“The way I feel about things is so much better than the way I’ve been able to paint them. The image I had in my head before I started is not quite – never quite – completely conveyed in paint.”
– Andrew Wyeth

In the book I mentioned last week was this quote from Wyeth. I guess if he struggled with this concept, then the rest of us might want to just chill out- especially those of us that are just starting to paint. It is what keeps us creating- no? That elusive next image and finding our vision for it. The beautiful thing is that in finding out how and what we want to paint, we discover ourselves. What we like, what we thirst for, our goals, our priorities. The painting is no longer as important as what we become when we create. That is the art.

That is why I love his sketches. That “figuring it out” piece of the puzzle.

Wyeth has a famous painting below called “Barracoon.” (A barracoon is a small enclosure where slaves were kept)

But I love the studies for it much better…

and this one is my favorite and I love it better than the final painting.

Ah… beautiful composition. Take away the hook in the ceiling and the composition falls apart and is unbalanced. These dark shapes hold together and form a triangle relating to each other. They bounce around and support each other. Composition is nothing more than a study in relationships between things.  Not of things. Then don’t even get me started on the lost and found contrasts, texture versus smooth areas and line versus tone areas. Sigh.

If I live to draw and design half as well as this in my lifetime I will be satisfied.

I think Wyeth deserves more discussion next week too.

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