17 January 2009

On Art and its role in my life

Andrew Wyeth passed away yesterday.

Normally, the passing of an artist wouldn't even make my radar. Normally, I'd say "Andrew who?"

But I liked Andrew Wyeth. Not because I am some art world snob, but because I actually enjoy his work. I actually hang a print of his work in my home. I hang this one, Master Bedroom, in my living area.

Sure, it's a dog picture. But it's more than that. I have hung this print as the focal point of my living area for about 20 years now. I look at it every day and I never tire of it. I find that amazing. That painting has become a part of my life. A part of me. It is one of those things that when I study it, it only becomes more interesting to me. It gives me a feeling of owning that place as my own. It is feeling the warmth from the sunlight on the bedspread or hearing the breathing of the dog as it sleeps. It is knowing the way the soft cotton fringe on the bedspread feels after innumerable washings. It is knowing that tree outside the window is a red cedar and knowing the way the wind rustles it in the winter, and the way it's scent punctuates the breeze in the summer. It is contentment. Familiarity. Simplicity. It captivates me.

Oh, I know there are those in the art world who poopooed Wyeth's work. And there are those who said his work appealed to the uneducated masses. So be it.

There is something to be said of a man who's work captures me, since apparently I am the least emotionally intelligent person on Earth. And don't say I'm not. I've had professionals tell me I am. For instance, a therapist I once sought help from for dealing with an episode of obsessive-compulsive behaviors informed me that every time he asked me how I felt, I began the sentence with "I think". Maybe Andrew Wyeth is the thinking girl's artist. I like to think he appealed to my better nature in any event.

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