know there was such a difference in opinion about his art. You picked some great quotes for your post!

  2. Thank you for that article, much appreciated. He had some good quotes!

  3. What a talent he was. And he was right, you can definitely sense the emotion in his work. Wonderful post, Stacey.

  4. Thank you Stacey for this post. I was an admirer of Andrew and Jamie's work. I too read alot about his family and their creative lifestyle. I also agree with you that in art school; they didn't talk well of their work. Such a shame. Thanks for the link.