I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape—the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.Andrew Wyeth
I discovered Andrew Wyeth by accident, flipping idly through the middle section of a giant white book my parents owned. The book was a fat, cumbersome thing that followed us through each of the houses and living rooms I grew up in, sitting squarely, heavily, in the middle of our coffee table. I spent more than a few Vermont winters leafing through his work, looking up occasionally to see similar scenes through my window, as though Wyeth’s careful watercolors had painted the ice-flecked trees in our yard, the melting snow in the field just beyond. I don’t know where that book is now; it was likely lost in some move, or in the family turbulence of the past few years. But even though I’m now a few hundred miles (and quite a few years) removed from the houses and living rooms I grew up in, I tend to think of Andrew Wyeth’s lonely, plaintive paintings when I remember home.
At the age of 91, Andrew Wyeth has passed away. It seems somehow fitting that on the coldest winter day New England has seen this year, he’d leave us.