Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Andrew Wyeth

The color palette of Andrew Wyeth's work is subdued, as is his imagery... and his work has been dismissed by critics as sentimental, provincial and illustrative.
But what I see is a man whose translation of the everyday imbues a sort of magic realism to the ordinary. “By means of art we are sometimes sent dimly, briefly, revelations unattainable by reason, like that little mirror in fairy tales. Look into it and you will see not yourself but for a moment, that which passes understanding, a realm to which no man can ride or fly and for which the soul begins to ache.” 

Occasionally I feel a slight tug deep inside of me, as if my heart is being squeezed, and there's a flash of gratitude and love for something so much bigger than me. It can be triggered by almost anything outside: a puddle, mountains, clouds, a raven hanging above me on a summit, a circle of lichen on a tree, the scent of sun-warmed dirt and pine needles, a silhouette of weeds; I don't even need to be hiking for this to happen, sometimes it's just while driving and catching a brief glimpse of the surrounding environment as it flashes past. It's something profoundly simple, beautiful and evocative. Something that makes my soul ache.

In other words, what I am trying to tell you is that while by society's standards I may be hopelessly single... I realized recently that I am in the best goddamn relationship of my life and it's with dirt and rocks and trees and sky. Thank you Andrew Wyeth, for your visual reminder of the visceral reaction that even ordinary surroundings can evoke... if you love them enough.

Trodden Weed, The Carry and Ice Pool by Andrew Wyeth. Images sourced here and here. Solzhenitsyn quote sourced from an excellent blog post about Wyeth found here.


  1. Seriously? Why do I love everything you write so much. Get out of my head! ;)

  2. Wow, well said (and my sentiments, exactly). Forget cabin porn, this is by far my most favorite post so far.