Wednesday 21 May 2014

Inspiring Image: Wyeth He So Great

Piece by N.C. Wyeth (father of Andrew Wyeth) - 1907

N.C. Wyeth was one of the great illustrators of America’s golden age at the beginning of the 20th century.  A student of Howard Pyle, Wyeth was well known for his amazing visual ability to capture a complete scene.  Often, his paintings accompanied great works of lit

erature like Treasure Island, Robin Hood, and Robinson Crusoe.  He was famous for dressing his friends and family in period costume to model for him.

What I love about his work is the strong efficiency of line and composition.  His paintings are uncluttered and clear while maintaining our interest.  In this painting of a Native American from 1907, Wyeth creates a beautiful mood of solitude and reflection.  His vertical format shows the influence of Japanese prints and, although heavily weighted on the left, maintains balance with the paddler’s gaze to the right.  Wyeth’s ability to conjure these images from his imagination are an inspiration to anyone who has ever sat before a blank canvas.

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