Posts Tagged ‘Kuerner’s Farm’

A Second Cup of Coffee and a Second Attempt at Andrew Wyeth Drybrush

January 2, 2012

Wyeth Winter

I’m surprising myself with today’s output, on only the second day of the New Year.  School will not resume for three days yet, and already I’m wondering in my head how many watercolor sketches I might kick out between now and then.

This is my second attempt at copying the essence of an Andrew Wyeth drybrush of a winter landscape at Kuerner’s Farm in Chadd’s Ford, Pennsylvania.  I’m still pondering the Six Canons of Xie He, and am fascinated with the idea of distilling the essence of what you see.  As previously recorded, I had a good experience at an Oklahoma camp a few days ago, staring into the depths of a forest and trying to capture the essence of the masses of winter trees to record on paper.  I have always had a primal visual connection with Andrew Wyeth’s renderings of snowy scenes  in graphite, watercolor and gouache.  I missed my White Christmas in St. Louis this year, but decided nonetheless to pursue some winter scenic paintings.

The coffee has been delicious all day (my niece works at Soulard Coffee Garden & Cafe in south St. Louis, and gave me a wonderful Christmas gift of Soulard Coffee).  The reading has been delicious as well.  I’ve felt a rich communion with Marcus Aurelius and Paul Tillich as these great men left behind wonderfully introspective writings about life, always a good read at the beginning of a New Era.  I owe them a genuine, heartfelt thanks.  The readings and my own musings have produced about a dozen handwritten pages in my journal, and I regret to say that my journaling had dried up considerably in recent months.  It is great to be back at it again.  And this blog also gives my personal journals a shot in the arm, so thanks to you readers as well.


Homage to Andrew Wyeth, June 17, 2010

June 17, 2010

Wyeth pine cones

It isn’t an easy maneuver, trying to explain the depths of my feelings over this 5 x 7″ drybrush watercolor sketch.  In one sense, it took 45 minutes to create; in another, it took 56 years to create.

I still grieve over the passing of Andrew Wyeth.  His drybrush studies captured the imagination of a bored ninth-grader in 1968.  To this day, I can think of few significant Proustian moments from my own public schooling, but that day in 1968, when my Art I teacher Robie Scucchi placed his brand new coffee-table book of Andrew Wyeth on the table before me, and invited me to peruse its contents–I could never be the same since.

Wyeth’s deep-seated fascination with Kuerner’s farm in Pennsylvania seemed a mirror reflection of my own obsession with my grandparents’ farm in Southeast Missouri.  Every object strewn about the expansive property seemed to contain the “stuff” of revelation–that Proustian magic capable of transporting one back in time to early childhood memories filled with warmth and meaning.  From 1968 until now, I have spent countless hours poring over my own collection of Wyeth books, catalogues, prints and magazine articles, soaking like a thirsty sponge the visual details of his sensitive drybrush renderings of everyday objects.

Several years ago, in a Hillsboro antique shop connected to the gallery representing me, I purchased this blue pail with the white interior, and immediately filled it with pine cones.  I was determined to create some Wyeth-style drybrush studies from it.  Years passed, and the moment just did not present itself.  I’m too busy, it seems–too distracted with daily details.  But today marked the pleroma kairou–the fulness of time.   I took my wife Sandi to Lyndon Acres to ride her horse.  The temperature was nearing triple digits.  I had only 45 minutes.  So I set this pail of cones in the shade of a tree, and leaped right into the task, without taking time to think about it or change my mind.  Before I knew it, the 45 minutes had expired, I had a watercolor sketch to serve as a record of the moment, and my communion with Andrew Wyeth was too profound for words or tears.

This is the second watercolor still life I’ve attempted since 10th grade.  The prior attempts are not worth recording.  This one is.  Tomorrow I’m going back out to do “something” en plein air. Maybe Wyeth will visit me again.  But if not, today was enough for awhile.  I’m still trembling.

Thanks for reading.