Last week I paid brief tribute to Andrew Wyeth who passed away on January 16 at age 91. This week I want to share a few more parting words for this great American artist.
Leaving Portland I drove up US Route 1, winding through pleasant riparian coastal towns. Approaching Wiscasset I spied two signs along the highway that have been there since I first visited this area. One of them advertises "Maine Art" and "Wyeth Prints" for sale, while the other announced "New Wyeth Prints Here oday" [sic] just as it has every day for the past 20+ years. These signs have served as a constant reminder to all who travel up the coast of Maine of the long connection the Wyeth family has had with this area.
I left the Olson House and eventually crossed the St. George River at Thomaston, and from there I drove south again along the eastern bank of the river, down through the villages of St. George and Tenants Harbor, where Andrew’s son, James Wyeth, now lives and paints, and finally, as dusk arrived, to Port Clyde and land’s end guarded by Marshall Point Light. It was here, at nearby Horses Point, in the 1920s, that N.C. Wyeth established a summer home and studio for his family - a converted sea captain’s home he christened "Eight Bells" after a painting by Winslow Homer. And family members, especially Andrew, having been coming back every summer since.
At Port Clyde I found myself once again on the edge of America looking toward Portugal but seeing only the Georges Islands, including Brenner Island that has been Andrew Wyeth’s summer home for many years, and adjacent Allen Island, also owned by the Wyeth family. And farther out to sea, on the horizon, the headlands of Monhegan Island, it’s familiar lighthouse a solitary tick of quicksilver as the storm clouds gathered and moved closer to shore. The day was ending and it was time for me to turn inland where I hoped to find a good meal and a warm bed.
NEXT WEEK: Reflections on an Approach: The Importance of a Road Trip