Friday, January 16, 2009

Remembering a Great American Artist

I let out an audible "oh noooo!" this morning when my computer's screen filled with the daily news page and I saw that the great American artist Andrew Wyeth had died. He passed away in his sleep at the age on 91. He has always been one of my favorites. I know this is a blog about Florida and living in the sunshine state, and Wyeth doesn't meet either of those criteria. But he does hold a special place in this NativeMom's heart. And here's why.

I've always been a creative type. As a kid I loved to draw, sketch, paint for hours. In fact, I proclaimed at an early age - maybe 3? - that I was going to be an artist. Then in college I realized I didn't have what it took to be a an artist and moved on to other things. 

I'm not quite sure how I happened to come across it, but I remember distinctly in fourth grade seeing Andrew Wyeth's iconic "Christina's World" (pictured above). I was fascinated by it. Who was she? What had happened to her. The painting itself was so interesting with each blade of grass and wisp of hair seeming to float off the page. It was mysterious. It was fantastic. 

I managed to find a poster of "Christina's World" that fourth-grade year and hung it over my bed. In 2006, when the Philadelphia museum put together one of the most complete retrospectives of his work, I searched all the travel sites trying to figure out a way to get to Philadelphia to see it. 

Thank you Andrew Wyeth for igniting a spark in a young, art-obsessed little girl and for keeping the spark alive well into adulthood. 

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