Monday, December 27, 2010

Meeting your heroes

By John Jude Palencar Merry Christmas everyone. A few years ago I had the opportunity to stop by Andrew Wyeth's home. No - I don't know Mr. Wyeth personally but I did sit in his driveway with fellow Wyeth-nut and art instructor Ralph Giguere from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pa. (Great School BTW). I was a "Visiting Artist" at the University. These pics of Andy's home were taken a couple of years before he passed away. I did meet Jamie many years ago and I always thought I would get to meet his father. Some how I think it was for the better that I never met him..... he will always remain mysterious and larger than life in my imagination. JJP


  1. Those colors look like a Wyeth painting. Victoria Wyeth, his granddaughter, is a docent for the Brandywine Museum. It's very interesting to hear her talk about her grandfather's work and life.

  2. John,

    Great story and thanks for sharing, I was fortunate enough to meet one of my idols twice, and both times were exceptional. I left both times with more admiration and respect.

  3. I had the same sensation both times I visited the NC Wyeth studio in Brandywine PA. Walking the floors where he painted was almost like some sort of an art pilgrimage. The mystique remains despite the reading of so many books and the viewing of dozens of originals. When someone asks that hypothetical question "if you could have anyone over for a dinner party, living or dead, who would it be?" there is always a Wyeth or two on the list (or Rockwell,or Vermeer, or Rembrandt or....)

  4. John- I had Ralph as a prof during my time as a student at UArts and was lucky enough to see your show up in the Illustration gallery space, your work is fantastic. (Thank you for sharing your work with us btw!) The Brandywine River Museum is one of my favorite places, Ralph and I actually did the same exact drive that you're referring to, we drove up to his house after a trip him and I took to the Museum, we got to look at his house. I remember sitting in the car as my imagination went wild thinking about what his house was like, his studio, the work that we haven't seen.

    I'm glad you got to visit. I assume (and hope) you took the studio tour while at the Brandywine?

  5. Hi Colin - Didn't know about Victoria Wyeth. It would have been nice to meet her.

    Hi Tracy - Glad you got to meet one of your idols.

    Hey Greg - I'd opt for going out for coffee as well. Did this with Robert Peak in Paris many years ago.

    Hi Eric - How cool. Ralph's a good guy. We drove around to a number of locations for Andrew's paintings, visited the Brandywine Museum as well. Sadly they weren't offering the N.C. Wyeth studio tour. Rumor had it that Andrew was working there that day.

    Have a Great New Year everybody!


  6. John, nice photos! That was a very memorable day and it sure was great to have the opportunity to spend it with you.
    I thought about you after he passed away. I went with my sons Will and Andrew to the memorial tribute that they had for him at the "Brandywine". You would have loved it! All of the lots were full and parked cars lined U.S.Route 1 for at least a half mile in both directions. It was an amazing thing to see, and a fitting tribute. They had a special show that included Christina's World (on loan for 5 days only from the Museum of Modern Art in N.Y.) and his last tempera. It was a strong painting that he had completed only months earlier. Incredible!
    Best wishes,