Sunday, January 18, 2009
Goodbye, Mr. Wyeth
Andrew Wyeth passed away the other day. Although he was a painter, any photographer aspiring to improve could study Wyeth's work and learn everything they need to know. Anyone can operate a camera, that's the least of what it's about; if you can absorb some of his sense of space, composition and detail, you will make better photographs.
I know that some critics didn't care for his realism in this age of abstraction, but to me he was a profound influence and inspiration. His watercolor sketches are like Chinese brush drawings in their simplicity; with just a few strokes on an otherwise blank paper he could create a whole scene of hills, snow and woods and make you feel the cold. And his tempera paintings have a photographic sensibility and a feeling of story to them that I don't often see in paintings. A love of nature, an amazingly keen sense of observation and dedication to craft really set him apart, in my mind.