Friday, October 27, 2006

Saturday 23rd September: The Farnsworth, the Wyeths and the rain

"Red Head Yard Dog - in good company"
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencil in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Well I know what the title says but the only sketches I've got for Saturday are ones of the insides of restaurants! My trip to Rockland, Maine with Gordon and Kathy to visit the Farnsworth Art Museum and the Wyeth Centre involved an awful lot of rain - I had hoped to be able to see something of Penobscot Bay, but the weather was simply awful.

The way in which is rained would have been unbelievable, if I hadn't experienced exactly the same thing the previous Tuesday afternoon coming back from Vermont! What is it about rain in New England - anybody know the answer? It was a complete deluge of the variety which makes roads like rivers and renders headlights absolutely essential.

We stopped for lunch at the Beale Street Barbeque Restaurant in Bath - a little bit of Memphis in Maine! I really enjoyed doing both sketches - especially since it struck me that there was a little bit of a sense of "the ages of man" about them when I looked at them again later! The couple in the Beale Street Barbeque seemed a little incongruous - although having said that they're probably regulars! Very tasty and reasonably priced lunch as well!

Beale Street Barbeque Lunch
pen and sepia ink in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

We found "In Good Company" (see top image) a wine bar /restaurant just a little way down the street from the main entrance to the Farnsworth Museum Shop (details in the travel guide links below). It has a nice atmosphere and good food . Kathy and I enjoyed a bottle of "Red Head Yard Dog" after the visit to the museum - being another one of my dog-loving friends it seemed appropriate!

OK - now for the art! Although the Wyeths lived in Chadds Ford Pennsylvania, their summer home was in Maine. For those not familiar with the Wyeths, there are some links below. There are three Wyeths of note:
  • NC Wyeth - the grandfather and an artist who produced many illustrations for both books and journals - including Treasure Island and Robin Hood - which are very familiar to many older Americans.
  • Andrew Wyeth - is a representational who has sometimes been referred to as "Painter of the People". He typically works in tempera and watercolour with extensive use of drybrush work and not a lot of use of colour. His palette tends to be on the sombre side. Wyeth has painted a number of iconic images of the people and places in the areas in which he has lived such as "Christina's World" (which is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The house in the picture is called the Olsen House is near the Museum and was one in which Wyeth stayed.
  • Jamie Wyeth - is the third generation of this family of popular American painters and is a contemporary realist painter.
A final note: The Farnsworth is a splendid art museum but I think it probably has some of the most officious security people I have ever come across in visiting art museums in very many countries. I gather I'm not alone in thinking that - enough said.

Links:
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4 comments:

  1. your sketches are so terrific, I say again, I hope you'll create a slide show of these one day! the colors in the top sketch are beautiful!

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  2. Katherine, these sketches from your New England trip are so impressive. Honestly, they're among the best things you've ever done, in my opinion. The subtlety of your palette in the interior scenes is just unparalleled. And you've so well rendered the clear autumn light of New England in the outdoor scenes, too. Excellent, excellent work.

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  3. Katerine, found your blog on the SketchCrawl site. Great Work. I also was in Maine recently sketching. Found the Farnsworth. Of the many paintings I have 'discovered' I found WC Wyeth's "Black Spruce Ledge" to be one of the most beautifull paintings I have ever seen. Hope you had a chance to see it too. It was a new collection donated by the LL. Bean estate.

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  4. Katherine, I just found this blog this morning. I live and work within a mile of the Farnsworth. Your comment on the security people at the museum is appropriate. I've noticed the same thing msyelf. As for the weather, the last two years have presented some of the most torrential rainstorms I have ever seen in my life. I hope if you visit again that the weather will be fine.

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