6 x 8"
oil on panel
I also chose one of my personal favorite paintings by Jamie Wyeth titled 'Pumpkinhead (Self Portrait)'. It has always spooked me, even when I was painting my piece. In a past interview, Jamie told this story - 'I had been elected to the National Academy of Design in New York, and one of the requirements was that you give a portrait, a self-portrait of yourself. Well, I didn't want to do myself in a self-portrait, but I love pumpkins. It's the sinisterness, the Halloween I've always loved. It's a bit edgy. So I did it and of course they were furious and rejected it.' Imagine anyone rejecting a Wyeth painting?
The Wyeths were known to be very fond of Halloween, N. C. was the famed illustrator of great stories like Treasure Island and loved to round up costumes for the kids and get lost in imagination. His studio would be decorated for family parties complete with pumpkins, Indian corn, candles and symbols of autumn and Halloween. Taken from Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life, Andrew, the son of
N. C., developed the same love for Halloween. 'Wyeth has made Halloween a personal Walpurgisnacht, an annual reconnection with the unearthly, with witchcraft and hidden meanings. On that day he is electric with fun. He picks the deformed pumpkins and carves them into jack-o'-lanterns, a long lineage of fantastic death masks summoned up from childhood by the remembered scent of candle-heated pumpkin flesh.' I read that the family had a long tradition of wearing their costumes for dinner on Halloween night - here's a photo where you can see Jamie on the right.
I gathered up just a fraction of those wonderful paintings by the three generations, expressing their love for the images of autumn and Halloween, starting with three of my favorites....
Treasure Island illlustration by N. C. Wyeth
Automaton by Jamie Wyeth
The Witching Hour by Andrew Wyeth
and more .....
and a Happy Halloween to you.