A Bit of Truth

“I can’t work completely out of my imagination. I must put my foot in a bit of truth; and then I can fly free.” — Andrew Wyeth

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You’ve probably noticed in my photographs of myself that I tend toward the grand as much as anything, at least in shots where I’m in a “character” mode.  The quality of my work, as a result, is…somewhat variable.  When I think I get it right, I get it right; but it’s all too easy to get it wrong when I’m trying to portray something out of my “own pure brain,” and I eventually see it as on the baroque side, if not positively rococo.

When I am not photographing myself or someone else, though, I search more for the mood that comes out of the sim I’m in; I reach for what some might have referred to as the genius loci, the spirit of the place that infuses it and protects it.  I search for what I hope is the truth of the place; and in this, I try to emulate one of my favorite artists, Andrew Wyeth.

I fell in love with Wyeth’s work in the 1980s, when I was returning to college to begin my degrees.  The Helga Paintings had been announced to the public and were going on exhibition then, and I started researching as much as I could on the work of Wyeth.  Andrew was always a controversial painter — his work was both admired and scorned, sometimes by the same critic.  This is probably the best compliment an artist could receive;  it means his output is being seen, studied and discussed.  Above all, he sought for the elemental truth inside what he beheld, and tried to crystallize it into an extremely realistic, minimalistic clarity.  His best work captures enough to speak volumes in the simplest of tones and the fewest, most primal forms.  Go and look his work up in an images search, and see what he had to say to us.

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But you can also explore this yourself in Second Life.  I took these photos at The Gates of Melancholy, a region built in tribute to Andrew Wyeth’s world.  If you are knowledgeable and have an eye and memory, you can see elements of some of Wyeth’s most famous work, such as the field and buildings of Christina’s World.  Even the grass is wonderfully reminiscent of Wyeth’s masterful skill with the brush.

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