Artists, be they painters, musicians, or writers, are often said to create some of their best work as a “tortured soul.” Some are known to isolate themselves, while others are seen as living a self-indulgent lifestyle. For artist Carolyn Wyeth, rules and recognition never appealed to her. Growing up in a family of artists, including her famous brother Andrew Wyeth, Carolyn was often described as a person who had a direct and energetic character, with a unique tendency to do whatever she pleased.
Carolyn Wyeth picks up the brush
Carolyn began studying art at the age of 12 under the guidance of her father NC Wyeth. He taught all of his children that it was imperative to have a solid drawing base and, in particular, charcoal studies of cubes, pyramids, and plaster casts before attempting to pick up a paintbrush. Not caring about the rules her father had set, Carolyn simply took the paintbrush when she wanted and did things her way.
NC Wyeth was completely impressed with the talent his daughter exhibited, but never expressed his admiration, thinking it would encourage her to seek his advice. However, in a letter he wrote in 1940, he praised Carolyn’s painting “Keats’s Mask”, saying, “If she never painted anything else, this will record a truly important talent.” By the time she was in her early twenties, Carolyn Wyeth was already winning awards and honors for her unique work style.
Teaching: integrating your father’s methods
In the 1940s, Carolyn Wyeth began teaching art to a select few in her hometown of Chadds Ford, PA and in Maine over the summer. He taught for more than 30 years. While Carolyn did not fully adhere to the way her father taught his children, even rebelled at times, her practices influenced the way she taught her students. He used his father’s old studio and equipment and accepted no more than 10 students at a time.
Carolyn went on to teach her nephew, Jamie Wyeth, and her nieces, Anna B. and Robin McCoy. And ironically, like his father, he made sure they understood the basics of geometric shapes and plaster casts before moving on to painting in color.
Carolyn’s Paintings and Style
Carolyn Wyeth never ventured far from her hometown of Chadd’s Ford, PA, or the home she grew up in with her 18 acres of land. His family environment was his source of inspiration. Carolyn mainly created still lifes that were readily available in her home: chairs and tables, food, and objects from her father’s study. He also painted the trees and woods that surrounded the house. He once said, “What inspired me to paint is this whole damn place here: every tree, every rock, the fields, the hills, the studio, the smell of the place, everything I love.”
This talented artist also reconstructed private moments, suggesting romance, loss and memory, making her work much more intense and personal. Critics described some of his work as “haunting, introspective, and displaying raw power rarely seen in contemporary painting.”
Carolyn Wyeth’s style is very distinctive, simple, and brightly colored. After his exhibitions in Philadelphia, Chester County, and Wilmington, art reviews on his paintings contained words such as “straightforward,” “simple,” “frank,” and “effective.” Carolyn once said, “I painted what I fucking wanted.” And he did and won his awards and critical acclaim alike.
Carolyn Wyeth the recluse
When Carolyn’s mother passed away in 1973, Carolyn took over the family home and studio. He lived the rest of his life in the same place where he was born. People viewed Carolyn as a recluse, apparently content to live with her dogs and her paintings. According to the artist who conducted a rare interview in 1979, Carolyn stated, “I’m not exactly a recluse, but I almost am, as close as I can get. I think a bloody quiet life is best.” He added: “People don’t mean much to me.”
Carolyn Wyeth was happy with her life. He created three to four pieces of art a year, and almost never promoted his work through exhibitions, saying that he really had no interest in selling his pieces, that he painted because it gave him a “kick inside” and allowed him to examine their relationship. with things. Another interesting fact is that he rarely signed his work because he did not think there was much interest in his talent.
Carolyn Wyeth passed away in 1994. Although she was the least famous artist in the family, critics have hailed her as “the best painter in the family” and “the strongest female artist in America today.” Rave reviews for such a recluse.