He painted in the muted browns, grays, reds, yellows, and oranges of fall and winter, the lifeless time of year. Yet, his paintings were anything but lifeless. There was always the stark play of white against black with the two always in a natural harmony he saw as life's cycle.
A household name by the mid-20th century, Andrew Wyeth never really fit in with his contemporaries, the abstract expressionists, who used bold paint strokes, bright colors. They dripped, dribbled, and splashed while he slowly built images of land, buildings, animals, and people layer upon layer of egg tempura that seemed to breath all on their own. The viewer always knew what they were looking at. But, there was always something that was more felt than seen.
In a 1965 LIFE magazine interview, Wyeth said of his standing in the art world and the label of "realist" critics had placed upon him,
"In the art world today, I'm so conservative I'm radical. Most painters don't care for me. I'm strange to them... A lot of people say I've brought realism back. They try to tie me up with Eakins and Winslow Homer. To my mind they are mistaken. I honestly consider myself an abstractionist. Eakins' figures actually breathe in the frame. My people, my objects breathe in a different way; there's another core -- an excitement that's definitely abstract."
Wind From the Sea
In 2007, Wyeth was honored by his country with the National Medal of the Arts presented by Pres. George Bush.
Although frustrated in his last years by his failing body and the loss of fine reflexes, Wyeth continued to create. The watercolor (left) is one one of his last paintings. Appropriately, it is called, Stop.
Primary source: Washington Post
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.