Andrew Wyeth died in his sleep last night, prompting me to remember first hearing of the “painter of the people” in the yester-years of fourth grade. Now before you presume anything about a 10-year-old art critic, my interest in the artist was mostly because I realized we were distantly related. Even so, I’m thankful of the early exposure and still take great pleasure in viewing his watercolors.
His landscapes are usually of the gray northeast seasons, finding and retelling the beauty of the bleak winter, early spring rejuvenation, or the dying necessary to the fall harvest. Trees painted rarely have their leaves; as in the above painting of the Hans Herr House, homestead of our common ancestor. Perhaps his most influential works combined this raw vein of nature with the human story of charged tragedy, remarkably portrayed in Christina’s World.
After yet another lecture on cardiac physiology, Stefan told me of his friend’s blog. With a quick click, we taken to antiquity full of architectural wonders and breathtaking mosaics. My favorite was Anthon’s description and photos of Esfahan, a city said to be “half of the world.”
I was lost reading about the Pol-e Si-o-Seh spanning the Zayandeh River with its thirty-three arches, illuminated with tea houses and sounding of pedestrian traffic. Soon thereafter, Stefan and I had to return our minds to lecture number two of the morning. Thanks Anthon!
I’m initially at a loss on how to respond or comment on the recent events in the Israel-Palestine Gaza conflict. It is a land of homes and families where the sun rises about seven hours ahead of our daily morning routine. If we wanted to, we could see the same day’s sunset with our own eyes after a thirteen hour plane ride. No one is too far away.
News media also brings our shared human experience a little closer. Please, take some time to read and watch CNN, BBC World News, etc. The photos and accounts of the suffering there have risen to the top of headlines. There are also two main news agencies in Israel that report in English. Jpost leans pro-Israel and Haaretz tends to balance the former’s perspective by showing more of the Palestinian and Arab-Israeli story.
It’s my belief and experience that most just want a safe place to raise a family in a safe environment and see their children do the same. We aren’t so different ourselves.