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Jul 06, 2007 4 Comments

Jamie Wyeth, Lighthouse, 30 x 45, oil on panel, 1993

Just days out of college, I saw Lighthouse at the Farnsworth Museum's Jamie Wyeth:Islands show – and it hit me like a ton o bricks. The photo I snuck with my Nikon sits, framed, in my office to this day – the birthday of Jamie Wyeth.

Jamie's exploration of a personal mythology – the elements of nature & mystery, the use of animals and the sky as main characters – all seemed to come together in that body of work.

officer's coat study, 4×6 sketchbook pgs

I did the sketch above at the Farnsworth when an officers coat passed down from Howard Pyle (seen in Jamie's Meteor Shower, among others) was on display.

The Wyeths (inc. dad Andy and granddad NC) are obviously a big influence on my work – and it was a thrill to be able to sit with something so connected to their family history and their collective mythology.

What is it I'm driving at – or attempting to get at?

More than an artist's ability to paint or draw or compose, we are ultimately moved by their connection to the subject. It's the ability to then convey that connection – reaction – emotion – to others that makes a work of art burn in your brain.

If you'd like to see Wyeths in person – or if you're just a dog lover – Jamie's Dog Days of Summer is currently at the brandywine river museum. need prodding? how bout Dog Menaced by Vegetable


dave    Jul 09, 2007  at  9:31 pm

Continuing to enjoy your blog.
I’m convinced that you’ve contributed to my increased visual awareness.
Suffice it to say, that on a recent trip to Bertucci’s, I found myself staring at the pepper flake and grated cheese lids. I was studying the light and shadow and comparing them to my memory of your paintings!

emm    Jul 09, 2007  at  11:29 pm

Shawn, Thanks for the wonderful reminder, I too, have learned so much from all the Wyeths and return every so often to my books to relearn and pick up some new direction for my paintings. My husband and I have enjoyed your work and will continue to do so!

shawn    Jul 10, 2007  at  10:22 pm

dave – maybe those were special mushrooms on the pizza? kidding aside, thanks so much.

hi marcia – love your work – and your husband’s. thanks so much for stopping by.


sherrie kendall    May 10, 2011  at  1:34 pm

I too have this hanging in my living room with an antiques sword from the period mounted on the wall underneath it. I do have a question though. Am I wrong presuming this is a woman?? Long fingernails and hair?? Please give me info on the meaning of this painting and the specifics if you know them. Thank you.  S.A. Kendall






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