Saturday, December 13, 2008

Andrew Wyeth-An American Icon

I first discovered Andrew Wyeth at age 15 in my first year of High school, and his work has enthralled me ever since. He was one of the individuals that inspired me to become an artist, and to explore the medium of Watercolor. This is the first of my posts of My Favorite Artists.

Andrew Wyeth was born July 12, 1917 and is an American realist painter, and without doubt the best known American artist. Although he has won numerous awards and critical acclaim amongst critics, some have labelled his work more Illustration than Artistic. I can't agree with that opinion, as many famous artists were Illustrators or Commercial artists while advancing their artistic careers. As far as I am concerned, illustration is still art. Andrews father N.C. Wyeth was an Illustrator and artist, and how could anyone not be influenced by that?

Much of his work features the landscape around his home town of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and the people that live in the area.

I just love the organic Burnt Umber feeling of his work, and every time I view it, I find myself lingering and exploring every detail in absolute wonder of how he did it.

He often uses a "dry brush" technique in his paintings. Most of the pigment is squeezed out of the brush, and then he caresses the paper with the lightest touch, building up successive layers of paint over time. I must admit I have failed miserably trying this technique, and have had no success with it.

Wyeth also uses the Egg Tempera medium for many of his paintings. Pigment is mixed with egg yolk and distilled water, and artists throughout the centuries used this medium with great success. One of Wyeth's most famous egg tempera paintings is Christina's World, done in 1948.

Book Image-Courtesy

Here are some links to view some of Andrew Wyeth's artwork.
Museum Syndicate
Official Andrew Wyeth Website

Books about Andrew Wyeth Book


  1. Robert Bateman - one of the most successful wildlife artists of our times had his first exhibition in a public gallery in Canada in 2007. It was scandalous enough that the critics in the Globe should hash out whether this was art or illustration. To me the argument is no more important than determining if shoelaces are green or chartruese. There is a distinction, but is it enough to say that they aren't shoelaces? The awareness an appreciation that Bateman has generated with his work should speak for the purpose of art. It was not commercially commissioned and so stands as art - to me!

  2. Robert Bateman is a brilliant artist, I love his work.
    I am not sure why the Globe would consider his art illustration, and I agree completely that his work stands on it's own as art.


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