"Wyeth's Muse", 12x16, oil on panel
It is said that the Keurner Farm in Chadd's Ford, Pa. served as inspiration for at least a third of the works by the late Andrew Wyeth. Andrew discovered the farm on one of his boyhood walks and over the years, the farm and its occupants, Karl and Anna Keurner developed a deeply satisfying albeit complex relationship. It was here at the farm that Andrew met Helga, a German immigrant, who also became the controversial subject of many of Wyeth's paintings.
Having spent the greater part of my adult life living in the Brandywine Valley, and treasuring the legacy of the Wyeth's, it is not unusual that I still gravitate to scenes of rural farms with old stone walls and fence lines that dot the hillsides, whenever I visit Pennsylvania.
Recently, while painting in the Plein Air Brandywine Valley painting event, I had the opportunity to paint at the Kuerner Farm, which was generously donated by the Keurners to the Brandywine Conservancy and Museum. It was a gorgeous autumn day, and although I really wanted to paint the white farmhouse from the bottom of the hill, another artist had already set up there.
So I painted the Springhouse instead, which is closer to the barn, and I'll post a better picture of that painting in another blog post.
All and all it was quite a moving experience to be able to walk the same well-worn dusty paths of the Wyeth's, Howard Pyle and other masters of the Brandywine School of Art, but I was still disappointed that I didn't have the chance to paint the farmhouse.
So this week I used my reference photo and set out to portray the old homestead in the dramatic mid-day light. I wasn't unhappy with outcome, but I do hope that someday perhaps I'll have the chance to paint the scene again- this time on location.