Friday, January 16, 2009

It Is Always Summer When She Dreams

It is always summer when she dreams,
a gauze of sunshine softening knees,
breasts over belly, hammock between
awareness dulled by a novacaine breeze

It is always summer when she dreams


Andrew Wyeth died today at 91. Although a realist
in many respects, there was something intensely
magnified about his work to me. The moment was
everything--beautiful in its capture, but melancholy
in its eventual surrender to the arms of time.
This painting is titled, "Day Dream."

For anyone who's interested, you can check
out my salute to "Christina's World" here.


Catvibe said...

Funny...I said a goodbye to him on Facebook today. Thank you for the tribute. He's always had a place with me too.

Aine said...

:( We've lost a great one. But what a life he lived!

I thought of you when I saw the news. I love your interpretation of this painting!! and peace. Perfect tribute.

Bob said...

A wonderful painting and a wonderful poem... I was saddened to read of his passing today... I hate it when an artist dies, the world loses some of its light, but still retains it's glow through the work they achieve.

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

For over seventy years and scathing reviews , Wyeth struggled to reawaken the world to the appreciation of representational art. - One of the finest and most misunderstood artists of our time has left the planet. I wish he could have stayed on long enough to paint just one more canvas.

Sarah, your poem made my heart leap! A perfect companion to this artwork of Wyeth's!

Sarah Hina said...

Cat, I'm not surprised his work was meaningful to you, too. We have two Andrew Wyeth prints hanging in our house. Now I wish we had a few more.

Aine, thank you. Joy and peace sound beautiful to me. :) And you're right--Wyeth lived a richer life than most. I wonder how many canvases he painted over that long life, and which ones satisfied him the most.

Bob, that legacy hangs on many walls, and warms many hearts. I'm just touched to know that his work resonated with so many people here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. They are a tribute, too.

K, I actually thought when writing this, that you would be the person most likely to identify with Wyeth's work, and regret his passing. Didn't you use one of his paintings to inspire a poem a few months ago?

He was derided too much by critics. But his portraiture, in particular, always struck a chord deep within me. I felt like every moment he depicted was pregnant and authentic.

This painting is actually a little prettier than most of his work. But as I was looking through images today, it spoke to me. Maybe because she's there, and also away.

Thank you, K. :) I'm so grateful to connect to another impassioned art fan.

sawan said...

beautiful tribute. may his soul rest in peace.

the walking man said...

I too like Wyeth's legacy. "Helga" was the first show I helped to install at the Detroit Institute of Art ('87). He was very precise in every aspect of the installation. His paintings are honestly what started me out on the journey of deeper discovery of that medium of art.

I think most of his critics came about because he didn't follow the beaten track, not in his definition of "modern art" nor his use of color and paint. I appreciate that he stood strong in his use of tempura over oil and didn't give in to the "jazz" painting style of Pollock. Both have their place in the world but Wyeth resonates more with me.

Sarah the poetic definition is spot on wonderful.

Stephen Parrish said...

My favorite artist. I think the Helga Suite represents the peak of his career, but he was brilliant from beginning to end. Funny, he didn't consider himself a realist:

I honestly consider myself an abstractionist. Eakins's figures actually breathe in the frame. My people, my objects, breathe in a different way; there's another core---an excitement that's definitely abstract.

---from a 1965 interview in Life Magazine

David Cranmer said...

I have a print of "Christina's World" and never grow tired of memorizing the details. I have studied that along with Dali's "Persistence of Memory" like no others. I'm glad to see Wyeth had a long life. RIP.

Peter said...

Lovely tribute to an artist who won't be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

An achingly beautiful tribute that matches the soul of his painting.

I feel like celebrating Wyeth's life. 91 years is a gift for anyone to experience. Although we're less because he's gone, we're far, far more because he was here.

Again, gorgeous.

(BTW, yesterday a random person what doing a google search for "Christina's World" and found your contest piece over at The Clarity of Night. You've helped spread his message.)

Chris Eldin said...

I loved your entry for Jason's contest a while back. When I heard Andrew Wyatt died, I thought of you right away.
His paintings are so poetic. There's a real story in them.

Karen said...

Sarah, I'm saddened by my visit to Murmurs today. Somehow, I missed the news yesterday, so I have just learned of the passing of this great artist. Your poem is a perfect tribute to an under-appreciated talent.

When I was a child, I remember only two works of art hanging on the walls of my elementary school classroom; one was Christina's World. I gazed at that beautiful and haunting print and wrote her story in my mind over and over, even as a child. The image has haunted me ever since, as I know it has others.

A great light has gone out, but not before illuminating a whole other reality.

Sarah Hina said...

Sawan, thank you. I appreciate your kind words.

Walking Man, that's remarkable to me that you helped install that show, and met Wyeth. The Helga series include many of my favorite works by him. Very honest, and revealing, work.

His palette was fairly muted, but I agree that he seemed to capture some kind of essential nature in his more elemental approach. And thank you for your words regarding the poem. This painting is so lovely.

Stephen, thank you for including that quote. There is a drama to his work, a sense of time paused. It is exciting, and infinitely mysterious.

I'm glad his work resonates so strongly with you. There are few artists alive who enjoy his kind of public admiration and following.

David, we have a print of "Christina's World," too. It's a haunting image, and one that means a lot to me. Wyeth did enjoy a longer, and more meaningful, life than most.

Peter, thank you. I'm glad you admired his work, too.

Jason, you're right. Such a life is something to celebrate and uphold. Especially for those of us who didn't know him personally. His art will always be close at hand.

And thank you. :) I like that my story is connected with his, in some small way.

Chris, that's true. Each painting is a story that carries a weight and mystery. I always want to know what his subjects are looking at.

Thanks for thinking of me, Chris. :)

Karen, that is so touching about your school and girlhood musings. It is the kind of painting that demands answers. And since Wyeth doesn't give any, we need to weave the threads.

Do you remember any of the stories you invented? I learned a little about Christina Olson when I wrote my own take on the painting. I wonder how she felt about being memorialized in one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century. Always looking across that field.

Thanks for your wonderful words, Karen. I'm sorry you had to learn about his passing, but you're right about his light enduring.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

Such a wonderful tribute to him!Beautiful weaving of words,as ever.

May he find eternal solace...

Lena said...

aww.. Sarah, thats such a beautiful tribute. Words captured the essence of the art.
91 years.. surealy a lot, i believe he used them all the best way :)

Drive-thru said...


Very nice and well articulate poem. It seems that you paint with the words, I like it.

Glad to find another poet.

Sarah Hina said...

Sammera, I do like the fact that the passion he poured into his paintings will survive all of us. He left quite a legacy. Thank you!

Lena, I think so, too. And I'm glad that you felt the words complimented his painting. Thanks so much. :)

Drive-thru, I appreciate your stopping by, and your lovely compliment. Poets are always welcome here. :)

Sarah said...

he will be missed and once again my dear beautify written.

Scott said...

Sarah, is that first bit your poem? It's nothing short of incredible. Love the word choices.

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Your vote means the world to me!

Sarah Hina said...

Sarah, good to see you again. :) And yes, he will be missed.

Scott, you're very welcome. I'm glad so many others agreed with me!! Congratulations on your Readers Choice placing. :) That's a huge achievement in such a big field of entries.

Vesper said...

A beautiful tribute, Sarah. Thank you!
And I remember well and with huge admiration your story of "Christina's World"...

Sarah Hina said...

Vesper, thank you! :)