Andrew Wyeth 1917-2009 | American realist painter
Wyeth was an American painter born in the small rural Pennsylvania town of Chadds Ford. He was home schooled in many subjects, including art education. Known to shun traditional oils, Wyeth instead opted to work with watercolors, drybrush (a technique where watercolors are used but water is squeezed or otherwise removed from the brush) and egg tempera (a medium where egg yolks are used as a binding agent and mixed with pigment to make paint). Perhaps Andrew Wyeth is famous not so much for the type of painter he was, but more the painter he wasn't, as his subjects and style also varied drastically from many of the abstract oil painters from that period. Andrew Wyeth painted typically rural subjects, like those you might find in rural Pennsylvania. His subjects were often open, desolate landscapes and much of his work showed traces where humans were left behind (tracks, roads, beds, chairs, etc.) Wyeth preferred the quiet contemplative desolation of the rural landscape-much of his work sets a quiet mood. He liked to disguise the familiar by light or distance and there's a certain "approach yet withdrawal" about his work. Standing in sharp contrast of the abstract painters that were popular of the day, Wyeth painted a quiet realism-his work is as much about detail as it is about space, a study in both the pensive and the perspective of rural American life at the time. The concept of a "quiet mood" is a wonderful "take" for a photographer looking to Wyeth for inspiration. Since Wyeth was not an abstract painter, his work bears the mark of realism-as a photographer, here is an example of heavily used textures with a clear focus. So much of today's "textures with layers" work really resembles Wyeth's paintings. His work was subtle yet detailed-photographers should be comfortable with a certain level of detail, as much of photography is about detail and it has roots in the same sort of realism that Wyeth knew, yet a photographer could learn a lot by incorporating a certain subtlety into their work, the way Wyeth did.