Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Andrew Wyeth's "The Rope"


When Andrew Wyeth moved to Maine, his work reflected the rustic, quiet and simple life of farming and open fields. His subjects were the instruments of the land and his neighbors Christina and Alvaro Olson, who were brother and sister. Alvaro was a fisherman and loved the sea, but when his father was too ill from arthritis to farm, Alvaro came home to take care of him and his crippled sister, Christina. Alvaro hated farming.

Wyeth’s paintings always tell a story. They pull you in emotionally to a scene, and invite interpretation. The Rope is a painting that on many emotional levels tells the story of Alvaro’s life and the unfortunate decision that took him away from fishing and the sea. Items from his life as a fisherman juxtapose with his life on the farm. The picture shows the dory stored in the haymow, a chicken crate that looks like a lobster trap sits on top, and nearby, a scythe sits on top of the clamming hod. The rope resembles a noose but also the pulley lines of a lobster boat.
Wyeth used a number of basic techniques when painting. He employed Sgraffito to some areas, scratching out top color to get at the paint underneath, and used his finger to smudge paint in others. This gave his paintings a raw look that emulated the hard farmer’s life. When Alvaro’s father died, and a year later, Alvaro and his sister died, Wyeth stopped painting the Olson farm. He said, “Without Alvaro and Christina, it’s just an object, nothing more-interesting perhaps, but not emotionally interesting.”

3 comments:

Kevin Mizner said...

Good post, Patty. Wyeth is one of my favorites, and this is one of my favorites of his.

Patty Meglio said...

Thanks, Kevin. I really like this painting and the story behind it is very interesting.

Warner Carter said...

Paneling is sometimes glued on, in these cases you will not be able to remove it without tearing up the drywall paper facing under it. You will also have glue ridging to smooth out with patching compound. candy paint colors