Spent the weekend in Pennsylvania, just painting and relaxing with my friend Neil. We went to the Brandywine Museum, where N.C.Wyeth had his studio and home…man, that N.C. really knew how to live! It was amazing to look around at the countryside and just SEE all the fabulous colors and expressionism that he brought to his illustrations. It’s right there in front of you when you look at the trees, barns, river, etc. For those of you who aren’t familiar with his work, he’s the guy who illustrated Treasure Island in 1911 for Scribners. Beautiful.
And the interesting part is his son, Andrew, painter of the famous “Christina’s World” is still going strong at age 90. His paintings feel just like the landscape of the area too, except he has his own take on it. Different color sense, different feeling, different interests; same Wyeth design and confidence. Genes, man, they really come through. But it was interesting to see how two artists from the same gene pool looking at the same exact tree stumps and river and whatnot came up with wildly different types of work. It’s always about the personality of the artist. This is what I love about my studio, Studio 1482 – we are all nine individuals that come together in nine different ways. When we went to Paris in 2006 it amazed me the different solutions everyone arrived at for the same location. Neat. This is something I talk about in my classes all the time. “Style” is nothing more than doing what you love, but really doing it, studying it, figuring it out. Every day, like practicing musical scales. There are no shortcuts to it, you’ve just got to draw, paint, and draw some more.
So, I practiced this weekend, did some watercolor ‘scales’, and had a blast. Incidentally, we also visited a Pennsylvania vineyard…not bad. I know what you’re saying, wine from Pennsylvania? No way! But I’m telling you, it definitely is worth a second look. I wouldn’t recommend the reds at all, but the chardonnay had a good flavor. It wasn’t overly oaked up like so many California chardonnays are, but it was clean and solid. The winery was Chaddsford, and the Chardonnay is called “Naked Chardonnay”. Love the name. Anyway, thought I’d do a label with one of my watercolors from the vineyard while I was at it.