Wyeth, Wash Basket, 1968|
watercolor on paper, 19 3/4 x 14 in.
“Wash Basket”, a serene, but stunning watercolor painted by Andrew Wyeth in 1968, is a quiet masterpiece of light and shadow. The painting emphasizes the beauty and tranquility of a peaceful laundry day in the country. Depicting the spareness and geometric austerity of a clapboard farmhouse on the Maine coast, the work is set among a group of locales of personal significance to the Wyeth family. The Wyeths began spending summers at Port Clyde in about 1927, and the serene views along this part of Maine’s Atlantic coast have provided subject matter for three generations of Wyeth artists. Wash Basket depicts the shore side of the Shore House at Broad Cove Farm in Cushing, which served as Andrew and Betsy Wyeth's summer house before they eventually moved further out to sea.
Andrew Newell Wyeth (July 12, 1917 – January 16, 2009) - the son of famed artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth, was primarily a realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style. He was one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century. Andrew Wyeth's favorite subjects were the land and people around him, both in his hometown of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and at his summer home in Cushing, Maine. Wyeth noted: "I paint my life." One of the best-known images in 20th-century American art is his painting “Christina’s World” currently in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. “Christina’s World” was painted in 1948, when Andrew Wyeth was just 31 years old.
Wyeth, Summer House (Zero House),|
1970, watercolor on paper, 18 1/8 x 29 1/2 in.
“Summer House”, a vibrant coastal watercolor painted by Jamie Wyeth in 1970, is much more dramatic – it features the bold and jagged rocks of the coastline against the backdrop of a sea-side house and sky. One of several paintings of Monhegan’s houses that Jamie Wyeth completed in the years after he moved into Rockwell Kent’s old home on the island in 1968, Summer House (Zero House) depicts the summer residence of the actor Zero Mostel. As the artist once noted: “My house paintings, on Monhegan in particular, really are portraits. I mean they're as much portraits of the island as the people are.” Because of Monhegan’s rugged terrain and exposure to the elements, its winter and summer houses possess different attributes, with winter (or year-round) houses able to be shuttered up against the elements, and summer houses built to maximize exposure to the sun and ocean breezes. With its expansive back porch and harbor views, Mostel’s house represents the summer variety, hence the title of this work.
Jamie (James) Wyeth (b. 1946) is the son of artist Andrew Wyeth and the grandson of N.C. Wyeth. He was raised on his parents' farm "The Mill" in Chadds Ford, PA , much the same way as his father had been brought up and with much of the same influences. He demonstrated the same remarkable skills in drawing as his father had done at comparable ages. At age 12, Jamie started studying with his aunt Carolyn Wyeth, a well-known artist in her own right, and resident at that time of the N.C. Wyeth House and Studio – which was filled with the art work and props of his grandfather. Through his aunt, Jamie developed an interest in working with oil paint. Carolyn Wyeth and artist/illustrator Howard Pyle were Jamie Wyeth’s greatest early influences in developing his technique in working with oil paint. While Jamie's work in watercolor was similar to his father's, his colors were more vivid. At age 19 (about 1965) he traveled to New York City to better study the artistic resources of the city and to learn human anatomy.
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